Christian theological training for any healthcare practitioner

The Certificate in Theology and Health Care (CTHC) can be completed in-residence or in a flexible hybrid format combining two weeks in-person and eight months of online learning

The Certificate in Theology and Health Care (CTHC) offers robust and practical theological formation for clinicians seeking to faithfully and creatively inhabit contemporary medicine and healthcare.


Forge relationships with other clinicians as you together seek to reimagine and reengage your work Christianly.

Tour Christian tradition and the practices of Christian communities while studying the church’s best thinkers regarding the intersection of theology and medicine.  

Work with professors, spiritual directors, coaches, and fellow clinicians to discern what faithful practices look like in your context.

Complete the program in a format that is adaptable to your work schedule and local context, combining two weeks in person at Duke University with eight months of live online (synchronous and asynchronous) learning.

Engage questions of suffering, illness, healing, and the place of health care in a faithful life with particular attention to your own institution and with your own communities in mind.

The Certificate in Theology and Health Care is designed for those who:

  • Have vocations to health care (e.g., trainees or practitioners of medicine, nursing, and other health care professions), and who seek theological training that equips them to do their work with clarity, faith, and joy.
  • Have not yet been able to pursue theological study due to their clinical training and work obligations.
  • Might seek to complete a graduate theological degree at Duke Divinity School (MDiv, DMin, MTS) in the future but are currently unable to relocate geographically.

The CTHC can be completed in-residence, but most participants will complete the program through a flexible format that includes two separate weeks in residence at Duke University, and eight months of synchronous and asynchronous work using an online platform.

The course curriculum involves three primary components: 1) Cultivating Christian Imagination, a two-semester course that combines scripture, history, and theology in a sweeping tour of Christian tradition and the practices of Christian communities; 2) Health Care in Theological Context, a two-semester course on the intersection of theology and medicine; and 3) Health Care as Vocation, a two-semester course that combines best practices of academic study, spiritual direction, and professional coaching, as students discern what faithful practices look like in their own contexts.

Certificate Description and Requirements (pdf)

To learn more about graduation requirements, program costs, and financial aid, click here.

Benefits of the Program

Participants who complete the program will receive the Certificate in Theology and Health Care as well as academic credit (six courses) that can be applied toward any master’s degree at Duke Divinity School. More importantly, they will have stepped back and critically assessed themselves and their contexts, discerning practical steps they can take to bring greater alignment between what they genuinely value and what they do each day.

In addition to graduate study, the CTHC includes a number of components that address clinician burnout, deepening and specifying these components in light of Christian tradition: 

  • Mindfulness: Participants will practice paying attention—to themselves, to those around them, to the institutions and structures that govern their work, and to God. They will practice moving from reacting and going through the motions to making choices.
  • Agency: Burnout is often accompanied by helplessness and victimization in the face of the overwhelmingly complex structures of health care. Participants will practice discerning what is genuinely worthwhile and then acting concretely, in their current context, to bring greater alignment between what they value and what they do. 
  • Articulacy: This unique program develops what the philosopher Charles Taylor calls articulacy—the ability to identify and speak cogently about the goodness that lies under the surface of our everyday activities. In the words of Taylor, articulacy helps to “bring us out of the cramped postures of suppression” and “open us to our moral sources, to release their force in our lives.” In developing this articulacy, participants will find language to lament that which is not as it should be while also finding new joy and delight in the mundane daily practices of caring for those who are sick.

All applicants must apply for admission to Duke Divinity School through the online ChooseDuke portal.  Once in the portal select the “Divinity non-degree” pathway.   Please visit the divinity admissions page for more information on application requirements and deadlines.

Admission to the program is by application and is not available to students currently enrolled in a degree program of the Divinity School.

For admission to both certificate and degree-seeking programs, Duke Divinity School Admissions reviews only Duke Divinity School applications. If you are applying to complete the full-time residential version of the CTHC as a TMC Fellow, please indicate this in your statement of purpose.


Interested in learning more about the Certificate in Theology and Health Care?