A one- or two-year program of intensive Christian theological formation for those whose vocations include full-time work in health care

An immersive residential experience at Duke Divinity School


The Theology, Medicine, and Culture (TMC) Fellowship equips participants to engage their callings to healthcare wisely and faithfully. The fellowship combines formal academic study with spiritual formation, mentoring, weekly seminars, church and community-based practicums, and semi-annual retreats.

For centuries Christians have thought of attending to those who are sick as work that can and should be engaged as Christian vocation. But what does it look like to faithfully live into a vocation in health care today? How do Christians wisely navigate and faithfully confront the moral and spiritual challenges that fill American healthcare? How can they bear witness to and participate in the healing ministry of Christ in these confusing times?

Be equipped to wisely and faithfully respond to these questions as you participate in formal academic study, spiritual formation, mentoring, weekly seminars, church and community-based practicums, and semi-annual retreats.

Join like-minded colleagues on a journey to discover the resources of Christian tradition that will help you to reimagine and reengage your work Christianly, with clarity and joy.

Savor the chance to spend one or two years away from the grind of health care, taking time to read, listen, think, and rest, with all of the resources of a world-class Christian divinity school at your fingertips.

Engage questions of suffering, illness, healing, and the place of health care in a faithful life, while developing the knowledge and skills you will need to encourage and teach others wherever your work in health care takes you.


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The TMC Fellowship is designed for those who:

  • Have vocations that include full time work in health care (e.g., trainees or practitioners of medicine, nursing, and other health care professions*) and seek theological formation that equips them to understand, address, and teach others about the moral and spiritual questions that attend the experiences of suffering, illness, and disability and the practices of health care.
  • Want to learn to think critically and theologically about foundational dynamics that shape American health care.
  • Believe that that Christian tradition should matter for how health care is practiced and how churches respond to health and illness.
  • Want to invest in theological formation that will shape their imaginations and clinical practices for decades to come.
  • Are able to spend one or two years in-residence at Duke Divinity School engaging in full time graduate studies.  

At Duke Divinity School, we believe Christian tradition and the practices of Christian communities are powerful repositories of wisdom about illness, suffering, healing, and dying. We believe Christians have an important role to play in naming and addressing the problems that plague contemporary health care, and that attending to those who are sick remains a sacred vocation. The TMC Fellowship offers theological formation to equip participants for that important work.

Year 1 integrates theological study, spiritual formation, and theological reflection on practice. Year 2, for those who complete the two-year track, promotes fellows’ further development as scholars and teachers at the intersection of theology, medicine, and culture.

The fellowship offers scholarship support toward completion of either the Certificate in Theology and Health Care (CTHC, for those pursuing the one-year track) or the Master’s of Theological Studies (MTS, for those pursuing the two-year track). A limited number of merit-based, full-tuition scholarships are available for TMC Fellows who will be enrolled in the Master of Theological Studies (MTS) program.

*What about chaplains? Since those pursuing chaplaincy undertake theological education in the normal course of their training, we consider applications from chaplains only if they are intending to pursue further theological education (such as a ThM degree).

Overview
The one-year fellowship track is available to candidates applying to complete the Certificate in Theology and Health Care during one academic year in residence at Duke Divinity School.  

Curriculum
The course curriculum involves three primary components: 1) Scripture, theology, and church history; fellows can either take two core courses in these disciplines, or they can take 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 (TMC Fellows participate together in a dedicated section of this course). Fellows are eligible to take up to two additional elective courses, one of which can be from another division of the university.

The one-year TMC Fellowship provides a tuition grant equal to 50% of tuition for two semesters of full-time study, in addition to other scholarships and financial aid available through the school. To learn more about graduation requirements, program costs, and financial aid, click here.

Other Program Requirements

  • Complete a 2-semester service-learning practicum at one of several local health-related ministries. This component typically requires 2-4 hours per week, or 20-30 hours per semester.
  • Participate faithfully in core TMC community activities, including: 1) the semi-monthly TMC Seminar, 2) a weekly TMC mentoring hour, 3) fall and spring retreats, 4) the Catena Lectureship, and 5) a handful of other community events. The TMC Fellowship is a communal experience, and we ask prospective fellows to consider up front whether they are able to commit to the participation that is essential to the Fellowship experience.

    Click here for an example of a typical course schedule for a fellow on a one-year track.

    Click here for a list of potential electives.

* Part-time enrollment may be allowed upon approval by the faculty directors.

Overview
The two-year fellowship track is available to candidates applying to complete the MTS program during two academic years in residence at Duke Divinity School. The two-year track is designed for those interested in becoming scholars and teachers at the intersection of theology, medicine, and culture.

Curriculum
TMC Fellows will complete the course requirements for the MTS degree. They may want to apply for one of the MTS focus tracks, which offer more flexibility with respect to elective courses taken. As part of their coursework, fellows will complete Health Care in Theological Context, a two-semester course on the intersection of theology and medicine, as well as 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 (TMC Fellows participate together in a dedicated section of this course).

Click here for an example of a course schedule for a fellow on a two-year track.

Click here for a list of potential electives.

Other Program Requirements

  • During Year 1, complete a 2-semester service-learning practicum at one of several local health-related ministries. This component typically requires 2-4 hours per week, or 20-30 hours per semester.
  • During Year 2, share in leadership of one or more TMC community activities (see below) to develop skills and experience as a scholar, teacher, and mentor.
  • Throughout both years, participate faithfully in core TMC community activities, including: 1) the semi-monthly TMC Seminar, 2) a weekly TMC mentoring hour, 3) fall and spring retreats, 4) the Catena Lectureship, and 5) a handful of other community events. The TMC Fellowship is a communal experience, and we ask prospective fellows to consider up front whether they are able to commit to the participation that is essential to the Fellowship experience.

The two-year TMC Fellowship provides a tuition grant equal to 50% of tuition for up to four semesters of full-time study, in addition to other scholarships and financial aid available through the school. A limited number of full-tuition scholarships are available to MTS students. To learn more about MTS degree graduation requirements, program costs, and financial aid, click here.

One-Year Track: Certificate in Theology and Healthcare

Admission to the TMC Fellowship program is by application and is not available to students currently enrolled in a degree program of the Divinity School. 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 and select the “Theology and Healthcare Certificate” in the Academic Degree of Interest drop down menu. In your application statement of purpose, please indicate that you are applying to become a TMC Fellow. Please visit the divinity admissions page for more information on application requirements and deadlines.

Two-Year Fellowship: Masters in Theological Studies

Admission to the TMC Fellowship program is by application and is not available to students currently enrolled in a degree program of the Divinity School. All applicants must apply for admission to Duke Divinity School through the online ChooseDuke portal. Once in the portal select the Master’s of Theological Studies in the Academic Degree of Interest drop down menu. In your application statement of purpose, please indicate that you are applying to become a TMC Fellow. Please visit the divinity admissions page for more information on application requirements and deadlines.


Interested in learning more about the Theology, Medicine, and Culture Fellowship?