Admitting its first students in 1999, the School of Divinity is a young and dynamic theological institution that prepares men and women to minister in a rapidly changing world. Drawing on the Baptist heritage of “soul freedom,” the School of Divinity is intentionally ecumenical and open to a variety of viewpoints. The faculty and staff encourage a culture of learning that nurtures critical inquiry, theological reflection, and the integration of theory with hands-on impact in ministry. Our goal is to prepare leaders who balance deep thinking with compassion and wisdom as they work toward God’s justice in the world and bring good news to those in need.
Our multi-disciplinary approach to theological education allows students to integrate traditional theological disciplines with a broad knowledge of the world. The core of the Master of Divinity curriculum includes study of the Bible, pastoral care, preaching, systematic theology, church history, ethics, and spirituality, but students are encouraged to enrich their theological education by drawing on the rich academic resources of the University. Through the Art of Ministry curriculum and multicultural immersion courses students engage the world outside the academia as part of their theological reflection.
With a diverse student body set on a college campus, Wake Forest University School of Divinity is a unique community. Opportunities abound for involvement with campus life including taking in collegiate sporting events, participating in co-ed recreational intramurals, and having all the amenities of a large community with the benefit of small class sizes.
One of the things students appreciate most about the Wake Forest School of Divinity is the close community formed each year. Because of the small class size, students get to know each other and learn from each other in class and outside of class. We worship together on Tuesdays, and lunch is provided for the community after chapel most weeks. Coffee is always made available in the Lower Auditorium on Thursdays, and the student lounge is the hub for student fellowship and conversation. The annual Fall Renewal Service and Incarnation Celebration are high points of the year.
There are also several opportunities to become involved in student organizations.
Deciding where to enroll for theological education is an important and exciting undertaking. The application process is the first step of preparation for your graduate studies in theology and ministry and helps you reflect on your vocation goals.
The School of Divinity is committed to assisting students in meeting basic educational and living expenses while they are enrolled. Most students receive grants and scholarships to cover at least fifty percent of the cost of tuition. The average award is about 80% of tuition. Merit scholarships are granted to candidates who demonstrate in their application high academic achievement and outstanding promise for ministry. These scholarships are awarded only to full-time students enrolled in degree programs. Most are renewable for three years, but there is no automatic increase in amount awarded to compensate for increases in tuition and fees. Merit scholarships only cover tuition and fees, not living expenses. All candidates for admission are considered for these awards. Scholarships are funded by several endowed scholarships from generous donors.
The School of Divinity has two prestigious awards:
• The Samuel and Sarah Wait Graduate Fellowship in Theology and Ministry is the most selective and comprehensive of the School of Divinity’s merit awards. It is named for the University’s principal founders and is awarded to entering students who demonstrate strong potential for graduate-level work and exceptional promise for Christian ministry. Generally two Wait Fellowships are awarded each year to applicants with an undergraduate GPA of 3.6 or higher. In addition to covering the costs of tuition, the Wait Fellowship provides a $10,000 stipend to assist with living expenses.
• The Ed and Jean Christman Fellowships cover the cost of tuition and are renewable for up to three academic years. Applicants must demonstrate an outstanding promise for ministry and excellent preparation for graduate-level studies. Three to five Christman Fellowships are awarded each year to applicants with an undergraduate GPA of 3.3 or higher.
The School of Divinity currently offers one degree, the Master of Divinity, but it has dual degree offerings in law, bioethics, and counseling with other schools of the University. It also offers a Certificate in Spirituality and Health in association with the School of Medicine. The School of Divinity has close ties to the Pastoral Care Department of Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. Graduates of the School of Divinity serve in many types of Christian ministry in addition to being pastors, most notably in chaplaincy and social justice and advocacy ministries. A number of students have gone on for PhD study in biblical studies, theology, and even political science.
At a Glance
• Academic Programs: Master of Divinity; MDiv/MA in Bioethics; MDiv/MA in Counseling; JD/MDiv; Certificate of Spirituality and Health; Denominational Studies
• Founded: 1999
• Accredited: 2005
• Current Student Profile: 40% female, 60% male, 70% under 30 years old
• Dean: Gail R. O’Day
• 23 Denominations represented in Current Student Body
• Enrollment: Average 100 full-time students
• 16 Full-Time Faculty
• Student-Faculty Ratio: 6:1
• Other Resources: Center for Religion and Public Affairs
• Symbol: Shaker Tree of Life
ATS Member Status: Accredited
PO Box 7719, Reynolda Station
1834 Wake Forest Road
Winston-Salem, NC 27109-7719
Gail R. O’Day, Dean and Professor of New Testament and Preaching Ph: 336-758-3957
Jill Y. Crainshaw, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, and Associate Professor for Worship and Ministry Studies Ph: 336-758-3221
Shonda R. Jones, Associate Dean for Admissions and Student Services Ph: 336-758-3748
Fall 2011 Data:
Enrollment: 92 (89.0 FTE)
Faculty Full-Time: 16
Faculty Part-Time: 8
Approved Degrees: MDiv
Comprehensive distance education program: no
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