From Our Dean

I am pleased you have decided to consider how our educational spaces and places resonate with your sense of calling, your gifts and skills, and your yearnings to learn more about God, faith, religious leadership and the world in which we live. We are eager to hear about some of the life-changing intersections where your stories, God’s Stories, and the world’s stories meet.

That is one of the gifts of theological education—the gift of time and opportunity to explore in community with others who share your passions how you can embody your sense of call and do your part to make a difference in the world.

At the School of Divinity, our aim is to carve out spiritual and intellectual reflective time and space for you to consider from a theological perspective the urgent questions of our day.

  • What does it mean to work for justice with and show compassion to all of those we meet, even those whose views of God may be very different from ours?
  • What contemporary callings and wisdom do we discover when we explore the historical, social and theological contexts of our faith traditions?
  • How do we discern, in dialogue with our own and others’ beliefs and values, appropriate ethical choices for the moral questions and dilemmas of our times?
  • How do we sustain the earth’s life-cultivating resources for future generations?

The School of Divinity, like all of Wake Forest University, combines excellent academic resources of a national university with the teaching focus of a small college to create an unparalleled learning environment.  Some classes will draw you into the classics of Christian traditions; some will take you out into the community to experience social justice ministry in action; some classes will invite you to think about how to engage and love our neighbor in a multi-faith world.

Our faculty are experts in their fields of study and are leaders in the classroom, too.  And faculty will worship with you and break bread with you at community lunch!  Our faculty are present for and with you in your academic pursuits and vocational explorations.

Your professional formation outside the classroom, in placement sites of ministry and service, is also a key part of your education. As a moderate-sized city, Winston-Salem has all the diversity of placement and internship opportunities that a large city can provide, but on a human, more approachable scale. Urban, rural, and suburban ministries – a full variety of community- based non-profit organizations, hospitals, prisons, schools, community gardens and food banks – are all within a 20-minute drive from campus.  Neighboring Greensboro adds another rich urban area into the mix.  It is hard to imagine a form of ministry and religious leadership that you cannot explore here.

Students who graduate from the School of Divinity find themselves following diverse vocational and professional pathways. Our graduates serve in varied ministry contexts ranging from traditional congregational settings to chaplaincy environments to not-for-profit organizations. A number of graduates also pursue additional degrees beyond the Master of Divinity degree, including academic and professional doctoral degrees.

We are excited about beginning to imagine with you the academic and religious leadership possibilities that will emerge for you.

Digital signature of School of Divinity professor Jill Crainshaw

Jill Y. Crainshaw
Interim Dean and Blackburn Professor of Worship and Liturgical Theology