Art of Ministry
Through the Art of Ministry program, students have the opportunity to be deeply involved in discovering their ministerial identity, practicing ministry, and theological reflection.
- Ministerial Identity: More than a job or a career, ministry is a vocation in which persons respond to a call to participate with others in God’s project of justice, reconciliation, and compassion. To respond to the call of ministry is not simply to learn particular skills and practices. It is a larger undertaking, in which a person cultivates an identity as a minister, becoming, in Barbara Brown Taylor’s words, “God’s person in the world.”
- Ministerial Practice: Through a wide variety of practices, ministers empower communities to respond to God’s activity in their midst. The practices of pastoral care open up spaces in which persons can experience wholeness and healing in the presence of God. Students directly engage ministry centered around homelessness and poverty, child welfare, LGBTQ advocacy, chaplaincy, palliative care, community supported agriculture, anti-racism, community organizing, refugee resettlement, anti-human trafficking, disability accommodation and advocacy for victims of sexual assault.
- Theological Reflection: Ministers are the resident theologians in the communities they lead. They do this work skillfully when they interpret experience through the lenses of Scripture, theological traditions and framings, pastoral care, and the liturgical arts. Art of Ministry is one place in the curriculum in which students are asked to bring their learning from all of these theological disciplines into conversation with ministry experience.
Responsive to Changing Patterns of Religious Life
One of the School of Divinity’s guiding principles is to:
- Encourage global perspectives: Through theological reflection, critical inquiry, and ministry formation, the School of Divinity encourages students to explore diverse religious, cultural, and ethnic perspectives within both national and international contexts.
To accomplish this aim, the School highlights in its curriculum each year courses that include a travel component. Each of these courses meets our curriculum’s cross-cultural context area requirement. In past years, students have traveled with faculty, students from other professional schools, and community members to Appalachia, Nicaragua, Egypt, and Israel.
Another guiding principle is to:
- Embody hospitality: The School of Divinity seeks to cultivate a community of learners that celebrates diverse religious, racial, ethnic, cultural, gender, and sexual identities and that fosters accessibility for all its members.
Our curriculum contains area requirements that reflect changing 21st-century patterns of religious life. Students can choose from a variety of graduate level courses offered in the School of Divinity and in other schools and departments of the University that meet the requirements of the four additional areas: Race and Class, Gender and Sexuality, Religious Pluralism, and Science, Health, and Ecological Well-Being.
The teacher-scholar model is more than an idea. Wake Forest is one of only two Top 30 National Universities in which faculty — not graduate assistants — teach all full-credit academic courses. The student-faculty ratio at the School of Divinity is 7 to 1. What you think matters; what you feel matters; what you do matters, and it matters to more than just yourself. Our faculty are invested in you.
Plan of Study and Requirements
Want to know more about courses? You can view past course schedules and new course descriptions on our Academic Resources page. Selected course descriptions are also available in the the Academic Bulletin.