Meet the needs of a changing legal profession in a program that models engagement and professionalism through academic excellence and a thorough commitment to service.
The School of Divinity, in partnership with the School of Law, offers this five-year joint degree program. The Juris Doctor and Master of Divinity joint degree provides a vocational perspective different than that available in separate law or divinity degree concentrations. The program also enriches the learning and experience of students who want to pursue careers in either discipline. The joint degree curriculum meets standards set by the accrediting bodies of each partner.
Plan of Study and Requirements
Students in the joint degree program must complete all requirements of each program. Students may choose to complete their first two years of study in either the School of Divinity or the School of Law. Two additional years of study are then undertaken in the alternate school. The fifth and final year includes joint degree electives offered each academic year as determined and scheduled by each school. Upon successful completion of the joint degree requirements, students receive both the Juris Doctor and the Master of Divinity degrees.
When undertaken as part of the joint JD/MDiv program, the MDiv degree requires completion of 64 hours of divinity coursework including the degree requirements prescribed by the divinity school for graduation. When undertaken as part of the joint JD/MDiv program, the JD degree requires completion of 75 hours of law coursework including the degree requirements prescribed by the law school for graduation.
Policies and Procedures
Students will be assigned a faculty advisor from each school, and are required to meet with their advisors at least once during each semester of the five-year program. Course selection is made in consultation with advisors.
During the fifth year of the program, students register in and pay tuition to the School of Divinity during one semester, subsequently registering in and paying tuition to the School of Law during the remaining semester. During the School of Divinity fifth year semester, students may take courses in the School of Divinity, courses cross-listed with the School of Law, or courses offered by other schools or departments of the University as approved by the School of Divinity. A similar process applies to the School of Law fifth-year semester.
Continuing Eligibility in the School of Law
Students in the School of Law must maintain at least a 73 average during each academic year enrolled in order to remain academically eligible for the School of Law. A student who earns at least a 73 average but ranks in the lowest 20 percent of the class at the end of the first year of the program will be strongly advised to take courses during the final three semesters in the School of Law that cover subjects related to the Bar Examination. Continuing eligibility in the Master of Divinity program is outlined in the School of Divinity’s Continuation Policy.
Continuing eligibility in the Master of Divinity program is outlined in the School of Divinity’s Continuation Policy.
The Wake Forest University Strategic Plan challenges the schools within the University to develop synergistic programs across the University
- With concern about the isolation of the Schools within the University and troubled with narrow professionalism, the University, as well as society, will be better served by cross-disciplinary studies. The School of Divinity and the School of Law are equipped with interested personnel, facilities, and administrative help to provide a joint degree program in Divinity and Law that will benefit students who are pursuing careers in professions of law and clergy.
Interdisciplinary inquiry within the context of a liberal arts perspective is a developing concept at the University.
- The Schools of the Divinity and Law are in a unique position to model an interdisciplinary conversation for the larger University by providing a curriculum that not only respects the individual disciplines of law and religion but also works to develop explicit interconnections, bringing an integrative focus to the conversation as well as to the professions.
Intrinsic commonalities exist between law and religion providing a natural intellectual synergy that only needs to be shaped into explicit curricular format.
- Conversations between law and religion are important. Religion seeks to understand how individuals should live and law seeks to provide the structures for an ordered society. Commonalities exist between the study of religion and law in the emphases on the primacy of texts, the importance of tradition, the role of authority, and the behavior of individuals and groups.
How to Apply
Candidates for the joint degree must apply both to the School of Law and the School of Divinity, following the admissions’ requirements of the respective programs, and be accepted to each program in order to pursue a joint degree.