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A divinity school is an institute of higher education devoted to the study of divinity, religion and theology. Different nomenclature is used for a divinity school depending on national location and denominational affiliation.
In the United Kingdom there is no standard nomenclature; each university determines the name of its divinity school according to historic precedent and individual policy. The majority of schools in the United Kingdom are independent of direct control by a Church, though some maintain links with historic sponsors.
The following lists the names of various divinity schools in the United Kingdom:
- Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge
- Theology Faculty of the University of Oxford — not to be confused with the original but no longer active Divinity School at Oxford, the oldest part of Oxford's Bodleian Library.
Scotland is distinctive in having four divinity schools, one in each of the ancient universities. They are all church colleges as well as university faculties, an arrangement that dates from the 1930s when the Church of Scotland gifted its theological colleges to the universities, in exchange for an ongoing commitment to provide academic training for its candidates for ministry. The four schools each have their own distinctive characteristics. Aberdeen is probably the most conservative, with a high proportion of evangelical lecturers. Glasgow, on the other hand, is widely regarded as the most liberal of the four, while Edinburgh and St Andrews could be located somewhere in between. These four are no longer the only places recognized for the training of Church of Scotland ministers, and in recent years have been joined by Highland Theological College, which is part of the University of the Highlands and Islands. International Christian College in Glasgow is another significant theological college in Scotland, though is not as yet formally recognized by the Church of Scotland, which tends to have its own form of conservativism with regard to such matters.
In the United States there are three basic types of institution; these are not a hard-and-fast distinctions, but more of a general guideline, and there are some notable exceptions:
- Non-denominational divinity schools affiliated to a university.
- Schools of theology, which are university schools affiliated with a Christian denomination.
- Seminaries, which are usually independent institutes affiliated with a particular denomination.
University divinity schools
There are many university-based, independent divinity schools in the United States. The top four US graduate programs in religion, as judged by faculty at other institutions, are Harvard, Duke, the Princeton Theological Seminary, and Emory University. 
Schools of theology
Generally, a university school affiliated with a denomination is called a school of theology or theological school. United Methodist schools in particular, such as those at Emory and Duke, tend to follow this pattern.
Catholic institutions vary widely in this area. There are free-standing schools of theology (Weston Jesuit School of Theology, in Massachusetts, and the Jesuit School of Theology, in Berkeley, California, for instance) -- these may have affiliations with other institutions (Weston with Boston College; Jesuit School of Theology with the Graduate Theological Union, for example). There are Schools of Theology that are contained within universities (The Catholic University of America, for example), or Graduate Schools of Faculties of Theology (at Fordham University, Boston College, and Marquette University, to name a few).
In Catholic practice a distinction is made between schools that have pontifical charters and those that do not. A school with a pontifical charter (as Catholic University, Weston, and JST mentioned above) may grant STB/STL/STD and JCB/JCL/JCD degrees: bachelor, licentiate and doctorate in Sacred Theology and in Canon Law (Juris Canonicis). These degrees are recognized in Catholic Canon Law for certain professional purposes (a judge of a Church court must possess a JCL or JCD degree for instance). Schools without pontifical charters (Boston College, Fordham University, as examples) usually grant B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Theology or Religious Studies. Some schools (Weston, for instance) may grant some of each set of degrees, in addition to the Th.D. and the D.Min. The M.Div. degree is offered in those schools that prepare candidates for ordination.
Most denominational institutions, particularly non-university-based ones, are called a seminary. Among mainline denominations, Episcopal, Presbyterian, Lutheran, and United Church of Christ schools tend to claim this title and also tend to have free-standing campuses unaffiliated with universities.
There are also several anomalies. Union Theological Seminary in New York, for instance, is free-standing, and also non-denominational (it broke from the Presbyterian Church (USA) in the 20th Century). Princeton Theological Seminary also used to be affiliated with a university, but is now independent. Dubuque Theological Seminary on the other hand is the only Presbyterian school affiliated with a university.
Catholic practice has been for each diocese, or at least each archdiocese, to have a seminary to train candidates for ordination. In some cases there is some level of affiliation with a Catholic university, but generally this is not the case. Such seminaries grant the M.Div. degree, usually during a four-year course. Some also grant an optional MA, and there are many with programs for lay people to earn degrees like the Master of Religious Education (MRE). Due to expense and shifts in enrollment patterns, many dioceses now pool resources or make arrangements to use each others facilities -- for instance, until recently, candidates for ordination from the comparatively less populous diocese of Gallup, New Mexico and Lincoln, Nebraska sent their seminarians to the relatively large St. Joseph's Seminary of the Archdiocese of New York for study. Some dioceses send their students to the Catholic University of America.