Baptism at the Chapel


Baptism is the sacrament by which a person becomes part of the body of Christ in three stages: 

  • Through the confession of sins, you are first stripped of all that stands between you and Christ. 
  • Following your public affirmation of faith in the God of Jesus Christ, you are washed. This is a healing action that cleanses you of your sins and heralds a new life in Christ. 
  • Finally, you are clothed—an action that commissions and empowers you to serve in the Church.

For a full description of baptisms at Duke University Chapel, please see our baptism policies.

Scheduling a Baptism

People eligible for baptism at Duke Chapel during Sunday morning worship include:
  • Members of the Congregation at Duke Chapel
  • Duke University students.

People eligible for baptisms at alternate times include:

  • Duke alumni
  • Employees of Duke University and the Duke University Health System.

Duke Chapel has four Sundays a year when baptisms are part of the 11:00 a.m. Sunday morning worship service:

  • Baptism of our Lord (January)
  • Easter season (usually the Sunday after Easter)
  • Pentecost (April or May)
  • Early fall (September).

Baptisms on these Sundays are reserved for members of the Congregation at Duke Chapel. Students who are part of the Chapel community are also eligble for baptism in the 11:00 a.m. worship service. If you are interested in becoming a member of the Congregation at Duke Chapel and exploring a rich life of Christian discipleship within the community of Duke Chapel, please contact the pastor to the Congregation at Duke Chapel. If you are a student interested in baptism, please contact the Chapel's assistant dean.

Members of the university are welcome to hold a baptism on other days of the year. Those seeking to do so should note the considerations listed below.

  • Private ceremonies are normally conducted on Saturday mornings.
  • Reservations can be made no more than six months in advance.
  • If you are hoping to baptize an infant, the Chapel asks that reservations are not made until the baby is born.
  • Services do not include any of the Chapel organs and are generally performed without music.
  • The Chapel does not have clergy available to perform baptisms. You are welcome to bring clergy from your church home to perform the baptism.
  • Not all weekends are available due to other events in the Chapel. 
  • The Memorial Chapel may be reserved for the baptism.
  • There is no charge for a baptism, although a donation to the Chapel or the presiding minister may be appropriate.

If you are Roman Catholic interested in pursuing baptism, please contact The Duke Catholic Center.

For additional questions about scheduling a baptism, please email us or call (919) 681-9488. Additionally, if you are interested in membership in the Congregation you can contact the pastor to the Congregation at Duke Chapel or call (919) 684-3917.