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Harvard Divinity School Preparing ethical leaders for a complex world

When you learn at Harvard Divinity School, you learn in one of the finest, most highly respected, and most distinctive schools of divinity on the planet, a global leader in advancing understanding of religion and its influence. As a student here, you enjoy unparalleled access to a faculty as noteworthy for its diversity as for its brilliance. You integrate rigorous scholarship, critical thinking, and compassionate practice into a program of study that you tailor to meet your goals, tapping the vast resources of one the world’s greatest universities as fully as possible. The theologian Frederick Buechner has said that vocation “is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” Students bring to Harvard Divinity School a rich and broad range of passions — to lead congregations, to push back the boundaries of knowledge, to work toward a more just and humane world, and to pursue many other worthwhile goals. They learn to combine incisive thought and meaningful action to address an array of the world’s deep hungers. HDS is a place to broaden the concept of “ministry,” to explore important ideas, to tie threads together in new ways, to chip away at the walls that divide religion from everything else, and to prepare for a life of ethical leadership in a complex and fascinating world.

“At HDS we pursue the scholarly,

humane, and ultimately spiritual goal of understanding the world’s religious and theological traditions with rigor and respect.” David N. Hempton, Dean; Alonzo L. McDonald Family Professor of Evangelical Theological Studies; John Lord O’Brian Professor of Divinity

Brooke Davis Richmond, Va.  |  MTS ’14 (Islamic Studies)  |  HDS DivEx program alumna  |  Master of Public Policy ’14 (Harvard Kennedy School)  |  Carleton College ’11 (Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellow) “I knew I was going to graduate school, and the Kennedy School was on my list, so I was already looking at Harvard. I also felt this tug to continue the thread of religious studies I’d started as an undergraduate. “The single most illuminating experience for me was hearing the different contexts for why students come to HDS. People go on to become pastors and professors, but they’re also interested in nonprofit work, in starting their own schools, and in public service. “I see the future as so fluid. My degree provides a toolkit to deal with the world’s religious diversity.”

“I thought HDS was mostly people going into ministry or academic life. I was surprised to find people had very different ideas about what they wanted to get out of their education.”


“I was excited about trying to have a religious response to life in  a world in which the old ways of doing that weren’t quite flying.”

David Ruffin McLean, Va.  |  MDiv ’13  |  Northwestern University ’03 “I toured with Grease on the Broadway national tour — 48 cities over a year and a half. It was my life. But as much as I enjoyed acting, I was thirsty, and I was missing community. I came to HDS to search, to explore where I could find and build upon deeper connection. Very quickly HDS became a spiritual home. “The history here is not irrelevant — the people that have come through here, the minds, the hearts. There is a way in which we carry Ralph Waldo Emerson, for example, with us. It’s special to defend my thesis in the very space —Divinity Chapel — where he gave his Divinity School Address. It’s like, here we are, still trying to figure this out. And this work is going to keep on far beyond our time, too.”

academics at hds

Four Degrees, Infinite Pathways With our multi-religious focus, interdisciplinary approach, and international scope — more than 40 percent of courses have an international focus — HDS offers a depth and breadth of learning that are unparalleled. All degree programs give you the flexibility to tailor learning in ways that meet your personal and professional interests.

Our Four Degree Programs • master of divinity (mdiv) The three-year MDiv is ideal for students in many religious traditions preparing for ordained or lay ministry in settings ranging from church congregations to college campuses, hospitals, and prisons. Many MDiv students choose to go into teaching or scholarship. Students learn the Arts of Ministry (such as preaching, pastoral care, and community organizing), and link theory to practice with fieldwork placements in settings around the globe (see page 10).

• master of theological studies (mts) Knowledge of religion and its profound influence is an asset in a wide range of fields. The versatile two-year MTS offers broad study in religion with opportunities to explore any of 18 areas of focus. It prepares graduates for doctoral study and for work in public policy, social justice, international affairs, law, journalism, education, and other fields.

• master of theology (thm) The one-year ThM is for those who already have a master of divinity or its equivalent and who seek to pursue a new direction or advance their understanding of a particular area of study.

• doctor of philosophy (phd) With a focus on global religions, religion and culture, and forces that shape religious traditions and thought, the PhD prepares students for advanced research and scholarship in religion and theological studies. This is a joint degree program between HDS and the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences, administered by the Committee on the Study of Religion.

A Variety of Options • MTS and ThM students choose from 18 areas of focus ranging from Islamic, Jewish, or Hindu Studies to African and African American Religious Studies; Religion, Ethics, and Politics; and many other fields.

Read about our degree programs in detail at


by the numbers: enrollment in 2013–14



129 students

159 students

1 student

42 students

*This program is no longer accepting applications for admissions. Instead, HDS will offer a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) beginning in 2015–16. See opposite page for more information.

“The number one strength here is resources. At Harvard there are so, so many resources, and so many connections. Y   ou can research just about anything. You can work with any faculty member you want.”

Ainsley Land Evergreen, Colo.  |  MTS ’13 (Religions of the Americas)  | ThD candidate  |  Carleton College ’11 “I’m here because I am interested in a career as a professor. I enjoy teaching and I really enjoy religion as a subject. I just finished my MTS and I’m starting my doctorate. “I spent a summer doing research on comparative secularization with Dean Hempton for a seminar he was holding. He invited me and two other graduate students to come, so it was just the three of us with all of these big, established scholars. We were encouraged to ask questions. We got invited to all the schmoozy after-dinner things. It was like being invited into the profession. That kind of thing is what I love about this place. You get opportunities to see what the professional world is like.”


Willie Bodrick II Atlanta, Ga.  |  MDiv ’14  |  Georgetown University ’10 “I grew up a preacher’s kid in a Baptist church, and although I tried to distance myself, I always knew I’d get back to preaching. HDS offers me the opportunity to explore beyond the boundaries of the black church. “The Div School is one of those sacred spaces where we take the seriousness of spirituality always with a keen eye toward everyday life. I’ve started a nonprofit organization. I’ve taken classes at Harvard Business School and Law School. I’ve been able to work with the Rev. Charles Adams, one of the most renowned black preachers of the last 50 years. To have those opportunities — that helps me grow in ways that are necessary for ministry.”

“I made a bargain with God. I said, if I’m going to be in a divinity school, put me in the best place to do it, and I’ll go at it a hundred percent from there.”

Our Faculty

faculty of divinity

The women and men on the Harvard Divinity School faculty are internationally renowned scholars and practitioners of ministry who are experts across a rich and diverse range of fields and religious traditions.

• Leila Ahmed

At HDS, you will join them in the pursuit of deep and broad questions about the nature of human experience as seen through the lens of religion. You will engage with them on research topics and other projects that advance understanding of religion in today’s world. You will build close intellectual and professional relationships with educators who truly care about your interests and your future. And you will greatly enrich your appreciation for the role of religion in the life of human beings.

• Ann D. Braude

To learn more about our faculty members and their research, visit

• Francis Schüssler Fiorenza

• Giovanni Bazzana • Aisha M. Beliso-De Jesús • Catherine Brekus • Davíd Carrasco • Emily Click • Francis X. Clooney, S.J. • Diana L. Eck • Mark U. Edwards, Jr. • Cheryl  A. Giles • William  A. Graham • Janet Gyatso • Charles Hallisey • David N. Hempton • David F. Holland


research professors & emeriti • Amy Hollywood

• Stephanie Paulsell

• Michael D. Jackson

• Matthew Potts

• Baber Johansen

• Ahmed Ragab

• Mark D. Jordan

• Mayra Rivera Rivera

• Ousmane Oumar Kane

• Dudley C. Rose

• Beverly Mayne Kienzle

• Michelle Sanchez

• Karen L. King

• Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza

• David C. Lamberth

• Charles M. Stang

• Jon D. Levenson

• D. Andrew Teeter

• Peter Machinist

• Jonathan L. Walton

• Kevin J. Madigan • Dan McKanan • Anne E. Monius • Diane L. Moore • Laura S. Nasrallah • Jacob K. Olupona • Kimberley C. Patton

• • • • • • • • •

John Braisted Carman Harvey G. Cox, Jr. Arthur J. Dyck David D. Hall Paul D. Hanson Helmut Koester Richard Reinhold Niebuhr Ralph Benajah Potter, Jr. Preston N. Williams

recent visiting faculty • • • • • • •

Adam Afterman Lihi Ben Shitrit Gemma Betros Kristin Bloomer Sarah Bracke Judith Casselberry Houchang Chehabi

• • • • • • • • •

Hsiao-wen Cheng Anila Daulatzai Yakir Englander Rosalind I.J. Hackett Hauwa Ibrahim Amanda Izzo Joel Kaminski Jennifer Leath Alison More

• Lori K. Pearson • Zilka Spahic Siljak • Jacquelyn Williamson

field ed 2009–13

recent field ed settings

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11 %





parishes or dharma centers


non-profit agencies or other

hds highlight

Field Education A hallmark of an HDS education is the way we connect rigorous academic study to the art of practice. And one of the most important ways we accomplish this is through Field Education. Field Education projects — required for students in the MDiv Program and an option for MTS students — include experiences in the summer or during the academic year that enable students to integrate their academic study with hands-on work. We encourage students to bring these experiences back into the classroom to reflect on the intersection of religion and public life, leadership, and the importance of religious literacy in today’s world. Many projects pay students for the work they do. As with so many facets of an HDS education, with Field Ed you direct your own learning, constrained only by your imagination and creativity as you explore placements that fit well with your academic and professional goals. Students have taken part in projects with churches, synagogues, mosques, theater groups, schools, community organizations, hospitals, NGOs, and other organizations in Greater Boston, across the U.S., and around the globe. You may team up with one of 100-plus partner organizations or design your own Field Ed project. Either way you’ll have a lot of support. Administrative staff have a stellar reputation at HDS, and as one student put it, will “bend like pretzels” to help you do what you want to do. Field Ed broadens and reshapes the idea of ministry. The diverse range of projects our students explore mirrors the diversity of the students themselves. Students have engaged in Field Education at the following sites: • Historic Twelfth Baptist Church, Roxbury, Mass. • The Corrymeela Community, Ballycastle, Northern Ireland • Hebrew SeniorLife Rehabilitation Center, Boston, Mass. • Bioethics Research at MIT, Cambridge, Mass. • Greater Boston Legal Services, Boston, Mass. • First Church Boston, Unitarian Universalist, Boston, Mass. • Berkshire County House of Correction, Pittsfield, Mass. • Mount Auburn Hospital, Cambridge, Mass. • Suffolk University Interfaith Center, Boston, Mass. • Nepal Ebenezer Bible College, Kathmandu, Nepal • Center for Advanced Nonviolent Action and Strategies, Belgrade, Serbia • Healthcare chaplaincy at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Mass.

Find more about the HDS Field Ed experience at

“I have yet to meet someone at HDS who is not genuinely interested in making the world a better place.”

Erika Carlsen Ogden, Utah  |  MDiv candidate  |  HDS DivEx program alumna  |  University of San Francisco ’09 “About two and a half years ago I had a dream, and in the dream I had the idea of going to divinity school. I was like, Whoa! What’s divinity school? But it lit a fire in me. I saw a very clear thread of spirituality in me that motivated all the social change work I wanted to do. “I’m very much a doer, so to be where I can think and then apply is perfect for me. The Field Education components are really important. This summer I’ll be doing capacitybuilding work in Nicaragua with ProNica — a Quaker solidarity organization. “There is a different kind of diversity here. People are creatively weaving spirituality into all aspects of life.”

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“We get terrific students at HDS. They’re smart people, they’re fabulous people. That makes the teaching exciting and it makes the mentoring exciting. It’s a very dynamic place. I feel like I’m going on an adventure every day.”

Cheryl Giles Francis Greenwood Peabody Senior Lecturer on Pastoral Care and Counseling  | MDiv ’79  |  PsyD, Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology “I try to encourage students to look at the broad perspective of attending Harvard Divinity School. Mentoring is a big piece of that. Access to professors is a big piece of that. We have really strong Field Education. The religious diversity here gives us a wide base to look at really important issues and reflect on them without getting caught up in dogma. And you have the resources of the whole university available to you — there’s a huge well of interest and diversity and richness that can contribute to your own growth. That’s one of the amazing things at HDS that other schools don’t have.”

hds highlight

The Harvard Advantage As a Harvard Divinity School student, you’ll chart your own path to a degree. Though no two paths are alike, one thing most have in common is that they wind through all of Harvard University and throughout the Boston metropolitan area.

One Harvard At HDS you have all the benefits, privileges, and opportunities that come from being a student at Harvard University. This means having access to a range of academic programs, cultural opportunities, and resources that are as noteworthy for their breadth as they are for their quality. It means getting to know and learning from students who come to Harvard for all kinds of reasons and from all around the globe. And it means enjoying many other advantages.

Learning in Greater Boston Another benefit of being an HDS student is living and learning in Greater Boston — an exciting, culturally rich, intellectually vibrant city that’s the quintessential college town, with more than 50 colleges and universities and 250,000 students.

A Wealth of Resources for Learning • Take courses at Harvard Business School, Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard Law School, Harvard Medical School, or other Harvard schools as part of your Divinity School program. • Get involved in The Pluralism Project, a Harvard initiative led by HDS faculty member Diana Eck that aims to engage Americans with the realities of religious diversity. • Explore international research opportunities in Africa, South America, Europe, the Middle East, and elsewhere, supported by grants from Harvard’s W.E.B. DuBois Institute, Harvard Traveling Fellowships, or other sources. • Broaden your learning with the Center for the Study of World Religions; the Science, Religion & Culture Program; and other special HDS centers and programs (see page 24). • Take courses, attend seminars, and tap into the resources of the Boston Theological Institute (BTI), a consortium of schools of divinity and theology. • Attend services, hear speakers (including Pusey Minister and HDS Plummer Professor of Christian Morals Jonathan Walton), and listen to fine music at historic Memorial Church, the symbolic center of Harvard’s spiritual life. • Conduct research using the Harvard library system, with more than 90 libraries (including the Andover-Harvard Theological Library), over 16 million volumes, and vast digital resources.

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hds advantages at a glance: 2013–14



HDS students took courses at one or more of six other Harvard schools:

business school  |  faculty of arts & sciences  |  graduate school of education  | kennedy school  |  law school  |  school of public health

*Boston Theological Institute


HDS students took courses at BTI * member schools

dual degree candidates

2  4 2

with Harvard Law School with Harvard Kennedy School with The Fletcher School (Tufts U.)

hds alumni & careers

After Harvard Divinity School One of the most compelling features of Harvard Divinity School is the diversity of careers an HDS education can prepare you for. Our graduates move into fields you might expect — to positions of ministry in congregations throughout the world, for example —but also into those you might not expect. They are leaders in education, public policy, the nonprofit sector, research and scholarship, law, business, and a range of other professions.

A Wealth of Resources for Planning Your Career As you prepare for that next step after HDS, the Office of Career Services will be there to help. We’re well attuned to the needs of a student body with far-ranging career interests. We offer a wide range of services including one-on-one career advising, an extensive career resource library, workshops on career planning and searching for a job, and Career Fairs in collaboration with other schools across Harvard. And these services don’t stop when you graduate — they’re available to you as an HDS alum as well. An HDS education prepares graduates for further study and for careers in fields from ministry and public service to education and the arts. Nearly a third of master’s graduates will pursue a doctorate at some point, and more than a quarter will pursue other graduate or professional degrees. Within a year of graduating, 71 percent of MTS and MDiv grads report being employed in their intended field, and that number rises significantly with time. HDS graduates are chaplains and lawyers and teachers and scholars and writers and businesspeople and a whole lot of other things. Here are a few of the organizations that employ them:

Joseph Florez  |  AB ’07, MTS ’13 PhD candidate in history • Doctoral candidate at the University of Cambridge, Cambridge, England, U.K. • Research focus is “Bureaucratic Authoritarianism and the Transformation of Protestant Social Thought in Peru and Chile, 1940 –1990”

Tenzin Priyadarshi  |  MTS ’03 Buddhist monk • Founding director of the Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformation at MIT • Founding director and president of the Prajnopaya Institute and Foundation • Founding member of the Vishwa Shanti Stupa (World Peace Pagoda) in New Delhi, India

Karen Tse  |  MDiv ’00 Human rights attorney, social entrepreneur • Founder of International Bridges to Justice, a nonprofit that aims to eradicate torture • Unitarian Universalist minister

• Barnard College • Beacon Hospice • First Church Cambridge • J Street Foundation • Massachusetts General Hospital • National Center for Civil and Human Rights • Partners in Health • Phillips Academy • Public Radio International’s The World • Save the Children • Unitarian Universalist Association • U.S. Department of State • U.S. Institute of Peace • Vera Institute of Justice

More information about our Career Services office can be found at 16 / 17

Anna Carlstone  |  MTS ’13 Educator • Fellow with Building Excellent Schools • Preparing to open a charter school in Los Angeles for children in grades 4 to 8

Gloria White-Hammond  |  MDiv ’97

Ralph Waldo Emerson

African Methodist Episcopal minister, physician

Essayist, teacher, poet, theologian

• Co-Pastor, Bethel AME Church

• Leader of the Transcendentalist Movement

• Co-founder (with three other HDS alumnae) of My Sister’s Keeper

• Unitarian minister

• Active in women’s and children’s rights issues in Sudan

• Delivered his famous Divinity School Address at HDS on July 15, 1838

• Retired physician, South End Community Health

Sarah Taylor Peck  |  MDiv ’07 Ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) • Senior Minister, Community Christian Church, North Canton, Ohio • Member of the HDS Alumni Council

Sarah Sentilles  |  MDiv ’01, ThD ’08

Tom Chappell  |  MTS ’91

Author, scholar, critical theorist

Entrepreneur, businessman, environmentalist

• Author of three books, including Breaking Up with God: A Love Story • Assistant professor at Pacific Northwest College of Art • Explores the roles of language, image, and practice in oppression, violence, and social justice

Matthew Potts  |  MDiv ’08, PhD ’13 Episcopal priest, theologian • Assistant professor of ministry, Harvard Divinity School • Helped create the Touching Tiny Lives Foundation, which combats AIDS in southern Africa

• Founder of Tom’s of Maine • Founder and president of Rambler’s Way • Author and leader on ethics and values-based business

Andrew Teeter Associate Professor of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament  | Specialist in early  Jewish biblical interpretation  |  PhD, University of Notre Dame “One of the greatest strengths of HDS is the diversity of the classroom. Here one finds an entire spectrum of beliefs, orientations, and commitments represented. Some are deeply committed to the texts and traditions being studied, while others have no commitment whatsoever; still others are invested in actively resisting these traditions. These conditions can promote a robust pluralism — a pluralism far beyond reduction to the lowest common denominator —  where persons from radically different backgrounds can sit together and learn to listen both to the texts and to one another. The result is an understanding both of the self and the other that can be transformative. There’s an extraordinary diversity here that replicates the diversity of the world in which we live.”

“For me, education is about modeling the life of the mind and the immense value of developing intellectual discipline, critical rigor, and virtue. But it also necessarily entails modeling a certain concept of humanity.”

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“The multi-religiosity was more than I expected. T   here is no ‘other’ at HDS. You’re part of the community, and you can contribute your own ideas. Everybody is welcomed from any religion. You learn that people are just people within such a diversity.”

Ahsen Utku Istanbul, Turkey  |  MTS candidate (Comparative Studies) and Master of International Law and Diplomacy candidate (joint degree with the Fletcher School at Tufts University)  |  Marmara University ’12 “I was working as a journalist in Turkey. Applying to HDS was a turning point for me. I realized I could develop a very enriching perspective here for international relations and political science. I could get the political science anywhere, but not that background understanding of what religion is, why it’s part of human identity, why it’s part of conflict. I could get that at HDS. “HDS pushes students to be interdisciplinary. The MTS has 18 fields of interest for you to choose, or you can offer a new category. It pushes you not only to focus on religion or theological studies, but also to make connections with other disciplines.”

the hds community: a snapshot

331 students from 41 states and 20 countries

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56% female

44% male

11% 27% international students

students of color



religious traditions



student organizations

44 faculty of divinity

life at hds

A Tight-Knit Community Fabric With students from six continents and more than 35 different religious traditions — plus some who have no particular religious affiliation at all — HDS might be the most diverse divinity school on the planet. Our community fabric, in other words, is a multihued tapestry, but it’s woven very tightly, held together by a deeply relational style of learning, by a fundamental appreciation of humanity, and by the many ways we come together, including: • community tea Held Tuesday afternoons throughout the academic year, Community Tea brings students, faculty, and staff together for good food and drink. Conversations may range from discussions of theological complexities to speculation about the Red Sox’ playoff chances (some may argue that those are really the same conversation). Students share announcements to keep everyone in the loop on happenings at HDS, elsewhere at Harvard, and in the community. • noon service Every Wednesday, a different HDS religious community hosts the Noon Service, a time for the whole campus to gather for ritual, prayer, music, and reflection. Noon Services engage the campus in the practices of many different religious traditions, and, at the end of each service, offer another opportunity to enjoy one another’s friendship over food. • student organizations Connect with others in any of the 40 HDS student organizations, which come together around spiritual practices, denominational affiliations, political and cultural interests, sports, music, community service, and other interests — everything from the Student Initiative on Religion and Government and the Prison Education Project to Sacred Harp Singing and Veri-Toss, the Ultimate Frisbee team. • dean’s breakfast Once a month small groups of students gather with the Dean at his home in Jewett House to discuss life at the School and their engagement with the broader world. • rockefeller café Much more than simply a good place to get a meal or a cup of coffee, the Rock Café is a crossroads, a between-class hangout, a gathering place, and a mainstay of the School’s supportive, collaborative, and creative community life.

There are also numerous opportunities to broaden your intellectual horizons, connect with others who have similar career interests, learn from alumni, or hone your research skills. Find more information about the HDS community at

“I want to stand my feet on the solid ground of intellectual reasoning, of religious attainment, of societal understanding. I want to be relevant. I want to be a bridge between two cultures.”

Adekunle Ogunseye Ogun, Nigeria  |  MTS ’14 (African and African American Religious Studies)  | MSc, Olabisi Onabanjo University ’04 “Being an ordained minister in the Anglican Communion, it has been my desire to have a complementing theological education to attain the utmost height in my ministerial beliefs and my vocational calling. A chaplain, my Archbishop, His Grace, The Most Rev. Dr. J. O. Akinfenwa, mentioned Harvard University to me and I said, ‘Wow!’ “My desire is to be fully prepared to lead in any congregation wherever I find myself, to be ecumenically relevant, to have knowledge of other faith traditions, to understand religious diversity in harmonious perspective. “HDS is wonderful. It has really met my desires, my dreams, my goals, and has really transformed me in my learning. It’s just awesome. I’m more than fulfilled coming to Harvard Divinity School.”

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Kateleigh Hewins West Milford, N.J.  |  MDiv candidate  |  College of the Holy Cross ’09 “I decided to apply to divinity school because I was interested in how social justice linked with religious and faith traditions. What distinguished Harvard was the opportunity to go to school in a pluralistic environment. I wanted to get the experience of working and talking with people who had backgrounds that were very different from mine and who belonged to religious traditions with which I was unfamiliar. I’m following what feels right for me. I love where I am and what I’m doing. Not only have I grown from the breadth and depth of diversity at HDS, but I have also begun to find my own voice as a Catholic woman.”

“HDS is full of intelligent, driven, engaged faculty and students. The community is so diverse —it helps you understand yourself and y  our faith in ways you wouldn’t otherwise.”

hds highlight

Research Centers & Special Programs Enriching the academic, spiritual, and community life at Harvard Divinity School are a number of centers and special programs that promote groundbreaking research and sponsor lectures, seminars, and other events throughout the year. They include: • The Center for the Study of World Religions An interreligious, international, and interdisciplinary center that supports the study of religion at Harvard, sponsors conferences and other events, and serves as a community resource to promote study and understanding of world religions. • The Religious Literacy Project A virtual research and resource center for public school teachers that supports their efforts to teach students about religion and religious traditions. • Certificate in Religious Studies and Education Integrates course work in history, politics, literature, religion, and other subjects to give MDiv and MTS students a multidisciplinary foundation for teaching about religion. (Offered jointly with Harvard Extension School) • Science, Religion & Culture Program Sponsors colloquia, workshops, and other events that engage students and scholars at Harvard and elsewhere in explorations of scientific and religious phenomena and their interactions. • Women’s Studies in Religion Program A one-of-a-kind program that promotes interdisciplinary research and scholarly exploration of women and religion, often challenging long-held assumptions in the process. • Summer Language Program An eight-week intensive program designed to help students fulfill the language requirement for their degree, with instruction in Classical Arabic, French, German, New Testament Greek, Christian Latin, Biblical Hebrew, and Spanish. • Buddhist Ministry Initiative A first-of-its-kind program that prepares future Buddhist religious professionals for a variety of career paths.

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recent speakers, conferences, seminars, & explorations at hds

religion & terror

rescuing religion from “civilization”

toni morrison

inside the scholar’s studio

A Conversation in the Wake of the Boston Marathon Bombing

Cultural Loss and Reclamation in Native America

The Nobel Laureate and author on Goodness: Altruism and the Literary Imagination

A conversation with Reza Aslan MTS ’99, about his 2013 book, Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth

paul farmer on liberation theology

lessons from harry potter for social justice and organizing

possessed by mary Hinduism, Roman Catholicism, and Spirit Possession in Tamil Nadu, India

Janet Gyatso Associate Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs  |  Hershey Professor of Buddhist Studies  |  Specialist on Buddhist studies, with a concentration on Tibetan and South Asian culture and intellectual history  |  PhD, University of California at Berkeley “When you have experts in many different religious traditions, you start to become aware of larger themes within religion as religion, things that are not necessarily defined by which particular religious tradition it is. What’s important about the Divinity School is how we study religion. We talk to each other in a fully robust way about scripture and ethics and aesthetics and ritual and salvation and the absolute — these topics are relevant to many religions around the world. When you have knowledge from all over the world instead of just seeing things as unique to Christianity or Judaism, that’s when you start to understand what religion is as a human phenomenon.”

“The whole field of religion is changing, and the significance of the study of religion is changing. For people who want to do something that involves religion academically or professionally, we offer really excellent preparation and guidance to address its full complexity.” 26 / 27

“The people I’ve met at HDS are some of the most intelligent, compassionate, inclusive people I’ve ever had the pleasure of making friends with. HDS recognizes the importance of human capital — not just intelligence.”

Nicholas Mosca Brooklyn, N.Y.  |  MDiv ’13  |  Winner of the Billings Preaching Competition  | Georgetown University ’06 “I applied to law school twice. Both times I was accepted and both times I declined. It wasn’t where my heart was. I did some soul-searching and thought about what I really loved. I had these closet interests in theology and spiritual practice that I had never embraced. “I thought about parish ministry and teaching, and wasn’t sure which one I was called to. HDS gave me the flexibility to dive into both. I did field experiences at an Episcopal parish and a high school, and those were great eye-opening experiences. “HDS forced me to wrestle with ideas I was uncomfortable with. There’s an amazing combination of academic rigor and compassion. It’s a place of exploration where you’ll be supported as you search for your own vocation. It empowered me to explore my own interests in theology. Now I’m writing a book about humor in scripture across different religious traditions and how it can enrich spiritual lives as well as multi-faith interaction.”

Founded two centuries ago as the nation’s first nonsectarian school of divinity, Harvard Divinity School today is an incredibly diverse and vibrant academic community where religions of the world and religion as a phenomenon in the world are explored at the highest level of critical inquiry, empowering students in ways that become vital to their lives and careers. Students come here to engage questions of paramount importance, to explore them deeply and broadly, and to go on to work across religious and cultural divides to create a better world.

Learn More. Schedule a Visit. Apply. We encourage you to schedule a visit, register to attend an information session online or in a city near you, or apply for admission. Join our mailing list to receive updates about events, deadlines, and the application process, all at Questions? Our admissions staff would be glad to answer them: Office of Admissions 617.495.5796

Financing HDS: A Partnership Financing an HDS education is a partnership, and we’re committed to working with all students to find ways to make the School affordable. Nearly nine out of ten students receive aid, most of it in the form of need- or merit-based institutional grants. Student contributions, loans, and on-campus work — or some combination — typically are also part of a student’s financial plan. To learn more about the financial aid process and for up-to-date information about tuition and fees, visit


02138 That’s the zip code for HDS, which places us in Harvard Square, the intellectual and cultural center of Cambridge, Mass., and in Greater Boston, home to over 50 colleges and universities and a quartermillion students.

design: studio-e  |  copywriting: rick bader  |  primary photography: joel haskell  |  additional photography: jonathan beasley, steve gilbert, justin knight, stephanie mitchell, gail oskin, & tony rinaldo

14 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138

office of admissions 617.495.5796

HDS Viewbook  

An introduction to Harvard Divinity School

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