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Harvard University Divinity School

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Harvard Divinity School is a nonsectarian school of religious and theological studies that educates students both in the pursuit of the academic study of religion and in preparation for leadership in religious, governmental, and a wide range of service organizations.

ATS Accreditation Status: Accredited

45 Francis Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138

Phone: 617-495-5761
Fax: 617-496-8026

William A. Graham, Dean of the Faculty of Divinity Ph: 617.495.4513
Jane I. Smith, Associate Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs Ph: 617-496-1950

Denomination: Inter/Multidenominational

Fall 2010 Data:
Enrollment: 367 (360.0 FTE)
Faculty Full-Time: 44
Faculty Part-Time: 38

Approved Degrees: MDiv, MTS, ThM, ThD

Comprehensive distance education program: no

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One Review

  1. Harvard’s education is/was prestigious and VERY demanding. To be sure, some graduates do go into the parish after leaving, especially UCC and UU ministries, yet there is (or was) absolutely nothing practical about HDS. When I did my first wedding, my only teacher was the short-lived TV program, Bride and Groom! All the practical stuff, the stuff most seminaries teach, one would learn after graduation. I recall a professor, Herb Richardson, speaking the first day of orientation in the Sperry Lecture Hall: “In three years you will take the longest and hardest general examinations given in this university. You should consider every moment between now and then as preparation for those exams.” He was not kidding.

    The HDS curriculum was/is largely history with little look to the future. However, there was vision in the full course (1/12 of one’s entire seminary) in the History of Religion–read study of world religions. Increasingly fellowship and co-operation with faith traditions outside one’s own have become au courant. Harvard instituted this study in 1859 under Unitarian minister, James Freeman Clark. I do not know how many seminaries teach [disinterested] courses in world faiths today, but I suspect very few, and those who do, slant the curriculum towards the superiority of Christianity–the “how-to-win-Muslims-to-Christ” model. This, of course, is no way to make friends and influence people in today’s multi-faith/interfaith spiritual universe.

    Of course, one’s fellow students will be very bright, and after graduation can be expected to be innovators and church leaders or leaders in academic circles. Students will get no brownie points–absolutely none– for faith or prayer. Largely what they will have will be a prestigious academic marque that well may open career doors for them.

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