Andrew Teeter teaching a class

HDS offers a wide variety of courses designed to appeal to a broad spectrum of interests and to give students both breadth and depth of knowledge in a variety of fields, religious traditions, languages, and concepts. Lecture courses typically are an opportunity to more broadly explore while seminars give students an in-depth look at a specific topic, idea, or concept. Students in all degree programs are strongly encouraged to venture outside their immediate areas of interest and experience.

This online version of the HDS Courses of Instruction is the definitive listing of courses at HDS and is updated regularly. To browse course listings by instructor or program requirement, please select one of the links in the menu on the left. HDS reserves the right to withdraw or modify courses as appropriate. Changes to the course listings after their initial publication in June are also listed on the Course Changes and Cancellations page.

Limited enrollment courses

To register for a course with limited enrollment, students must obtain the signature of the instructor on their study card, MTS plan of study, or cross-registration form. Instructors reserve the right to make their initial selection from among Harvard Divinity School students.

Reading and research courses

ThD, ThM, and specially qualified MTS and MDiv candidates may choose to engage in independent study with a faculty member, individually or in small groups. Reading and Research courses have credit value equal to a normal half course and may be taken for a letter grade or on a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory basis. To register, students should list the course as "Reading and Research" and must obtain the faculty member's signature during shopping period. Only full members of the HDS Faculty may supervise a Reading and Research course. A specific title may be assigned to a reading and research course upon the student’s consultation with the faculty member.


Federal law now requires Harvard to disclose certain information about the textbooks instructors have assigned for courses at Harvard Divinity School. The Harvard Coop has agreed to provide this information to students, who may access it via the Harvard University Course Catalog website. Individual course pages on the Harvard University Course Catalog website contain hyperlinks to updated textbook information on the Coop's website.

HDS Voices

Karen King
I am very fortunate to work with faculty who are deeply interested in research and what's happening in the study of religion. Although HDS offers a very high quality of ministerial training and great resources for field study, it also offers the ability to study religion in the context of a university.
Karen L. King, Hollis Professor of Divinity

Karen L. King explains what Coptic literature reveals about early Christianity in 'Beyond Heresy'