Courses

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.

Textbooks

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

William Graham

William A. Graham

I envision a place where interfaith and cross-cultural understanding is always on a personal level and comes naturally rather than being an objective. By working on shared problems in the history and practice of religions, shoulder to shoulder with persons of different faiths, cultures, races, ethnicities, and viewpoints, one discovers most tangibly the common humanity shared with others very different from oneself.
—William A. Graham, Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor and Member of the Faculty of Divinity