Religious Studies and Education Certificate

The Religious Studies and Education Certificate is jointly sponsored by HDS and Harvard Extension School, and is designed to provide educators with a multidisciplinary foundation for approaching the study of religion in public school classrooms or in other educational settings focused on learning about religion.

Extension School students can earn the certificate through coursework taken solely through the Extension School. HDS students can earn the certificate in the context of their regular HDS degree program.

Certificate courses

For HDS students, the certificate is awarded upon the completion of five courses:

Required Courses

  • HDS 2916 Religion, Democracy, and Education
  • RELI E-2000 Methods in Religious Studies and Education: Integrating the Study of Religion into Curricula (offered through Harvard Extension School). The Extension School will offer a tuition waiver to HDS students who enroll in this course. Contact Professor Diane Moore, Religious Studies and Education Certificate director, for more information about the tuition waiver.

Elective Courses

  • Three HDS elective courses with a cultural studies focus. Courses applying toward the certificate are designated annually by Professor Moore. View a list of HDS courses that count as electives toward the certificate.

A minimum grade of B is required in all Religious Studies and Education Certificate courses.

Requesting the certificate

There is no preliminary application process. Within two weeks after the final grade in the fifth course is recorded, a student completes a certificate request form through Harvard Extension School, which will review and approve the request. (Retroactive certificates are not awarded.) Once the request is approved a printed certificate is issued, and will be noted on the student's HDS transcript. 

HDS Voices

Francis X. Clooney, S. J.

All of us share the challenge of moving from the very particular disciplines the academy and our religious traditions have taught us to the less certain postmodern places where particularity can again be more evident and potent, destabilizing our comfortable ways and making us think. But we need to enter upon this more general conversation without losing sight of the details and energy of profession and tradition that guided our research in the first place.
—Francis X. Clooney, S.J., Parkman Professor of Divinity and Professor of Comparative Theology; Director of the Center for the Study of World Religions

Watch 'Studying Our Religions in the Particular and Meaning Something by It'