Visiting Scholars (Unpaid)

The visiting scholar title and appointment is reserved for senior scholars (more than five years beyond the doctoral degree) who currently hold full-time academic appointments at other universities or institutions of higher learning.

A visiting scholar is considered an independent researcher and may not register for and take classes for credit. For information on how to audit classes (not for credit) at HDS, please consult the instructions on auditing.

All one-term appointments run from August 1 to December 31 or from January 1 to May 31 (with a minimum stay of at least three months). All full-year appointments begin August 1 and end May 31 of any given academic year. Only in unusual circumstances can a visiting scholar's appointment be extended beyond the 10 months of an academic year; any appointment longer than 12 months will also need to be reviewed by a faculty committee and will require the permission of the Dean and the associate dean for faculty and academic affairs.

The deadline for visiting scholar applications is January 31 of each year for appointments commencing the following academic year. Scholars will be informed in early March about their acceptance and will receive an appointment letter.

An application must contain the following:

  1. Current curriculum vitae;
  2. Description of research project;
  3. A signed statement or email message from a permanent member of the HDS faculty indicating his or her willingness to serve as a host while the candidate is at HDS; and
  4. For those seeking J-1 Visitor Visas, a Certification of English Language Proficiency to be completed by the sponsoring member of the HDS faculty (see Note for Faculty Sponsors: Certification of English Language Proficiency below).
  5. A completed Visiting Scholar/Postdoctoral Fellow Form Unsalaried Appointment.

Please also note that a visiting scholar appointment does not carry any financial support. This is an unpaid appointment. No assistance is available for housing, insurance, moving expenses, visa fees, research funding, office space, copying, clerical support, etc.

The appointment entitles the visiting scholar to a Harvard University ID card (which allows access to the Harvard University Libraries) for the duration of the appointment. Visiting scholars are cordially invited to attend all HDS community and public events. However, HDS is unable to offer courtesy library cards, or appointments, for any additional members of a scholar's family.

Note for Faculty Sponsors: Certification of English Language Proficiency

Harvard Divinity School faculty members who are considering sponsoring a visiting scholar who will require a J-1 Visitor Visa should note that they will be required to confirm that the prospective visiting scholar’s English language skills are sufficient to function on a day-to-day basis in the environment that is required to complete their program, based on the following criteria:

  • Recognized English Language Test (i.e. TOEFL, IELTS);
  • Document from an academic institution or English language school;
  • In-person interview (conversation);
  • Videoconferencing/Skype;
  • Telephone Interview (if in-person or videoconferencing is not possible);
  • Transfer/Repeat Visitor (English language proficiency established in previous J-1 stay); and
  • Other criteria, to be described by the sponsoring faculty member.

Visiting Scholars 2014–15

Archbishop Francis Chullikatt (Fall)
Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations
Research Project: "Human Rights, Humanitarian Law, and Their Implementation on the Humanitarian Level"

Leigh Gilmore
Independent Scholar
Research Project: " 'How to Live in a Damaged Body': Mysticism, Gendered Embodiment, and Chronic Pain Memoirs"

Dongsoo Kim
Professor of New Testament at Pyeongtaek University, Korea
Research Project: Research on the prophecy in the apocryphal writings

Visiting scholars 2013–14

Leigh Gilmore
Independent Scholar
Research Project: " 'How to Live in a Damaged Body': Mysticism, Gendered Embodiment, and Chronic Pain Memoirs"

Renate Jost (fall 2013)
Professorin für feministische Theologie/Theologische Frauenforschung
Augustana—Theologische Hochschule der evangelisch-lutherischen Kirche in Bayern
Research Project: "The Christ Child: Customs, Religion, and Utopia; A Feminist Perspective"

Adele Reinhartz (spring 2014)
Département des études anciennes et des sciences de religion, Université d'Ottawa/Department of Classics and Religious Studies, University of Ottawa
Research Project: "The Gospel of John and the Parting of the Ways"

Jerome C. Regier
Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research & Department of Entomology, University of Maryland
Research Project: "Religion and Science"

Kuo-Yu (Teresa) Tsui
Assistant Professor
Department of History and Graduate Institute of Religious Studies
National Chengchi University, Taiwan
Research Project: "Asceticism in Early Christianity"

Ching Wah (Francis) Yip
Associate Professor
Divinity School of Chung Chi College
Department of Cultural and Religious Studies
The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Research Project: "Christian Discourse with Chinese Characteristics: Protestant Theology in the Political and Cultural Context of China; 1980-2010"

HDS Voices

Mark Jordan, Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Christian Thought at HDS
I want my students to come roaring out of the course wanting to write. It's less important to me that they conform to a particular view of queer theology than they become passionately critical about writing. ...I'm always hoping someone in this class will write the masterpiece.
Mark D. Jordan, Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Christian Thought

Read about Mark Jordan's approach to theology as activity