About HDS

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.

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Founded in 1816, and one of the oldest of Harvard University's professional schools, HDS has a long history of fostering scholarship and critical thinking, as well as supporting service and ministry.

The faculty, researchers, and counselors at HDS are among the most distinguished scholars of religious practice and belief in the world. Students at HDS learn from specialists in the Christian, Unitarian Universalist, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, Islamic, African, Mesoamerican, and Latino traditions. Please read the most recent Dean's Report for the latest snapshot of the School, including profiles of leading faculty, current students, alumni, and friends, as well as a timeline of important events, financials, and information on recent research.

Harvard Divinity School is proud of the diversity of the students who enter one of the four degree programs the school offers. The student body represents approximately 30 religious traditions and denominations each year, and reflects an equally broad spectrum in their academic interests and backgrounds, age, gender, nationalities and ethnicities, cultures and traditions, and professional and life goals.

HDS graduates engage in a wide variety of professions. They continue in academic careers and go on to educate future scholars and teachers of religion and theology; they become ministers and leaders in their own religious traditions; they work in public service and with governmental, nongovernmental, and social organizations, in nonprofits and in business, in the arts, in health care, and in other professions.

Welcome From The Dean

David N. Hempton

Welcome to Harvard Divinity School

We are proud to trace our origins and mission back to the early days of American history. We also believe, however, that a crucial goal today for HDS—a nonsectarian school of religious and theological studies based within a major research university—is to advance understanding of religion and to educate leaders for a religiously complex world. 

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Mission and Vision

Drawing on its historical strength in Christian studies and its significant resources in global religious studies, Harvard Divinity School educates scholars, teachers, ministers, and other professionals for leadership and service both nationally and internationally. To help in building a world in which people can live and work together across religious and cultural divides, we strive to be a primary resource in religious and theological studies for the academy, for religious communities, and in the public sphere.

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Centuries to Celebrate: Harvard Divinity Turns 200

Harvard Divinity School, the nation's first nonsectarian theological school, celebrated its bicentennial during the 2016–17 academic year with events and exhibits that highlighted the School's mission to illuminate, engage, and serve the world through the pursuit and practice of religious literacy.

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