Dean's Welcome

David N. HemptonWelcome 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. Since its founding in 1816, HDS has kept its attention on the future and the challenges it must meet in order to remain a relevant, progressive institution.

I invite you to visit HDS, to meet members of our community, and to learn more about our commitment to producing scholars and leaders across the academic fields and the professions who are rigorously educated with a particular eye to the broad range of the world's religious traditions. I hope that you might have the opportunity to witness as well our concern with helping students reflect on, and practically confront, the many issues raised by religion in both history and contemporary life. We recognize that the more tools and resources we can provide to students during their time at HDS, while they engage in learning and research, in service, ministries, and field education, the better equipped they will be to shape their own future lives and the lives of generations to come.

Finally, I hope that, either by visiting HDS or by browsing these web pages, you will get to know Harvard Divinity School as a diverse and inclusive, outward-turning, and caring community, within which intellectual ideals and the ideals of social awareness and participation naturally inform one another.

David N. Hempton
Dean, Alonzo L. McDonald Family Professor of Evangelical Theological Studies, and John Lord O'Brian Professor of Divinity