The HDS Bicentennial

Andover Hall with Bicentennial banners

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

“For two centuries HDS has advanced the study of religion and empowered men and women to serve others around the world,” said HDS Dean David N. Hempton. “The bicentennial will allow us to reflect on this rich history, even as we envision anew the School's mission for the future.”

From August 2016 through May 2017, HDS will celebrate 200 years of excellence in the study of religion and look ahead to its future.

For additional information about Bicentennial events, please contact the Bicentennial coordinator at

Dean Hempton and President Faust

View Facebook photo album from the Bicentennial Celebration

May 25, 2017

Commencement and Bicentennial Multifaith Service

Past events

August 30, 2016

Bicentennial launch and Faces of Divinity installation



Featuring George Rupp, John Lord O’Brian Professor of Divinity and Dean of HDS from 1979–1985

September 14

How We’ve Studied Religions at CSWR (1960- )


September 22–23

Conference: “The Pluralism Project at 25: Diversity and Inclusion in the American Crucible

For twenty-five years, the Pluralism Project at Harvard has studied the changing religious landscape of the United States. Join us as we mark this milestone with “The Pluralism Project at 25: Diversity and Inclusion in the American Crucible,” a conference featuring conversations about the critical challenges and opportunities religious diversity poses today. Visit the Pluralism Project's website for more information and to register for this free conference.

September 27

HDS Town Hall Meeting: Reconciling our Past, Reimagining our Future: Religious Pluralism in the Context of Christian Hegemony


September 29

Career Services 100 for 200 Celebration

Career Services “100 for 200” event honoring alumni career story video library participants

October 6

Women as Catalysts for Local and Global Spiritually-Engaged Movements for Sustainable Peace

Religions and the Practice of Peace Colloquium with Leymah Gbowee, Nobel Peace Prize winner and leader of the Liberian women's mass action for peace

October 14–16

Our Religion, Our Earth, Our Planetary Future

20th anniversary of the Religion and Ecology Series featuring Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim

October 12

Ending Torture: from HDS to IBJ

Join Karen Tse, MDiv ’00, for this special bicentennial colloquium on “leading from within,” human rights as ministry, and how to leverage the HDS experience to effect global change.

October 20

Conversation and Controversy: On Recent Tensions Between the Academic and the (Hindu) Faith Community 


October 27–29

5th Anniversary Ways of Knowing Conference


November 29

Bicentennial Seasons of Light

Seasons of Light honors the interplay of light and dark as the longest nights of the year approach.

December 8–9

“Religion and Journalism”

Religious Literacy Project symposium

January 2017

Harvard Divinity Bulletin, Bicentennial Issue

Includes the winners of the Bicentennial Essay Contest

January 25

Thinking (and Acting) Outside of the University

Join Kurt Shaw, MTS ’95, for this special bicentennial colloquium on human rights, children, the arts, and how to leverage the HDS experience to effect global change.

February 28, 2017

“Doris Salcedo’s Circles of Sorrow”

Edwidge Danticat, award-winning Haitian novelist and short-story writer
6 pm: Menschel Hall, Harvard Art Museums

March 9

William James Lecture: Anthony Pinn, MDiv ’89, PhD ’94, Rice University


March 29

Dudleian Lecture: Tyler Roberts, MTS ’87, ThD ’93, Grinnell College


April 27, 2017

Ingersoll Lecture: Marilynne Robinson

To kick off three days of celebration at HDS, Pulitzer Prize winning author Marilynne Robinson, creator of Gilead and Housekeeping, expounds upon immortality, religion, and literature.

April 28, 2017

WSRP Research Associates Reunion

Bicentennial Presentations and Party

Join the HDS community of alumni, students, faculty, staff, and friends on the HDS campus for a joyous 200th birthday celebration and a day of engagement in the study and practice of religion.

April 29, 2017

HDS Alumni Reunion

Rewalk the HDS labyrinth. Revisit the CSWR. Renew your friendships with classmates and faculty. Bring your family and your memories, and expect to leave with more of both.

Gomes Awards

The Peter J. Gomes STB ’68 Memorial Honors recognizes distinguished HDS alumni whose excellence in life, work, and service pays homage to the mission and values of Peter J. Gomes STB '68 and Harvard Divinity School.

HDS Bicentennial Host Committee


  • Jerry H. Baker, BD ’71
  • Thomas M. Chappell, MTS ’91
  • Christopher Justin Hanson, MDiv ’10
  • Ruth B. Purtilo, MTS ’75, PhD ’79
  • William J. Rainer
  • Margaret R. Rose, MDiv ’79
  • R. Thomas Stanton
  • Ramakrishna Sudireddy
  • Susan Shallcross Swartz
  • Sarah K. Taylor Peck, MDiv ’07
  • S. Joshua Thomas, MTS ’02
  • Julia Whitcavitch-DeVoy, MTS ’94

Committee members

  • Jim Anathan, MDiv ’03
  • Thomas W. Anderson, MTS ’98
  • Robert L. Beal, AB ’63, MBA ’65
  • H. Bernard Campbell II, MTS ’88
  • Michelle R. Clayman
  • John Davis Coggin, MTS ’11
  • Katherine Anne Collins, MTS ’11
  • Richard Ashok Coutinho, MTS ’94, LLM ’02
  • Quardricos Bernard Driskell, MTS ’08
  • William Graham, AM ’70, PhD ’73
  • Gloria Elaine White-Hammond, MDiv ’97
  • Ray A. Hammond II, AB ’71, MD ’75, AM ’84
  • Susan O. Hayward, MDiv ’07
  • Susannah Heschel, MTS ’76
  • Arlene Hirschfeld
  • Celene Ibrahim, MDiv ’11 
  • Robert A. Jones
  • Kurt A. Keilhacker, MTS ’07
  • Sanford P. Keziah III, MTS ’88
  • Gregory Kimura, MDiv ’93
  • David A. McCreery, AB ’85
  • Amb. Alonzo L. McDonald, Jr., MBA ’56
  • Brian Melendez, AB ’86, JD ’90, MTS ’91
  • Elizabeth H. Monrad
  • Ernest E. Monrad AB ’51
  • Sejal H. Patel, MTS ’14
  • Mary Roodkowsky, MTS ’77
  • George E. Rupp, PhD ’72
  • Yasmeen Shaheen-McConnell, MTS ’13
  • Robert N. Shapiro, AB ’72, JD ’78
  • Bjorn C. Sorenson, MTS ’02
  • Derek C. M. van Bever, MBA ’88, MDiv ’11
  • Karen Vickers Budney, MDiv ’91
  • John Silvanus Wilson, Jr., MTS ’81, EdM ’82, EdD ’85
  • M. Withgott

Student host committee members

  • Daniel Becton
  • Melissa Coles
  • Karlene Griffiths Sekou
  • Ashlynn Rickord
  • Sana Saeed
  • Taylor Stewart