Executive Education at HDS

Andover Hall, Harvard Divinity School

Our inaugural session has concluded. Sign up to receive information about future offerings.


Making Change

Monday, June 18–Thursday, June 21, 2018

Making Change is an intensive four-day program designed to give participants a set of tools and ideas that will enable them to reflect on their own lives and have a positive impact on the world. Participants will examine the theme of change from four perspectives:

  • Individual practices for transformation
  • Case studies on lives of extraordinary impact
  • Turning points in history
  • Contemporary issues of religion, ethics, and social transformation

In addition to learning with some of Harvard Divinity School’s leading teachers and scholars, participants will engage deeply with peers, learn in exceptional places on Harvard’s campus, and work with collections that illustrate the theme of change and transformation in human history, culture and achievement.

Drawing deeply on history and world religious traditions, participants will be challenged to consider both their own ways of living and how they can address some of the most pressing issues in the world today.

Questions, comments or suggestions? Email program director Peter Kuliesis

Program objectives

  • Establish a foundation from which participants can expand their own conception of how to be a positive force for change.
  • Provide space and structure for personal reflection.
  • Sharpen techniques of deep reading, conceptual analysis, and meaning making required to address complex contemporary issues.
  • Explore how religion and systems of belief combine with other forces to effect personal and societal change. 

Who will benefit from this program

Making Change is for any individual seeking to expand their positive impact on the world. Apply to join us this June.


Making Change works from the inside out. It provides a foundation of knowledge and practices that, with time and consistency, engender personal and spiritual transformation and gives leaders the resources they need to be agents of change. It moves out to the interpersonal level through an exploration of spiritual care and forgiveness and of the lives of diverse change makers in history. The curriculum then moves to a broader level with a study of social transformation at select moments in history. Finally, Making Change looks forward and provides participants with a conceptual “lens” through which to see more clearly the ongoing influence of religion on critical issues like conflict and race relations.

The course is divided into four modules. Throughout the program, participants will also engage in “Meaning Making:” small group sessions with experienced leaders who can help them process information, bring it down to a personal level, and incorporate it into their ongoing efforts to make a positive difference in the world.

Module 1 - Seeds of Change: Practice and Personal Transformation, Reckoning and Reconciliation

Module 2 - Change Embodied: Lives of Extraordinary Leaders

Module 3 - Turning Points: When Religion Changed History

Module 4 - Tools for Change: The Religiously Literate “Lens”


  • Davíd CarrascoDavíd Carrasco

    Neil L. Rudenstine Professor of the Study of Latin America, with a joint appointment with the Department of Anthropology in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences

  • Dean David Hempton, photo by Tony RinaldoDavid N. Hempton

    Dean of the Faculty of Divinity; Alonzo L. McDonald Family Professor of Evangelical Theological Studies; and John Lord O'Brian Professor of Divinity

  • Kevin MadiganKevin Madigan

    Winn Professor of Ecclesiastical History

  • Diane MooreDiane L. Moore

    Director, Religious Literacy Project; Lecturer in Religion, Conflict, and Peace; and Senior Fellow at the Center for the Study of World Religions

  • Stephanie PaulsellStephanie Paulsell

    Susan Shallcross Swartz Professor of the Practice of Christian Studies

  • Matthew PottsMatthew L. Potts

    Associate Professor of Religion and Literature and of Ministry Studies

  • Charles Stang, Professor of Early Christian Thought and Director of the Center for the Study of World ReligionsCharles M. Stang

    Professor of Early Christian Thought and Director of the Center for the Study of World Religions

  • Todne ThomasTodne Thomas

    Assistant Professor of African American Religions (HDS) and Suzanne Young Murray Assistant Professor (Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study)

Policies and additional information


Participant conversation and connection is an essential component of Making Change and we seek a group of participants with diverse perspectives, professional experiences, and personal objectives. The only formal requirement for admission is proficiency in written and spoken English.

All applicants are encouraged to review Harvard Divinity School’s nondiscrimination policy and community values statement.


Prospective participants are requested to complete a brief application.

The priority application deadline is April 15, 2018, after which point applications will be reviewed weekly on a space-available basis.


The program fee is $4,800. Participants will receive an invoice upon admission to the program. Invoices are due within 30 days of receipt, or on receipt if admission is on or after May 18, 2018.

What’s included

The program fee covers all program activities, materials, and most meals.

Participants are responsible for their own travel and lodging expenses. Suggestions for accommodations will be provided.

Withdrawals, refunds, and changes to the program

Participants can withdraw their registration subject to the following refund schedule:

  • 30 or more days before the program start: full refund
  • 14–29 days before start: 50% refund
  • Within 14 days of start: no refund

Program curriculum, dates and faculty are subject to change. In the unlikely event of a change in the program dates, participants who previously paid are elegible to have the program fee refunded in full, but the School is not responsible for any other expenses incurred by the participant.