Making Change

Making Change:  June 5 to June 9, 2022

  • Session dates: Sunday, June 5, to Thursday, June 9, 2022
  • Application: Accepting applications in October 2021
  • Program fee: $4,800
  • Format: On campus
  • Faculty Director: Matthew Potts
  • Program Manager: Alison Harvey

What’s around us changes us.

What’s inside us changes the world.

Step away from the demands of daily life and reconnect with the values that inspire all you do at Making Change, an intensive five-day program of personal and spiritual development on the Harvard Divinity School (HDS) campus.

In sessions with some of the country's leading scholars of religion, theology, and ethics, you will encounter knowledge and practices that lead to personal transformation and make you a more effective agent of change in your organization, your community, and the world.

Making Change is for leaders who want to:

Study at one of the world’s leading institutions of higher education. HDS is a great school embedded in a great research University—named best in the world for the study of religion, theology, and divinity by the influential QS World University Rankings. Making Change leverages the excellence and resources of both to deliver an extraordinary learning experience.

“If you’re going to start somewhere, start at the top. If I want to go to the best, I’m going to start with Harvard.” 

—Danialle Karmanos, Philanthropist, Humanitarian, Journalist, and Social Entrepreneur

Get a new perspective on the challenges they face. Albert Einstein said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.” Making Change takes a critical approach to religion, culture, and ethics, questioning the assumptions that participants bring in with them. The result is a space that enables leaders to step outside of the systems in which they are embedded to generate new ideas, new visions, and new possibilities for change.

“If I can see the system—see myself within it, identify points of change within myself—then maybe I can go out into the world and make the types of change I want to see.” 

—Claudia X. Valdes, Artist

Connect with others working to make change. At Making Change, you’ll not only reconnect with the things that mean the most to you, but also find a community that can support you in your efforts to place those values at the center of your life. Wherever you are on your journey, your Making Change cohort will be a network for you to draw on long after they leave campus.

“The program was a compelling invitation to exchange and network with impactful leaders from diverse cultures and backgrounds who share the conviction that a collective shift can only happen through individual shifts. The program was also a privileged opportunity to learn and interact with experts and scholars who have absorbed centuries of knowledge and wisdom.” 

—Swaady Martin, Serial Entrepreneur and Author

Take the long view. The challenges and trends that shape our societies today are the product of years—often centuries—of history. Making Change participants learn how 500 years of religious and cultural intermingling shape the crisis on the U.S.-Mexico border; how religion can mix with politics and economics to fuel long-term conflicts like the “Troubles” in Northern Ireland; and how religious communities can generate and sustain mass movements that transform societies, as did the struggle for civil rights in the United States.

“Making Change provided a chance to see social systems through deep time—how they’ve shaped the world and how we’re living in them; how we’ve been formed and are living within them; and the deformities that happen there. It’s what [the study of] religion provides.”

—Claudia X. Valdes, Artist

Make an investment in themselves. For people who give their all to their organizations, their communities, and their families, Making Change is an opportunity to recharge. The program provides time and space to step back from the demands—or simply the inertia—of daily life so that participants can reconnect with the values at the foundation of all they do.

“If you’re a busy executive, going to these programs gives you a moment of reflection. You can use it to understand and to mesh through things you’re processing. [Making Change] made me a better person.” 

—Cromwell Coulson, President and CEO, OTC Markets Group, Inc.

Exposure to top thinkers in religion, theology, and ethics usually requires enrollment in a lengthy degree program—as long as three years for a master of divinity at HDS. At Making Change, you will engage with these topics in a real and substantial way in only a week—and develop new perspectives and tools you'll need to keep doing so after the program ends.


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