Monday, June 14, to Thursday, August 5, 2021
UPDATE: September 11, 2020
Thank you for your interest in the HDS Summer Language Program 2020. We had a great summer learning, reading, and translating various languages—all while completely online. Information about the SLP 2021 will be posted as soon as it is available.
To learn more about how Harvard and HDS are rethinking pedagogy and technology, read "Preparing Grad and Professional Schools for Remote Fall" in the Harvard Gazette.
Harvard Divinity School's Summer Language Program (SLP) has been in existence since 1960. It is an eight-week, intensive program in language study designed specifically for the curriculum in theological and religious studies taught with a focus on translation and reading comprehension in the foreign language. It has been conceived as an in-person, intensive language program, but due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the decision of HDS to have courses online as of mid-March 2020, the SLP ran synchronously online for the first time in the summer of 2020. We do not have any additional information about whether the SLP 2021 will be taught online, as a hybrid course, or in person in 2021, but we will announce the decision here in the spring of 2021.
The languages below are offered by our proven and outstanding language faculty during the SLP 2021:
- Classical Arabic
- French for Reading in Theological and Religious Studies
- German for Reading in Theological and Religious Studies
- Elementary New Testament Greek
- Intermediate New Testament and Hellenistic Greek
- Elementary Biblical Hebrew
- Intermediate Biblical Hebrew
- Christian Latin
- Elementary Pali
- Spanish for Reading in Theological and Religious Studies
Previous knowledge of the language is required for Classical Arabic, Intermediate Biblical Hebrew, and Intermediate New Testament and Hellenistic Greek. All courses cover the material and work (in quality and quantity) that are normally covered in a full course (or two half courses) during the academic year.
There are upper limits for class enrollments and once courses fill up, we cannot guarantee that students will be admitted into the course (unless other students cancel their participation before the start of the SLP).
Students may only select one language course in the SLP each year. It is not possible to take multiple languages during the SLP.
The SLP supports the mission of HDS and the education of our students by allowing them the opportunity to engage in language study designed specifically for the curriculum in theology and religious studies. Summer language study enriches students' ongoing course work and grounds them for future work in academia and ministry. Students from other schools and even other countries travel to the SLP to take advantage of our high-quality instruction and our unique curricular strengths. Read an interview with the SLP director Karin Grundler-Whitacre.
The program does not grant degrees. However, students who are admitted to an HDS degree program may count SLP courses toward the course requirements under the normal course restrictions of their program, including specific language study limitations.
The Summer Language Program at the Harvard Divinity School is an intensive eight-week language program that covers the instructional material of two academic regular-year semesters. Therefore, each day of instruction in the SLP corresponds to a whole week of the regular-year instruction. We also want to be mindful for those students who take the SLP for credit that the spirit of the language requirement needs to be honored and not “shortened” by many absences from classes.
Due to the accelerated nature of the Summer Language Program, it is of paramount importance that students are present (and on time) for each day of instruction. Students are expected not to plan extended travel or other activities that would prevent them from attending class on a regular basis. More than two or three days of absence during the SLP may endanger the success of the student in the program. If an absence is absolutely unavoidable, students are expected to always communicate with the professor for their language course, preferably before the absence will occur.
If your summer plans require multiple, pre-planned absences during the Summer Language Program, it will be necessary to postpone your participation to the regular academic year, or to the following summer.
For more about the SLP and about HDS degree program language requirements, see pp. 68–72 of the Handbook for Students.