Summer Language Program 2021

Monday, June 14, to Thursday, August 5, 2021

Madeline Levy studying German for SLP

UPDATE: The 2021 Summer Language Program application is now live. 

SLP Application

Welcome from the SLP Director

We are delighted to see that you are interested in our trusted and excellent, intensive summer language program, that will be conducted online (via Zoom), just like we have been also teaching it in 2020.

I invite you to be part of our Summer Language Program (SLP) this year, which will run for the second time (due to the pandemic) synchronous to Eastern Daylight Savings Time and completely online. The SLP teaching staff endeavors to accommodate student needs and fulfill our educational mission to provide our students with courses that help them advance their studies by learning new language skills in reading and translation in various languages and at various levels. (See course listings here.)

The SLP is an eight-week, intensive language course for reading and translation in various languages. In 2021, the SLP will run from Monday, June 14, to Thursday, August 5, 2021. Our intensive language classes are two course credits and count towards your degree program at HDS. You may only take one class each year/SLP. Auditing one class each year/SLP is also possible.

The SLP is time-consuming and work-intensive, so please don’t think you can work full-time and take the SLP on the side. That is not possible. Also, if you are an MDiv student, please consult the student handbook, and/or Laura Tuach in the Office of Ministry Studies regarding your participation in the SLP.

The initial deadline for applications is Friday, May 7, 2021. (The initial deadline will help us to determine whether a course will have five or more students enrolled so that it can run.) Applications are accepted until immediately before the start of the program, Thursday, June 10, 2021, space permitting. The program fee is $400 and the non-refundable application fee is $50 for first time enrollment.

Please note that SLP courses cover two semesters of regular, academic-year instruction in quantity and quality during eight intensive weeks during the summer. Should you decide not to take the SLP this summer, please note that you will most likely be able to take similar courses (two courses, fall and spring) and more languages during the academic year either at Harvard Divinity School or in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, albeit at a slower pace and on a less intensive class meeting schedule. There, you will find courses that will seamlessly connect to the SLP courses at the intermediate or advanced level as well. Please consult the Harvard University course catalogue at for more information.

A word to incoming HDS students: By taking our online courses this summer, you will furthermore get an introduction to HDS and our way of teaching and interacting with our students.

My colleagues and I look forward to working and studying with you, and to spending our summer together!

If you have any further questions, please contact

I would be very happy to virtually see you via Zoom, and/or start an email conversation, if you have questions. Please also explore our website further for more information.


Karin Grundler-Whitacre, Ph.D.
Director and Lecturer on German
Summer Language Program
Harvard Divinity School


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 by HDS to move courses online as of mid-March 2020, the SLP ran synchronously online for the first time in the summer of 2020, and will again be held virtually in the summer of 2021.

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 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.

SLP Library Resources

Andover-Harvard Theological Library has a dedicated online area for SLP students.