Monday, June 15 to Thursday, August 6, 2020
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.
The SLP is unable to grant Student Visas/I-20s for international students.
The languages below are offered by our proven and outstanding language faculty.
- 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
Elementary Syriac was offered in 2019. It is offered every other year and will be available again in 2021.
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.
Students may enroll in SLP courses until June 15, 2020. However, please note that there are also 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.
Paying the application fee
The SLP is unable to accept electronic payments for application fees. Payments (via check or money order) must be mailed to the address provided below. Local students may also pay cash at the Registrar’s Office.
Once the Registrar’s Office receives the payment of your application fee, your SLP application submission will be considered complete.
Checks should be made payable to Harvard University and sent to:
Summer Language Program
c/o The Registrar’s Office
14 Divinity Avenue, Room 208
Cambridge, MA 02138
Contact the SLP at firstname.lastname@example.org.