From Dean David N. Hempton

Welcome to a new century.

In 2016–17, Harvard Divinity School marked 200 years of excellence in the study of religion. We considered the legacy of scholars like Paul Tillich and Elizabeth Schüssler Fiorenza, Frank Moore Cross and Karen King, Wilfred Cantwell Smith and Diana Eck. We celebrated the work and impact of our alumni with a special series of Divinity Dialogues held around the country and with a reunion that brought hundreds of graduates back to campus. Most of all, we showcased the long process of opening to new voices and new ideas that is the hallmark of the School today.

In the years ahead, HDS will continue to interrogate—and often destabilize—assumptions about religion, culture, and identity. At the same time, we will create new language, new narratives, and new theologies that serve as the basis of our graduates’ efforts for positive change. In a word, we will seek in all we do to make a world of difference through:

RESEARCH that advances knowledge of all the world’s major religious traditions and the way that they shape virtually every area of human activity—from politics and business to science, technology, and human health

EDUCATION that challenges students to re-envision themselves and the religious “other” so that they may reach across religious and cultural boundaries and work more effectively for a better world

GRADUATES who leverage their HDS experience to build stronger communities, work for justice, comfort those who suffer, and enable people everywhere to live richer, more meaningful lives.

For 200 years, donors and friends like you have made the School’s distinctive mission possible. Now, as we enter a new century—and the final year of the crucial Campaign for HDS—your support will enable us to renew and expand that mission for a world that needs it more than ever. Thank you so much for all you do for Harvard Divinity School.

David N. Hempton
Dean of the Faculty of Divinity
Alonzo L. McDonald Family Professor of Evangelical Theological Studies John Lord O’Brian Professor of Divinity