Programs and Centers

Panel discussion

Harvard Divinity School's academic and teaching resources are enhanced and its spiritual and community life enriched by the programs and special projects that are an integral part of the School. 

Center for the Study of World Religions

Since the late 1950s, the Center for the Study of World Religions has fostered consideration of the historical and contemporary interrelationships among religions, and the theological, philosophical, comparative, political, and ethical challenges facing religious communities and those who study them today. It primarily engages the academic community, beginning with the faculty, students, and staff of HDS, and then the wider scholarly community, but also welcomes religious practitioners, policymakers, and the wider public that is interested in religion.

Women's Studies in Religion Program

The Women's Studies in Religion Program was founded in 1973 to explore the fundamental role played by religious traditions in defining roles for women and men. Research on religion and gender sheds light on questions about the changing roles of women both inside religious communities and in broader public spheres. Its goal is the production of new primary research addressing these and related issues and the dispersal of that information through courses, publications, and public programs.

Pluralism Project

In 1991, the Pluralism Project at Harvard University began a pioneering study of America's changing religious landscape. Under the direction of Professor Diana L. Eck, students, staff, and affiliates document the contours of our multireligious society, explore new forms of interfaith engagement, study the impact of religious diversity in civic life, and contextualize these findings within a global framework. The Pluralism Project develops case studies, web-based resources, and other tools to facilitate greater engagement. 

Religious Literacy Project

Founded in 2011, the Religious Literacy Project collects and creates scholarly resources in the general study of religion and in specific religious traditions through an open-access website designed primarily for public school teachers and their students.

Program for the Evolution of Spirituality

Launched in 2020 by Dan McKanan, the Program for the Evolution of Spirituality supports the scholarly study of emerging spiritual movements, marginalized spiritualities, and the innovative edges of established religious traditions. It also prepares students for ministry in these movements. Through conferences, field experiences, course offerings, and public lectures, the program expands HDS's expertise in topics such as spirituality among the millennial generation, ecological spirituality, and the ethics of power in spiritual communities.

HDS Voices

Kevin J. Madigan
HDS professor Kevin Madigan


One of my primary pedagogical goals is to inspire and instill in students a deep sense of historical consciousness. What I mean concretely by that in the context of my courses is that I intentionally like to present them with texts, phenomena, practices . . . from the ancient and medieval church . . . to show them how very different medieval Christianity is from modern American Catholicism or liberal Protestantism.
Kevin J. Madigan, Winn Professor of Ecclesiastical History

'Christian History, No Longer Ignored'