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. Currently led by Charles M. Stang, the CSWR 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.
In 1991, the Pluralism Project at Harvard University began a pioneering study of America's changing religious landscape. Under the direction of 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.
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.
Project on Shi’ism and Global Affairs
The Project on Shi’ism and Global Affairs, which came to HDS from Harvard's Weatherhead Center for International Affairs in 2022, encompasses an interdisciplinary approach with a focus on the history, sociology, theology, culture and politics of the diverse Shi’a Muslim communities and nations across the globe—who number over 200 million individuals mainly spread across the Middle East, Central and South Asia, Africa, and the West. Payam Mohseni is director of the project.
Religion and Public Life at Harvard Divinity School
Religion and Public Life at HDS, directed by Diane L. Moore and founded in 2020, provides an umbrella for programs and scholarship across Harvard that explore the ways that religion is entwined with social, political, and economic dimensions of human experience and institutions.
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. The goal of the WSRP, now led by Ann D. Braude, is the production of new primary research addressing these and related issues and the dispersal of that information through courses, publications, and public programs.