Student Organizations

Student organizations provide opportunities for involvement, leadership, programming, social connections, and experiential learning that are crucial to the educational mission of the Divinity School.

The Office of Student Life supports student organizations at HDS. HDS student organizations reflect the diversity of student needs and interests. Resources are given to those students with new ideas who would like to establish new groups, as well as to the further growth and development of existing groups. All student organizations register with the Office of Student Life on an annual basis. Current HDS students can find the paperwork to register a new organization on the Student Organizations & Resources page of my.hds.

HDS student organizations

Following is a list of student organizations currently registered for the 2017–18 academic year. While many organizations carry on from year to year, many new organizations form and others subside. As a courtesy to our student organization leaders, we maintain a policy of not publicizing or distributing their contact information, but all are happy to receive inquiries about their involvement here at HDS.

Registered student organizations wishing to create programming at HDS can use the Online Student Event Planning and Request Form found on the Student Organizations & Resources page of my.hds, to request program needs: funding, meeting space, A/V support, and so on.

To be put in contact with the officers of a particular student organization, please email the Office of Student Life.

HDS Anarchist Collective

To explore and apply anarchist principles of community organization and activism at HDS and beyond.

HDS Anglican/Episcopal Fellowship

The HDS Episcopal/Anglican Fellowship is a space for Anglican/Episcopal students and faculty (as well as those interested in the tradition) to gather for worship and community-building. We offer a regular eucharistic service on Mondays and meet periodically throughout the year for socializing and service to our wider community. We also plan a spring conference on an issue pertinent to the wider Church.

HDS Augmented & Virtual Reality Collective

The HDS Augmented & Virtual (AR/VR) Collective supports all activities pertaining to student ministries in augmented and virtual realities. This includes support for research projects and home grown initiatives as well as event programming to advance practical understandings of AR/VR and to foster connections with AR/VR industry leaders.

HDS Buddhist Community

The HDS Buddhist Community (HBC) is a nondenominational Buddhist group serving the Harvard and Cambridge communities, supporting engagement with Buddhist traditions through spiritual practice as well as academic study. We host weekly meditation gatherings, social functions, and other Buddhism-related Dharma-related events throughout the school year.

HDS Catholics

HDS Catholics seeks to provide spiritual support and fellowship for the Catholic community at HDS. We also seek to share in the full depth and breadth of interreligious dialogue and interfaith work with all of our fellow students and religious student organizations. Our activities vary based on the interests of our membership. Please come join us!

HDS Creative Commons

A crafting circle at HDS. We come together regularly to socialize, share, and work on our craft projects, which include crochet, knitting, embroidery, and quilting. Open to all, regardless of skill!

HDS Creative Writers

We are a gathering space for students who write, and provide fellowship and community for HDS writers who want feedback, support, and are looking to share enthusiasm for writing in general. We meet every other week to write together, and host an open mic reading once a semester. Sometimes we may bring in speakers, or publish our work. Who knows? Have a great idea? Join us!

DUCCS: Disciples and United Church of Christ Student Group

This student denominational group meets to create community, develop and sustain relationships, build awareness and understanding, provide opportunities for worship and gathering, offer educational and vocational advocacy, and nurture a circle of connection and creativity for those who identify with the Disciples or United Church of Christ traditions or simply seek an open and welcoming group of students and peers.

Harvard Divinity Drama Society

Harvard Divinity Drama Society (H2DS) uses Applied Drama and Theatre techniques to foster community engagement and to interrogate pressing issues of violence, oppression, liberation, and transformation. At the heart of our work and play together is the task and process of inquiry. We believe art and theatre open critical opportunities for social and spiritual transformation and create ideal spaces for challenging dialogue and engagement. Our cocreating methods are rooted in common commitments to a more just and peaceful society and the sacredness of life; thus we engage the times and spaces in which we live, and the questions, crises, accepted norms, and opportunities within the many communities in which we are a part. As Harvard University and Harvard Divinity School are considered communities within communities, H2DS seeks to use theatre and dialogue for the benefit of social and spiritual change and integration—a mission that extends to the rest of Boston, Massachusetts, the U.S. and the world.

Full Immersion: HDS Baptists

HDS Full Immersion is a group for individuals that identify as Baptist and/or would like to learn more about our incredibly diverse denomination. We gather together to worship and praise our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, to sharpen and strengthen one another, and to see to it that God's will be done on earth as it is in heaven. We gather together to proclaim our faith and to defend the right for all to practice as they see fit.

HDS Garden Group

The HDS Garden was born in spring 2009 of the collaborative efforts of EcoDiv, the Divinity School’s environmental student group, and the HDS Green Team, a committee of staff from multiple departments committed to decreasing the school’s ecological footprint.

Located on the grounds of the Harvard Divinity School between the Women’s Studies in Religion Program and the Center for the Study of World Religion, the fourteen beds that make up the HDS Garden are intended to foster sustainability as a way of life for the Divinity School community. Our gardeners grow organic vegetables and flowers for use at HDS events and a twice-monthly harvest for Faith Kitchen, a ministry of Faith Lutheran Church in Harvard Square.

The garden team is committed to improving the quality of life within the HDS community, providing healthy food, work opportunities in the outdoors, inspiration towards increased self- and community-sustainability, and a space where people can breathe, rejuvenate, revive. The garden is open to all members of the HDS community, and is a sacred space where anyone can come, pick up a tool, and work with nature to grow together.

HDS Graduate Christian Fellowship

The HDS Graduate Christian Fellowship is a Christ-centered community seeking to reflect the universal body of Christ. We represent the broader evangelical tradition with many different denominations and cultures but are united by faith in the triune God, trust in the Bible, and our love for our Savior, Jesus Christ.

We meet weekly to engage in fellowship, study Scripture, encourage one another, and pray together. We also participate in Harvard-wide Graduate Christian Fellowship events.

HDS Graduate Journal of Religion

The Graduate Journal of Harvard Divinity School is a peer-reviewed, student-led journal of religious studies, theology, and ministry. It highlights exemplary work produced by graduate students across a variety of disciplines, and complements these essays with reflections on academia, the study of religion, and the challenges of research. It is at once a forum for rigorous and compelling scholarship and a lens through which to examine and engage the modern university.

Harambee: Students of African Descent at HDS

The mission of the Harambee at Harvard Divinity is to provide a support network for the Black community at Harvard and to provide cultural enrichment for the campus and the community at large. The organization's objectives are to provide cultural enlightenment for the Harvard Divinity community and greater Harvard community through various events reflecting the struggles, joys, and celebration of Black communities reflected in the diversity of blacks in the Harambee community. We also seek to enhance networking at Harvard and Boston through social activities and general body meetings.

Harry Potter and the Sacred Text

The Harry Potter and the Sacred Text group will meet weekly to discuss the Harry Potter series as if it were sacred. To us, this means 1) the more time we spend with the text, the more gifts it reveals to us, 2) the text itself is not sacred, but by using rigorous spiritual practices, we can grow to treat is as if it were sacred and 3) we meet together to discuss the text in community.

HDS Hindu Studies Colloquium-Junior

Holds meetings of HDS students who are interested in studying Sanskrit scriptures. It will give opportunity for members of this group to come together to read and share texts of common interest in a non-academic environment; socialize to de-stress; and receive spiritual guidance from Hindu Chaplain Swami Tyagananda, who leads the sessions.

HDS Historic Conservation Alliance

The purpose of the Harvard Divinity School Historic Conservation Alliance is to prepare graduate students interested in history and conservation for careers post-HDS. HCA will provide opportunities for members to engage in preservation activities in the Boston area and across the country, while also providing sessions including lectures, student presentations on interested topics, career enhancement seminars, and social events.

HDS Jewish Student Association

The JSA provides Jewish students, as well as the wider HDS community, with events and programming centering on Jewish life, ritual, thought, and practice. We celebrate holidays together, do charitable work, and provide a sense of community for anyone interested in engaging in Jewish life. We’d love for you to join us!

HDS Latter-day Saint Student Association

A space for Latter-day Saint students (members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or "Mormons") to gather, along with friends and anyone interested in meeting.

HDS Lutherans

HDS Lutherans seek to grow in understanding both the depth and breadth of Lutheran identity, and to creatively share such understanding with others while treasuring the plural nature of this place. We orient our time together around worship, community, and learning. All are welcome, and we delight in the presence of ecumenical and interfaith friends. We gather weekly, alternating between worship at HDS and theological conversation about issues that matter at a local pub. In the spring, we attend the "Lutherans in Diaspora" conference with Lutheran divinity students from Yale, Union, and Princeton. We are grateful for the leaders and members of University Lutheran Church, Faith Lutheran Church, and Good Shepherd Lutheran Church who provide consistent support for our members.

HDS Methodists

The purpose of United Methodist Covenant Group is to gather in the Wesleyan tradition of weekly covenant group meetings, as well as providing support and fellowship through other activities.

HDS Mokichi Okada Study Group

Our purpose is to study and learn from the life and teachings of Mokichi Okada (1882–1955), a twentieth-century Japanese philosopher and spiritual leader. The Mokichi Okada Study Group provides a forum to read and discuss Okada’s teachings as well as put into practice various aspects of Okada’s philosophy, including Johrei, Nature Farming, and appreciation of beauty through nature and art. By incorporating Okada’s teachings into our lives, we hope to contribute to the creation of a better world.

HDS Muslims

To provide a community for HDS members who identify as Muslim; to engage the HDS, Harvard, and wider community in social justice, community peace building, and access to a welcoming space.

Nuestra Voz at HDS

Nuestra Voz is committed to fostering a welcoming space where all Latinx students can share their voices and engage with HDS, the Harvard community, and beyond.

HDS Peer Advocates

Peer Advocates is a confidential non-administrative student-led peer support group at HDS whose aim is to provide educational and community resources for any students who have experienced sex and gender-based violence in the community. Along with our peer support group, we also offer programming geared towards ethical leadership for MDiv and MTS students who would like skills and resource training in how to respond effectively to disclosure. We also partner with Harvard-wide events and organizations such as OSAPR and community agencies that respond to systems of oppression and address the intersectionalities of gender identity, race, class, and sexual orientation.

Postcolonial Spiritualties at HDS

A space for members of currently or previously colonized nations/peoples/tribes at HDS to explore the challenges of having been trained in the western academy to often study the societies, places, cultures that we belong to. Are HDS classrooms really a place where contemporary, relevant, and non-exoticizing conversations can happen about the so-called postcolonial world? Does the study of “the other” in the western academy come at the expense of the cultivation of a new generation of critical scholars from the formerly colonized world? PCS is attempting to create a space in which scholars can discuss relevant issues pertaining to their identity and people without the gaze of the often orientalizing western academy. We aim to bring these types of emerging scholars together to have conversations around spirituality, religion, politics, history, and literature that center the discourse of those who have emerged from the formerly enslaved and colonized world.

HDS Prison Education Project

HDS Prison Education Project (HPEP) partners with Partakers and Boston University's College Behind Bars Program to provide academic mentoring for students pursuing a college degree while incarcerated at MCI Norfolk.

Queer Rites at HDS

To provide a safe space at HDS for queer folks and gender non-conforming individuals to gather together in fellowship,community, dialogue, and celebration.

HDS Racial Justice and Healing Initiative

The Racial Justice and Healing Initiative seeks to advance racial justice and healing by means of cross-disciplinary dialogue, scholarship, and training designed to address personal and systemic racism through strategies rooted in love. We strive to equip students, scholars, and practitioners of religion to lead racial justice and healing efforts within HDS, Harvard University, Greater Boston, and throughout the world, in order to eradicate racism.

HDS Religious Nones

The purpose of this group is to provide a community for the traditionally unaffiliated, the non-religious, the spiritual but not religious, and those who would like to learn about this community, with the goal of coming together to share evolving journeys, practices, world views, and fundamental questions.

HDS SCOPE

HDS SCOPE aims first to generate lasting coalitions between divinity, theology, and religious studies schools (e.g. Union, Chicago, Yale, Princeton, Duke, Vanderbilt, Georgetown, Emory, etc.) and in the long term, religious study programs and student organizations down for the cause more generally in hopes of unifying a national voice in pursuit of racial and social justice through political engagement.

HDS Students Against Global Warming

Provides a forum where students come together to brainstorm effective ways to spread awareness of and prevention of further environmental destruction.

HDS Student Association

The HDS Student Association, formerly SAEC, contributes the voice of students to the administrative and policy-making recommendations of the School. Through the work of the elected student officers and with the approval of the Dean, student representatives are assigned to HDS committees. The HDS Student Association provides opportunities for conversation among students, faculty, and staff through roundtable discussions and town hall meetings.

Student Symposium for Decolonial Scholarship at HDS

The Student Symposium for Decolonial Scholarship at Harvard Divinity School (SSDS @ HDS) is a critical space dedicated to the writers, artists, poets, and theorists of color whose works have inspired cultures of revolution and social reform. At its weekly meetings, SSDS engages texts of diverse media forms in order to explore and appreciate the expressed realities and pronounced truths of thinkers who are representative of communities of color and other oppressed minority identities. SSDS aims to assert the seat of scholars of color at the table of general academic discourse. In its broader scope, SSDS seeks to facilitate a culture of accountability on Harvard campus, whereby all students are expected to familiarize themselves with otherwise marginal, decolonial scholarship.

Harvard Divinity School Symposium

Symposium is a group for philosophical discussion and inquiry. It is meant as a counter-balance to the typical seminar experience wherein many ideas are raised but left suspended for the individual students to muse on. In Symposium, topics polled from the participants will be scheduled in advance with the aim of coming together to get to the bottom of issues, draw out their implications, and boldly assert new directions. The primary aim is not diversity of viewpoints per se, but rather intensity of focus and insight. With the aid of a chalkboard, pie, and refreshments, participants will come together to get vivified by the power of ideas, unpack problems that have been looming over them, and think synthetically to achieve solutions. All are welcome who are embodied with a grand spirit of affirmation, have an earnest desire to make connections, favor synthesis over narrow critique, and who hunger for fresh outlooks that are capable of reconciling the contradictions of our time.

HDS Theosophical Reading Group

We are a member-curated occult “salon” celebrating the esoteric history of the world. We explore and discuss the works of the Theosophical milieu and engage with a constellation of metaphysical ideas (Alchemy, Hermeticism, Kabbalah, Freemasonry, Sufism, Spiritualism, Mesmerism, Mystery Religions, Yoga, Tantra, Weird Science, New Thought, Transcendentalism, and Rosicrucianism) and actively promote a diverse community. We encourage all curious minds to join us.

HDS Unitarian Universalist Ministry for Students

The HUUMS Covenant (ratified by the membership on December 6, 2013) reads: “We, the members of HUUMS, covenant to work together to create a more loving and just world around us. Grounded in the living tradition of Unitarian Universalism, we covenant to welcome difference among each other, work patiently through challenges that face us, support each other in heartache, share in each other’s joy, and comfort each other in ambiguity. May we strive to extend these hallmarks of our membership to the larger HDS community and the world at large. Let our faith be expressed through our actions as well as our words.”

As a student group, HUUMS engages in regular weekly, student-led worship services, organizes community service projects, hosts social events and retreats, and gives historical UU walking tours to coming of age groups visiting the Boston area. We are an active and vibrant student organization, and we welcome everyone who is interested to contact us to learn more!

HDS Women of Color Collective

To create a space for Women of Color at the Divinity School and beyond.

Other groups open to students

Harvard Divinity School Choir

The HDS Choir sings occasionally for the weekly Noon Service in Andover Chapel, as well as for the annual "Seasons of Light" celebration. Rehearsals take place in Andover Chapel at 11:45am on Wednesdays when the choir is scheduled to sing. Any students, staff, or faculty interested in joining the choir may contact contact Christopher Hossfeld, Director of Music and Ritual.

Wednesday Noon Service Steering Committee

Hosted each week by a different religious community of the HDS campus and overseen by a steering committee of students and staff, this weekly service allows the HDS community to pray with our companions across the boundaries of our many respective traditions. The Wednesday Noon Service Steering Committee is dedicated to creating a safe and respectful environment for diverse faith-based and student-run groups at HDS. Acknowledging the unique religious diversity of our campus, we aim to support and advance the religious pluralism of the School by engaging and honoring the many religious perspectives, commitments, and experiences among us. By creating a recognized time and place for all of us to come together in prayer, in reflection, in ritual, and in conversation, we seek not only to aid the ongoing dialogue among our various faiths, but also to come to know and to serve each other.

WomenCircle

The goal of WomenCircle is to create an interfaith space for women to cultivate spirituality and celebrate the feminine face of God. Principal activities include monthly gatherings, annual fall retreats, and hosting a Noon Service.

HDS Voices

Shauntae Smith

While at HDS, I matured in faith and was invited to study the traditions of communities different than my own. Although it was a challenging process, the outcome has proven that I can passionately engage in interreligious dialogue, while living fully as a Christian minister.
—Shauntae Monique Smith, MDiv '11; youth director, Crown Ministries International
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