Fall 2020 Semester Plans

June 3, 2020
Divinity Hall on the HDS campus
Divinity Hall on the HDS campus / Photo: Kristie Welsh

Harvard Divinity School has been closely monitoring the course of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Since moving to online instruction in March 2020, HDS, along with the rest of Harvard University, has been considering how best to fulfill its educational mission for the Fall 2020 semester. As always, the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff are of paramount importance.

At this time, although there have been some encouraging signs in the trajectory of the pandemic, public health officials remain concerned about the high level of risk associated with convening large numbers of people and the possibility of a resurgence of infections in the fall. Given this uncertainty, HDS will conduct all Fall 2020 courses online. In so doing, the School seeks to maximize community safety and to allow returning and incoming students to make informed plans for the new academic year.

Since the Spring 2020 move to online instruction, HDS faculty and others have been researching and sharing information on how best to recreate, and even amplify, the in-person class experience. With steps such as smaller class sizes, tuition on a per-course basis and flexible course loads, technological aides, and out-of-class virtual gathering and study opportunities, HDS faculty and staff are determined to do all in their power to recreate online the individualized instruction and community experience that are a hallmark of our educational mission. We are deeply committed to creating a Fall semester that will serve our student’s educational needs and aspirations at the highest possible level.

HDS will continue to seek the best public health information and guidance as it formulates its plans for the Spring 2021 semester.  

David N. Hempton
Dean of the Faculty of Divinity