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EXPLORING DIFFERENCES, DEEPENING FAITH

Hartford Seminary draws Muslim, Christian, Jewish and other students from around the world. Explore our website to learn more. International Peacemaking students visiting the United Nations

The Leader in Graduate Interfaith Education

With roots that go back to 1834, Hartford Seminary is a non-denominational graduate school for religious and theological studies. What makes us unique is our multi-faith environment and our proven ability to prepare leaders for the complex world that surrounds us.

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The Porch Magazine Adds the Rev. Dr. Donna Schaper as Columnist
The Rev. Dr. Donna Schaper, Faculty Associate in Religious Leadership, is The Porch Magazine's newest columnist under the moniker The Dolly Mama. The Rev. Dr. Schaper explains in her name as she answers a question in her first column: Who Is The Dolly Mama? The Dolly Mama is a spiritual version of Dear Abby.  Her intention is to combine the irreverence of Dolly Parton with the surrender and non-attachment beloved by Buddhists. She wants to let go of what can’t be fixed – in either self or others – and fix what can by applying the balm of humor.   She is a spiritual handyperson, a soul mechanic, a repairer of broken appliances. Every now and then the combination of letting go and hanging on achieves sufficient balance for an improvement in spiritual posture, stronger spine, and personal peace. The Dolly Mama is not her day job.  By day, she works as an ordained United Church of Christ and American Baptist pastor of a regular, if edgy, congregation. Read more at this link. Congrats, Dolly Mama!
Journal of Social Encounters Publishes Two Hartford Seminary Essays
Carl Chudy, SX, a Doctor of Ministry student, and Dr. Hans Harmakaputra, Visiting Assistant Professor in Comparative Theology and Muslim-Christian Relations, both had essays published in the most recent issue of the Journal of Social Encounters. Father Chudy's essay is titled, "The Virgin Mary: Bridging Muslims and Catholics." It is available free at this link. "This brief comparative study opens us up to the profound mystery of God that transcends the boundaries of both of our faiths. Parts of this essay reflect the author’s theological reflections on the Virgin Mary." Dr. Harmakaputra's essay is titled, "Jesus, the Last Scapegoat: A Chinese-Indonesian Christian Theological Imagination for Peacebuilding and Reconciliation." It is available free at this link. "This essay suggests a Chinese-Indonesian Christian theological imagination of Jesus’ crucifixion that aims to deal with communal trauma and contribute to the peacebuilding and reconciliation efforts. This theological imagination can transform the negative feelings and trauma of Chinese-Indonesian Christians through the hermeneutic lens of memory, forgiveness, and hope." Congratulations to both Carl and Hans!
Hartford Seminary Recognizes Eid Ghadir, Important Shia Holiday
As home to the first academic chair in Shia Studies in North America, the Hartford Seminary gladly announces the recognition of Eid Ghadir on its calendar. Eid Ghadir 2020 starts on the evening of Friday, Aug. 7, and runs until the evening of Saturday, Aug. 8. This is the most significant specifically Shia annual celebration, commemorating Prophet Muhammad’s last sermon on his way back to Medina from Pilgrimage in 631. Professor Hossein Kamaly, holder of the Imam Ali Chair in Shia Studies, welcomes this recognition hoping that it will help galvanize efforts in building a strong foundation for dialogue among Islamic schools of thought under the broader ethos of fostering interfaith and intra-faith understanding and cooperation at the Hartford Seminary.  
Webinar - Interruptions: Disrupting the Silence
Join us for a cross-generational dialogue to re-think language, tradition, faith practices, and how to offer support to families living through trauma. We will engage the voices from the faith community about the unique impact that gun violence, trauma and grief have on on African American families and communities of color. Interruptions is a true story where a mother, the Rev. Odell Montgomery Cooper, shares how she emerges resilient through her struggle to overcome family traditions, cultural and societal stigmas, as well as racial and economic disparities about mental health. She discovers a way to reinvent herself through her faith and network of support. The Rev. Montgomery Cooper's life was interrupted when her son became another victim of gun violence when he was murdered by mistaken identity. This interruption caused a turbulent journey that ignited a domino-effect of PTSD, depression and grief. She was unaware of the symptoms, therefore suffering from loss of employment, detachment from relationships, addiction, and suicidal ideation because the grief was so heavy to carry. The trauma also affected the rest of her household. We'll hear from the Rev. Montgomery Cooper plus a panel of experts, moderated by Bishop Benjamin Watts, Faculty Associate in Religion and Community Life and Director of the Black Ministries Program. Panel: • Rev. Odell Montgomery Cooper • Rev. Dr. Alvan N. Johnson, Jr. • Rev. Jean Amos Lys • Rev. Brenda Lammie • Rev. Dionne P. Boissiere • Rev. Porsha Williams Gates Moderator: Bishop Benjamin Watts A Zoom link will be sent to registrants in the days leading up to the webinar, as well as a reminder on that day.
Graduate Courses Are 50% Off for Fall 2020
In recognition of the economic uncertainty that the COVID-19 pandemic has introduced into our students’ lives, Hartford Seminary will offer 50% off COVID-relief scholarships for Fall 2020 to all eligible students. To apply for this special one-time scholarship for graduate level courses, contact the admissions office for eligibility requirements at admissions@hartsem.edu or 860-509-9549. Class registration must be completed by Aug. 31 to receive the scholarship. All auditors will pay $288 for Fall 2020 – a 50% discount on the general audit fee. Audit registrations are conditional on the total number of seats available in each class. Also, with the support of the Board of Trustees and the President, tuition will not increase for the 2020-21 academic year.  Given the unprecedented circumstances surrounding the pandemic, Hartford Seminary acknowledges that any increase in tuition - even by a small percentage - could mean a disruption in our students' course of study toward earning their degrees and/or certificates. Fall 2020 courses, which begin on Sept. 8, will be online in various formats. Visit this link to find the list of courses. We look forward to safely interacting with our students in September.
Lorraine Browne Promoted to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer
Hartford Seminary is proud to announce that Lorraine Browne, who has worked at Hartford Seminary in various positions since 2007, has been promoted to a new position of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer. President Joel N. Lohr, in announcing the promotion, said: "Over the past 18 months, I’ve had the privilege of working closely with Lorraine each day. Lorraine is a highly competent, knowledgeable, deeply committed, and hardworking leader who not only gets things done but blesses those she works with as she does. I could not be more pleased to promote Lorraine to this important position, something I do with the enthusiastic support of the Seminary’s Executive Committee of the Board. I have every confidence that she will not only thrive in this position, but will help us become a better organization and people through her leadership. Congratulations, Lorraine!" The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer is a member of the Senior Leadership Team who champions the importance of, and works to support, a diverse and inclusive seminary environment. Working closely with the President and Senior Leadership Team, this individual leads the development of a vision and effective strategy to create a culture for equity, diversity, and inclusion. The Officer actively engages students, faculty, staff, and board members to further behaviors, attitudes, and policies that support these areas. The Officer will chair a newly formed Advisory Council that aims to implement meaningful policy and action. "I’m honored to take on this important work at Hartford Seminary," Browne said. "As an African American woman raising a son, I know first-hand the fear that many African Americans live with daily in our country. I hope to do my part in leading the Seminary’s initiative through accountability, ongoing conversations, training, and a call for change. Working closely with an Advisory Council, I hope to further racial and social justice initiatives beyond Hartford Seminary to surrounding communities. It’s clear that the time for real change is long overdue, the time for real change is now." The position was created after the board's Executive Committee adopted several recommendations made by the Seminary's Senior Leadership Team, which President Lohr tasked in early July with finding ways to address systemic and historic racial inequities both internally and externally. Additional recommendations will be vetted by the new council. Browne holds both a BA and an MS in Management from the University of Saint Joseph. Before to her appointment at Hartford Seminary, she served as Editorial Coordinator and Executive Assistant at S&S Management Services, responsible for managing manuscripts and book reviews, member relations, meeting and event planning, as well as marketing for this large association management firm. Prior to that, Ms. Browne served as the Executive Assistant to the President of a small technology company responsible for office management, customer service, and sales. Since coming to the Seminary, Ms. Browne has served as the Executive Assistant to the Dean, Coordinator of International Student and Scholar Services, and most recently as Executive Assistant to the President and Human Resources Assistant. She has assisted with various faculty searches, a strategic plan initiative, advised international students and scholars on immigration matters, and works with Trustees on various committees and Board meetings. She will continue in her role as Executive Assistant to the President and will also be promoted to Human Resources Manager. Browne's responsibilities with international students will be handled by Marcia Pavao, who will serve as Interim Coordinator of International Student and Scholar Services.
Hartford Seminary Joins Journal of Interreligious Studies Publishing Team
Press release from Journal of Interreligious Studies: July 14, 2020 The editorial and administrative staff are pleased to announce two changes to the team managing and publishing the Journal of Interreligious Studies. In November of last year, Hartford Seminary announced that it would collaborate with Hebrew College and Boston University School of Theology in publishing the JIRS. At that time, Dr. Joel N. Lohr, President of Hartford Seminary and Professor of Bible and Interreligious Dialogue, joined the JIRS publishing team and Board of Advisors, and Dr. Lucinda Mosher, Faculty Associate in Interfaith Studies at Hartford Seminary, joined the JIRS editorial team as Book Review Editor. This collaborative relationship is being strengthened and transformed into a partnership among the three institutions. Hartford Seminary joins Hebrew College and the Boston University School of Theology as an official publishing partner. Additionally, Lucinda Mosher will now hold the position of Senior Editor, with responsibilities including Book Review Editor, Copyeditor, and editorial advisor to special issues and print projects. The team is delighted to share this news. This new partnership will surely solidify JIRS’s role in the future of interreligious studies, dialogue, and theology.
Beyond the Pandemic: How Shall We Live?
Internationally acclaimed Celtic teacher John Philip Newell will lead a one-hour livestreamed session on accessing wisdom in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. In particular, how shall we choose to live after the pandemic? Dr. Newell will draw on teachers of the past, asking, "If they were with us now, what might they say to us?" The presentation will be followed by a shared online meditation as well as the opportunity to submit questions and comments to the moderator of our livestream gathering, some of which John Philip will be able to respond to during the one-hour session. This webinar is hosted by Hartford Seminary in collaboration with Mercy By The Sea and the New England School of Celtic Consciousness. Registration, limited to 500, is $25 per person. There is an option to add $5 for the Connecticut Food Bank as well. The link for the Zoom webinar will be sent to registrants before the event.     About John Philip Newell John Philip Newell, the celebrated author of Listening for the Heartbeat of God: A Celtic Spirituality, is one of the most prominent Christian teachers of spirituality in the Western world. Formerly Warden of Iona Abbey in the Western Isles of Scotland, he divides his time between Edinburgh, where he does most of his writing, and teaching in the United States and Canada, as well as leading international pilgrimage weeks on Iona. In 2016 John Philip founded the School of Celtic Consciousness (SCC) in the belief that we need to access our Celtic Christian inheritance for this moment in time, urgently. John Philip's much anticipated forthcoming publication is Sacred: Reawakening to Earth & Soul (with Celtic Prophets from St Brigid to John Muir). It will be published in 2021 by Harper One.  Learn more at his website. A complementary session, In the Pandemic - How Shall We Live?, will be held from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time) on Wednesday, July 8. Registration is limited. Click here to register for that session.        
A Conversation with Beverly Daniel Tatum: Where Do We Go from Here?
Join us to hear the Rt. Rev. Dr. Benjamin Watts, Faculty Associate in Religion and Community Life, in conversation with Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum, MA '00, author of the bestselling classic on racism, Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? And Other Conversations about Race. This conversation is a continuation of Hartford Seminary's examination of the question: Where do we go from here? Part One took place on Friday, June 5, with the Rev. Dr. Watts and a panel of faith leaders discussing how we move forward in addressing foundational racism and injustice in the United States. That webinar can be accessed at this link. Dr. Tatum is best known at the author of a seminal book on race relations and the President Emerita of Spelman College. She earned one of her two master's degree at Hartford Seminary in 2000 and spoke about the importance of her time at the Seminary in a talk she gave in 2017 during a tour to promote the 20th anniversary edition of the book. “The book is the product of my Hartford Seminary education,” she said during her lecture. The book is now on Amazon's bestseller list, and Dr. Tatum is in high demand as a speaker about race and racism in our society. The Zoom link for this webinar will be sent when you register.     About Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum, president emerita of Spelman College, is the author of the best-selling book, Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? And Other Conversations about Race, now in its 20th anniversary edition. A thought-leader in higher education, she was the 2013 recipient of the Carnegie Academic Leadership Award and the 2014 recipient of the American Psychological Association Award for Outstanding Lifetime Contributions to Psychology. Dr. Tatum holds a B.A. degree in psychology from Wesleyan University, a M.A. and Ph.D. in clinical psychology from University of Michigan, and a M.A. in Religious Studies from Hartford Seminary. For more about Dr. Tatum, please visit her website. About the Rt. Rev. Dr. Benjamin Watts The Rt. Rev. Dr. Benjamin K. Watts  is a 1995 graduate of Hartford Seminary where he received the Doctor of Ministry degree with distinction upon submission of the project entitled, “Understanding & Using Africentrism in Strengthening & Revitalizing the Mission of the Black Church: Analysis & Models.” Dr. Watts is a 1986 graduate of Yale University Divinity School where he received his Master of Divinity degree. Dr.  Watts completed his undergraduate work at Selma University in Selma, Alabama and Alabama A & M, receiving a BA in Psychology with a minor in Philosophy. Dr. Watts is Director of the Black Ministries Program and a Faculty Associate in Religion and Community Life. He has worked to understand the relevance of race and culture in marginalized communities beyond their religious hegemony. Dr. Watts is also the Senior Pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church of New London, Connecticut, where he has served for more than 26 years. He was elevated and consecrated to the sacred office of Bishop by the International Bishops Conference in 2008. He is a member of the Churches Covered and Connected in Covenant (CCCC). Dr. Watts offers courses in the following areas: The Essential Writings of Howard Thurman, Black Theology, Pastoral Counseling, Ministry in a Muticultural World (team taught with Dr. M.T. Winter) and the Art of Preaching.
Where Do We Go from Here? A Conversation for Faith Leaders
The Rt. Rev. Dr. Benjamin Watts, Faculty Associate in Religion and Community Life and Director of our Black Ministries Program, will lead a conversation on racial justice for leaders of all faiths with help from faculty, alumni, and other members of the Hartford Seminary community. Where Do We Go from Here references a book by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. published in 1967. It asks many of the essential questions being asked today about America's future, including the need for better jobs, higher wages, decent housing, and quality education. Is this conversation happening in your faith community? If not, how can you approach it? Join us for an important opportunity to listen, learn, and ask questions. A link to the Zoom meeting will be sent out on Friday morning to all who register.     Biography The Rt. Rev. Dr. Benjamin K. Watts  is a 1995 graduate of Hartford Seminary where he received the Doctor of Ministry degree with distinction upon submission of the project entitled, “Understanding & Using Africentrism in Strengthening & Revitalizing the Mission of the Black Church: Analysis & Models.” Dr. Watts is a 1986 graduate of Yale University Divinity School where he received his Master of Divinity degree. Dr.  Watts completed his undergraduate work at Selma University in Selma, Alabama and Alabama A & M, receiving a BA in Psychology with a minor in Philosophy. Dr. Watts is Director of the Black Ministries Program and a Faculty Associate in Religion and Community Life.  Dr. Watts believes in the notion of living one’s liturgy in an applied context. His commitment to research includes spirituality and public life…living faith in the public square. He has worked to understand the relevance of race and culture in marginalized communities beyond their religious hegemony.  Dr. Watts is committed to interfaith dialogue, interrelatedness and the notion of the interconnectedness of all living things.  This theology transcends the parochialism of the Christian context in which he serves. Dr. Watts is the Senior Pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church of New London, Connecticut, where he has served for more than 26 years. He was elevated and consecrated to the sacred office of Bishop by the International Bishops Conference in 2008. He is a member of the Churches Covered and Connected in Covenant (CCCC). Dr. Watts offers courses in the following areas: The Essential Writings of Howard Thurman, Black Theology, Pastoral Counseling, Ministry in a Muticultural World (team taught with Dr. M.T. Winter) and the Art of Preaching.
DID YOU KNOW...
Hartford Seminary became the first seminary in America to open its doors to women, in 1889.
In 1902, Hartford Seminary was a founding member of the American Association of Schools of Religious Education.
The first American center for the study of Islam and Christian-Muslim relations opened at Hartford Seminary in 1973.
In 1990, Hartford Seminary became the first nondenominational theological institution in North America to name a female president.
Naming a Muslim to the core faculty was a first for nondenominational theological institutions in North America in 1991.
Hartford Seminary established the first Islamic Chaplaincy Program in America in 2001.
The first chair of Shi’i Studies in North America launched at Hartford Seminary in 2015.

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