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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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President Joel N. Lohr Stands in Support of Hartford Mosque that Received Threat
President Joel N. Lohr was among public officials and religious leaders who showed their support on Friday for the Muhammad Islamic Center of Greater Hartford, which received a violent and racist threat last month. State Sen. Saud Anwar of East Hartford organized the gathering, which was held on a day that marked both Good Friday and the start of Passover. "I stand here on a holy day," President Lohr told the gathering. “I think there was no better way to spend a day like this than with you, and I think it’s where Jesus wants me to be today.” The threat against the Islamic Center was made on March 24, a little more than a week after 50 people were killed at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, by a man who professed hatred for Muslims. While police said they believe they know the identity of the person making the threat in Hartford, they have not yet revealed it because the investigation is ongoing. Members of the mosque, according to press reports, have had to increase security and some families have withdrawn their children from religious school there. To read more and watch news coverage of this event, visit NBC-30 or the Journal Inquirer.  
Professor Scott Thumma Quoted in Article about Declining Church Membership
Professor Scott Thumma, who teaches about the sociology of religion and directs the Hartford Institute for Religion Research, was quoted in a widely distributed Associated Press article about declining church membership in the U.S. over the last 20 years. The article cites a new Gallup poll that found "the percentage of U.S. adults who belong to a church or other religious institution has plunged by 20 percentage points over the past two decades, hitting a low of 50 percent last year." Professor Thumma pointed to several factors, including that "religious young adults are delaying marriage, postponing having children, and, when they do, having fewer children." “I’ve encountered many persons in churches that have attended for several years but did not officially join or become a member,” he also said. “This is also evident in persons switching from one congregation to another without joining any.” To read the full article, visit this link.
Hartford Seminary Hosts Interfaith Seder
Dr. Deena Grant, Associate Professor of Jewish Studies, gathered about 20 students, faculty, staff, and friends on April 11 for an Interfaith Seder at Hartford Seminary. Rabbi Ilana Garber of Beth El Temple in West Hartford led the Seder, taking participants through the Haggadah, the text recited on the first two nights of Passover, including a narrative of the Exodus. She also provided tambourines for accompaniment to songs that help tell the story. Those attending were from Jewish, Christian, and Muslim backgrounds, including a number of students from Hartford Seminary's International Peacemaking Program. Passover begins this year on the evening of April 19. [gallery ids="18418,18419,18420"]  
Student Nihal Khan Chosen for FASPE Ethics Fellowship
Nihal Ahmad Khan, a student in the Master of Arts in Religious Studies program, is among 14 seminary students and "early-career clergy" who will participate in the 2019 Seminary Program of the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics (FASPE). This two-week program brings fellows to Germany and Poland to examine how clergy and religious leaders behaved when the Nazis occupied Europe. That historical study is then related to contemporary professional ethics in five fields - business, journalism, law, medicine, and seminary. While working on his MA in Religious Studies at Hartford Seminary, Khan is also completing coursework and research at the Harvard Divinity School. “I look forward to FASPE’s fellowship program, as understanding how fascism can root itself in society right under our noses is a real conversation we need to be having. Ethics are values that stem from ideas in our minds,” Khan said in a press release from FASPE. According to the release, "Khan joins a diverse group of 70 FASPE fellows across all five programs who were chosen through a competitive process that drew applicants from across the U.S. and the world. FASPE covers all program costs, including travel, food and lodging. "The experience of the Seminary fellows is enhanced by traveling alongside the Medical fellows, who together—in formal and informal settings—consider how ethical constructs and norms in their respective professions align and differ. In 2019, the three groups will travel from June 15, 2019 to June 28, 2019, beginning their trip in Berlin and then traveling on to Krakow and Oświęcim (the town in which Auschwitz is located), Poland. In Berlin, the program includes museum visits, meeting with a Holocaust survivor and educational workshops at the House of the Wannsee Conference, the site where state and Nazi Party agencies convened in 1942 to coordinate plans for the Nazis’ 'Final Solution.' In Krakow, fellows will continue their seminars at Jagiellonian University, one of Europe’s oldest and most prestigious universities, and at Auschwitz, they will be guided by the distinguished educational staff of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum. "After the program, each fellow will submit an essay focused on a contemporary ethical issue of his or her choice. Select essays are published in the annual FASPE Journal, which showcases work in all five disciplines. "FASPE maintains long-term relationships with its fellows in order to sustain commitment to ethical behavior and to provide a forum for continued dialogue. To date, FASPE has over 500 alumni across its five programs." To learn more about FASPE and its programs, visit  
Alum Spotlight: BMP Grad Promoted to Associate Dean at Columbia Theological Seminary
Dr. Jeffery Tribble Sr., who graduated from Hartford Seminary's Black Ministries Program in 1985, has been appointed Associate Dean of Advanced Professional Studies at Columbia Theological Seminary (CTS) in Decatur, GA. In a press release from CTS, Dr .Love Sechrest, Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty, said: “Dr. Tribble represents a wealth of knowledge and experience both in his work here at the Seminary and with the wider church. He is devoted to equipping leaders for the church and works tirelessly with our D.Min. and D.Ed.Min. students already, making him an obvious choice for this position.” The press release gave this additional background: "Dr. Tribble received his B.S. from Howard University, a Black Minister’s Program Certificate from Hartford Seminary, his M.Div. from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, and his Ph.D. from Northwestern University as part of a joint program with Garrett-Evangelical. He began his work in the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church as a minister of membership development at Martin Temple A.M.E. Zion Church in Chicago. Dr. Tribble was ordained as an elder in 1992, when he then served as the pastor at St. Andrew A.M.E. Zion Church in Gary, IN. He has also served in the A.M.E. Zion Church as a pastor at St. Mark church in Chicago, co-pastor at New Vision Church in Suwanee, GA, Associate pastor at Greater Walters church in Chicago, the minister of evangelism and men’s ministry and founding Dean of the Life Development Institute at Martin Temple Church in Chicago, and as the presiding elder for the A.M.E. Zion Church for the Augusta District from 2008–2013 and the Atlanta District from 2013-2017. "Dr. Tribble began his career as an academic at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in 2000 where he served as adjunct faculty, Instructor of Congregational Ministries and Director of Teaching Parishes and Congregational Research, and Assistant Professor of Congregational Leadership and Director of the Center for the Church and the Black Experience. He has been a lecturer at Apex School of Theology in Durham, NC. He joined the faculty of Columbia Theological Seminary as Assistant Professor of Ministry in 2007, later appointed as Associate Professor of Ministry in 2012. "Dr. Tribble’s most well-known book is Transformative Pastoral Leadership in the Black Church (2005) published by Palgrave-Macmillan Press. He was selected as one of “45 Outstanding Black Alums” by Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in 2017. In 2014, Dr. Tribble received the “Frederick Douglas Award” by the International Ministers and Lay Association of The A.M.E. Zion Church. He was also a co-convener of the National Council of Churches Christian Education, Ecumenical Faith Formation, and Leadership Development Convening Table for 2016-2017." Congratulations to Dr. Tribble!
Global Sisters Report Features Professor Miriam Therese Winter's U.N. Talk
The Global Sisters Report covered this year's 63rd United National Conference on Women with a particular focus on the words of Professor Miriam Therese Winter, who led a conference event called "Transformative Spirituality: Living in and through the Spirit." The event was included in 10 days of "negotiations, panel discussions, ministerial roundtables, 300 side events hosted by the member states, and 400 parallel events by civil society at various venues," according to the Global Sisters Report. In describing Professor Winter's event, the Global Sisters Report said: "She took us to a new consciousness, digging deep into the evolution of the universe and its 15 billion years of history, and showing how we are all connected. "She mesmerized the audience with her mystical poems and spoke of a spirituality in a quantum universe where chaos is not negative, but an essential element along with consciousness, connection, coincidence, creativity, celebration, relativity, uncertainty, complementarity, synchronicity, change, continuity, relationship, wholeness and transformation — all integral and exciting parts of the quantum universe. "Her book Paradoxology blends science and spirituality to see whole truths that 'make all things new.' She tried to help us realize that we people of faith cannot continue to practice our faith in isolation anymore. A quantum universe is telling us that we are all connected, that the God of one is the God of all, that diversity is a blessing, that the suffering of any of Earth's people or any part of the planet is a desecration to us all. "The new transformative spiritual direction is as energizing as it is surprising. It encourages us to look at life through a new lens that will help us see more than we have ever seen before." For the full article in the Global Sisters Report, visit this link.
Boundless: A Celtic Vision of the Sacred in All Things with John Philip Newell
Please join us for this special opportunity to hear from John Philip Newell, internationally acclaimed Celtic teacher from Edinburgh and the celebrated author of Listening for the Heartbeat of God: A Celtic Spirituality, as well as founder of the School of Celtic Consciousness. Celtic Spirituality celebrates the essential sacredness of all things. It remembers John the Beloved as leaning against Jesus at the Last Supper. It was said of him in the Celtic world that he, therefore, heard the heartbeat of God. He became a symbol of the practice of listening, listening deep within ourselves, deep within one another, and deep within the Earth and every creature and life form. We will explore the implications of listening for the Sacred at the heart of each moment. John Philip Newell is one of the most prominent Christian teachers of spirituality in the Western world and has authored over 15 books, including Christ of the Celts, Praying with the Earth, A New Harmony, and his most recent visionary title The Rebirthing of God: Christianity’s Struggle for New Beginnings.  This free event is co-sponsored by First Church of West Hartford and Saint John's Episcopal Church of West Hartford.         Note: Hartford Seminary is committed to providing accessibility for all. Please contact Susan Schoenberger at or 860-509-9519 at least 3 days in advance if you have questions about our accessibility or need reasonable accommodations for this event.
Book Talk: 'Umayyad Christianity' with Professor Najib George Awad
Professor Najib George Awad, Associate Professor of Christian Theology at Hartford Seminary and Director of the Ph.D. program, will introduce his new book from Gorgias Press. Umayyad Christianity: John of Damascus as a Contextual Example of Identity Formation in Early Islam is described by the publisher as “a study of the identity-formation process that the Christians of Syria-Palestine experienced during Umayyad Caliphate.” The book, according to Gorgias Press, “approaches this subject by using John of Damascus and his writings on Islam as a case-study. This provides an exhaustive study of the available historical data in order to stimulate some further thought on John of Damascus’s theology and legacy from a contextual and intercultural methodology. Such an examination has not yet been pursued in the scholarship of Byzantine Christianity during that era. Proceeding from a centralizing ‘context’, the monograph revisits John of Damascus’s legacy (and the Umayyad Christians’ identity-formation of that era) from the perspective of his historical, Islamic-Arabic context, and not from any assumed, mita-narrative, common to contemporary pro-Byzantine theology scholars.”     Note: Hartford Seminary is committed to providing accessibility for all. Please contact Susan Schoenberger at or 860-509-9519 at least 3 days in advance if you have questions about our accessibility or need reasonable accommodations for this event.  
Divine Words, Female Voices with Dr. Jerusha T. Rhodes
Our biennial Willem A. Bijlefeld Lecture will be given by Dr. Jerusha T. Rhodes, Associate Professor of Islam & Interreligious Engagement at Union Theological Seminary. Dr. Rhodes will discuss her new book – Divine Words, Female Voices: Muslima Explorations in Comparative Feminist Theology (Oxford University Press, 2018) – which argues that interreligious feminist engagement is both a theologically valid endeavor and a vital resource for Muslim women scholars. She will discuss how comparative feminist theology leads to new, constructive Muslima and Islamic feminist positions on topics including revelation, scripture, feminist exemplars, theological anthropology, and ritual practice. The Willem A. Bijlefeld Lecture is named after the first director of the Macdonald Center for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations. It brings a distinguished scholar to campus for a public presentation on Islam or Christian-Muslim relations to promote interreligious understanding and mutual respect in the local, national and world communities. Note: Hartford Seminary is committed to providing accessibility for all. Please contact Susan Schoenberger at or 860-509-9519 at least 3 days in advance if you have questions about our accessibility or need reasonable accommodations for this event. About the Speaker Jerusha T. Rhodes is Associate Professor of Islam & Interreligious Engagement at Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York. Her research focuses on theologies of religious pluralism, comparative theology, and Muslima theology. She also serves at the Director of Union’s Islam, Social Justice, and Interreligious Engagement (ISJIE) Program. Dr. Rhodes earned a Ph.D. in Theological and Religious Studies with a focus on Religious Pluralism at Georgetown University in 2011. She also received an M.A. in Islamic Sciences at the Graduate School of Islamic and Social Sciences, and an M.A. in Theological and Religious Studies at Georgetown University. Before joining the Union faculty in July of 2012, she was Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Theology at Georgetown University. Dr. Rhodes’ first book, Never Wholly Other: A Muslima Theology of Religious Pluralism (Oxford University Press, March 2014), explores the Qur’anic discourse on religious ‘otherness’. In this book, she draws upon feminist theology and semantic methodology to re-interpret the Qur’anic discourse and challenge notions of clear and static religious boundaries by distinguishing between and illuminating the complexity of multiple forms of religious difference. Her second book, Divine Words, Female Voices: Muslima Explorations in Comparative Feminist Theology (Oxford University Press, 2018), uses the approach of comparative feminist theology to engage diverse Muslim and Christian feminist, womanist, and mujerista voices. It argues for the value of comparative feminist theological engagement and proposes constructive Muslima insights relating to Divine revelation; textual hermeneutics of the hadith and Bible; Prophet Muhammad and Mary as feminist exemplars; theological anthropology; and ritual prayer, tradition, and change.  
Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Perspectives on the Language of Scripture
Hear from top scholars on the language of Scripture in this special Hartford Seminary symposium. Faith, Belief, and a Compassionate Response: What it Means to be a Neighbor Father Joseph Cheah University of Saint Joseph The word “compassion” comes from the Hebrew word, rehem, which means a mother’s womb. To be compassionate is to have a deep feeling a woman has for the child that comes forth from her womb. In the parable of the Good Samaritan, it was the good Samaritan who exemplified this sort of compassion by offering liberating assistance to the half-dead man on the side of the road. Using Harvey Cox’s thesis of the primacy of faith over belief, Father Cheah will examine what this good Samaritan, a foreigner and a racialized other, teaches us about what it means to be neighbor and exemplifies for us the value of strangers in our midst. Dr. Deena Grant Exploring Jewish and Christian Translations of Scripture: Practical Applications Is translation interpretation? We will explore together ways that translation can influence meaning by discussing a variety of diverse translations of the identical Scripture passages. The Book of Job, Islamic Thought and the Gospels Dr. Steven Blackburn Retired from Hartford Seminary As a rising tide of Islamization began to engulf both Jews and Christians in Mesopotamia by the mid 8th century C.E., interpreters of Jewish scripture presented their writings in ways that were accessible to Muslims through preferences for vocabulary with an Qur’anic cast.  The translation of Pethion ibn Ayyub of the Book of Job betrays not only affinities to Islamic thought but simultaneously attempts to harmonize Job’s teaching with portions of the Gospels. Does Everyone in Heaven Speak Arabic? Dr. Suheil Laher Adjunct Professor at Hartford Seminary 'When God is angry, He sends revelation in Arabic. When He is pleased, He sends revelation in Persian.' What might have led someone to claim the Prophet Muhammad had said these words? The Qur'an is central to Islamic belief and practice, as God's words. But what exactly is meant by the phrase, “God's words.” Is Arabic “the language of God”? And if so, how much leeway is there for prayer and sermons to be in other languages? Will everyone in Heaven speak Arabic? Dr. Laher will discuss these theological and ritual questions, and how they impacted and were impacted by socio-political factors.
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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