Graduate Theological & Religious Programs | Hartford Seminary




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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Seminary Welcomes Back Jennifer E. Schimmel as Development Associate
Hartford Seminary welcomes Jennifer E. Schimmel, who worked in our Development Office from 2003 to 2006, back to the Seminary as Development Associate. She will work closely with Chief Operations Officer Ann Crawford and Perry Davis Associates, our fundraising consultants. Jennifer worked previously at Habitat for Humanity, serving as the organization’s Executive Director for the Greater Springfield area. Under her tenure, the affiliate increased the number of families served through homeownership, created new programming to support home repair and preservation projects, opened and sustained the operations of a ReStore to help fund the mission, and increased financial support from the community through grants, individual supporters, and special events. Devoted to philanthropy both personally and professionally, Jennifer has been responsible for planning, executing, and managing all aspects of individual major gifts, fundraising, annual campaigns, fundraising within faith communities, alumni stewardship, cultivation, and counsel management. She has held development positions within Hartford’s Wadsworth Atheneum, as well as Shakespeare and Co. in Lenox, Mass. Jennifer is also committed to volunteer opportunities, serving with numerous organizations and boards. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Arts Management/Music from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and a Master’s of Science in Management and Marketing from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Originally from Ludlow, Mass., she shares her life with her wonderful 11-year-old son, Jackson. They live in South Windsor. Welcome, Jenn!
Seminary Mourns Passing of Dr. Joseph Duffey, Famed for Anti-War Senate Campaign
Dr. Joseph Duffey, who attended and taught at Hartford Seminary and launched a legendary anti-war Senate campaign in the early 70s, has passed away at the age of 88. According to an article in The Hartford Courant, Dr. Duffey "took on the Connecticut Democratic machine run by John Bailey and won a three-way party primary" in 1970 while a professor at Hartford Seminary. He had earned his Ph.D. from the Seminary in 1969 and founded the Seminary's Center for Urban Studies. Dr. Duffey lost to Lowell P. Weicker but, the Courant wrote, brought together a "large crew of fired up young progressives" that included "writer Michael Medved, who was Duffey’s speechwriter; Tony and John Podesta; future Fox News host and Trump appointee Larry Kudlow and politicians such as Joe Lieberman, Sam Gejdenson and a Yale Law School student from Arkansas named Bill Clinton." Actor Paul Newman co-chaired Dr. Duffey's campaign. After his short-lived political career, Dr. Duffey became chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities from 1977 to 1982, and then chancellor of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He also served as president of American University for two years. President Bill Clinton later appointed him director of the U.S. Information Agency. More recently, he worked for Sylvan Learning, retiring in 2018. This New York Times article called him a "cultural arbiter" in the Carter and Clinton  administrations and someone who brought "progressive sensibilities" to his influential positions.  
Sarah Brown Hired as Project Director for Grant to Study COVID Impact
Hartford Seminary and the Hartford Institute for Religion Research welcome Sarah Brown as the project director for the new Lilly Endowment funded project, Exploring the Pandemic Impact on Congregations (EPIC): Innovation Amidst and Beyond COVID-19. EPIC aims to study the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had, and will have, on U.S. congregations. Brown, who holds a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the University of Illinois at Chicago, will manage the daily activities of the grant and research team and coordinate the communication and evaluation of the overall project. She is the Executive Director of the interfaith research initiative, Faith Communities Today, and serves as the Community Outreach and Special Projects Consultant to the Vermont Ethics Network. Brown has extensive experience working with congregations and faith communities in an interfaith context. In addition to nonprofit management, project management and administrative roles, she has served as a contract consultant to the Center for Congregations, as editor of the Congregational Resource Guide (CRG), website manager for Economic Challenges Facing Indiana Pastors and an event consultant with the National Initiative to Address Economic Challenges Facing Pastoral Leaders. Brown said she is honored to be leading the operational side of the EPIC project. “While many organizations and scholars will no doubt be assessing the effect of the pandemic on congregations for years to come, I am energized by the fact that our EPIC project will bring together a broad coalition of partners from across the U.S. to conduct much of this research collectively,” she said. “In particular, it will be fascinating to see whether the current innovations and adaptations that congregations have been forced to make as a result of COVID-19 result in lasting changes to the American religious landscape. I look forward to managing the many moving parts throughout this evolving study.” Principal investigator of the project and Director of the Hartford Institute for Religion Research, Scott Thumma said when he learned funding for the grant was certain, Brown was the first person he knew he had to hire. “Having worked with her on the Faith Communities Today project, I knew she was the perfect person to manage the many disparate pieces of this massive and complex project. I’m overjoyed that she agreed to come along for the ride,” he said. “It will be a much smoother ride with her steering this ship.” Welcome, Sarah!
Dr. Patricia Tevington Joins HIRR as Postdoctoral Research Fellow
The Hartford Institute for Religion Research at Hartford Seminary is pleased to welcome Dr. Patricia Tevington as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow, where she will be leveraging her qualitative and quantitative skills as part of the new project, Exploring the Pandemic Impact on Congregations (EPIC): Innovation Amidst and Beyond COVID-19. Dr. Tevington holds a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Pennsylvania and previously worked as a postdoctoral research associate at Montclair State University’s Institute for Research on Youth Thriving and Evaluation. She has experience researching religious socialization, social class inequality, and family formation among young adults. For the EPIC project, which will study the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had, and will have, on U.S. congregations, Dr. Tevington will be working on data collection, training, and analysis on the regional ethnographic component of the study. She will also be involved in the design and analysis of a panel of 500 churches, including member surveys, key informant surveys, and focused thematic surveys. “Often postdoctoral fellows come fresh out of school with plenty of ideas and skills but little research experience. Such is not the case with Patricia Tevington,” said Principal Investigator of the project and Director of the Hartford Institute for Religion Research, Scott Thumma. “She has been engaged in multiple research projects during and post grad school. We are extremely fortunate and pleased to have her working with our project.” Dr. Tevington said she’s delighted to be involved in this timely research project. “It can be too unusual for researchers to be involved in a project that has both academic significance as well as the potential for applied benefits,” she said. “The EPIC project offers both — a timely investigation into how the pandemic has shaped religious life at the scholarly level, as well as a commitment to making our findings accessible and applicable to religious leaders across the country.” Welcome, Patricia!  
Dr. Deena Grant to Speak at Rabbinical Assembly Convention
Deena Grant, Associate Professor of Jewish Studies, will speak on March 1, 2021, at the Rabbinical Assembly Convention, an annual meeting of the International Association of Conservative Rabbis. Dr. Grant's talk is titled: Where Did all the Goddesses Go? Assimilating the Feminine in Biblical Monotheism. The God of Israel depicted in the Hebrew Bible did not emerge in a vacuum. On the contrary, numerous gods and goddesses abounded in the Ancient Near East, with each god controlling their own domain. For instance, goddesses were typically charged with tending to fertility and childbirth. In this lecture we will analyze texts and iconography in order to understand how the portrait of a single, anthropomorphically male God attains prominence in the Hebrew Bible. With this knowledge, we are afforded the opportunity to revisit our own concepts of divinity. The 2021 convention, called Sacred Connections, runs from Feb. 28 to March 3, 2021.
Religious Communities and the Planetary Crisis
The Interreligious Eco-Justice Network and Hartford Seminary are proud to bring you the second webinar in our collaborative series, Many Faiths, One Creation. Religious Communities and the Planetary Crisis will examine the response of faith communities to the climate crisis from the Christian, Jewish, and Hindu perspective. We are excited to have the following panelists join us: Rev. Jim Antal, Special Advisor on Climate Justice to the General Minister and President of the United Church of Christ Rabbi Warren Stone, Founding Chair, Central Conference of American Rabbis’ Committee on the Environment Hari Venkatachalam, Board Member, Sidhana: Coalition of Progressive Hindus This webinar is free, but donations are gratefully accepted! ABOUT THE SPEAKERS Rev. Jim Antal serves as Special Advisor on Climate Justice to the General Minister and President of the United Church of Christ. The Rev. Antal’s 2018 book, CLIMATE CHURCH, CLIMATE WORLD, is being read by hundreds of churches. From 2006-2018, the Rev. Antal led the 350 UCC churches in Massachusetts as their Conference Minister and President. Rabbi Warren Stone is known nationally for his leadership on Religion and the Environment. He is the founding chair of the Central Conference of American Rabbis’ Committee on the Environment. Rabbi Stone represented many national Jewish organizations as the Jewish United Nations delegate at the UN Conference on Climate Change in Kyoto, Japan in 1997, and, again, in 2009, in Copenhagen, Denmark, UNCOP15, where he blew the Shofar and led a number of interfaith programs and prayer vigils. He currently Co-chairs the National Religious Coalition on Creation Care and serves on the Global Advisory Committee for Earth Day Network. Hari Venkatachalam is an epidemiologist and data manager for the Department of Veterans Affairs. He received his Master of Public Health from the University of South Florida. He is a Hindu activist focused on the areas of public health, social justice, environmental change, and LGBTQ rights. Based in Tampa, Florida, Venkatachalam is a member of Sadhana: Coalition of Progressive Hindus.
Seminary Mourns Passing of the Most Rev. Dr. Lorraine Bouffard, MA and D.Min.
The Hartford Seminary community mourns the passing of the Most Rev. Dr. Lorraine J. Bouffard, 80, on Jan. 31, 2021. The Rev. Dr. Bouffard graduated from Saint Joseph College in 1963, after which she joined the Peace Corps. For many years after that, she was a teacher at schools in the Hartford region. After retirement, she had a second career as a pastor, receiving her MA from Hartford Seminary. She was also ordained to the priesthood in the Ecumenical Catholic Church. For 10 years, "Pastor Lorraine" hosted and produced a monthly television show at West Hartford Community Television. She was also highly involved in protests in support of the LGBTQ community. In 2001, she received her Doctor of Ministry from Hartford Seminary, and continued to serve as a Bishop in the American Ecumenical Catholic Church, as founder of the Parish of the Divine, and as a devoted food pantry volunteer and manager. Her full obituary can be found at this link.  
3-Part Series: Celtic Spirituality and Contemplative Practice
Celtic Spirituality and Contemplative Practice is a three-part series held on March 16, 23, and 30 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. via Zoom.  Topics include prayer, pilgrimage, and the goodness of creation.  Attend one session or all three.  All are welcome. Each session will include a presentation by the Rev. Susan Izard, an experienced spiritual director and facilitator. We will also engage in experiential learning in groups. No prior experience is necessary, but you may wish to read the book Listening for the Heartbeat of God by John Philip Newell beforehand (optional). This program is part of the new collaboration between Hartford Seminary and the Spiritual Life Center. March 16 —The Practice of Celtic Prayer and the Carmina Gadelica We will explore the spirituality of the ancient Celtic tradition, in particular the understanding of the goodness of creation and the presence of God in all things. Using ancient Celtic payers from the Carmina Gadelica, participants will be invited to contemplative reflection and conversation. We will examine the Celtic use of blessings in everyday life experiences. March 23 — The Practice of Peregrinatio (pilgrimage) and its importance in Celtic heritage. We will journey to the Celtic lands with photographs as we explore the various aspect of Peregrinatio, both the inner and outer pilgrimage of life’s journey. We’ll touch on the meaning of “thin space” and some of the wisdom that the Ancient Celts have shared about journeying with God. Class participants will be invited to reflect on their inner pilgrimage and how moments in their lives have been transformative sacred experiences. March 30 — The Celtic Practice of Encircling and the Anam Cara Reflecting on St. Patrick’s Breastplate, we will explore how the Celtic tradition understood the cosmic energy of God’s Creation. We will examine how the Celts called upon the Sacred to encircle each soul for strength and wisdom on life’s way. This session will also discuss the role of the Celtic Anam Cara, the “soul friend." The suggested registration fee is $35 per session or $80 for all three. Or, for those on a budget, we ask $10 for a single session and $25 for all three. For more information and to register for one or all three sessions, visit this link.  
Muslim and Christian Responses to White Supremacy and Xenophobia
Hartford Seminary’s Macdonald Center for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations welcomes members of the Building Bridges Seminar (arguably the world’s longest-running international dialogue of Christian and Muslim scholar-practitioners) for an examination of root causes of and religious resources for addressing White Supremacy and Xenophobia. Drawing upon Macdonald Center affiliate Lucinda Mosher’s edited volume A World of Inequalities: Christian and Muslim Perspectives (Georgetown University Press 2021), the panel will address the current social realities of Race and Xenophobia which have been rarely acknowledged by a white dominant Christian culture. Join us for this 90-minute webinar session. NOTE: This event will be live-captioned for the deaf and hard-of-hearing community.     Panelists: Lucinda Mosher, Th.D., is Hartford Seminary’s Faculty Associate in Interfaith Studies, teaching courses in interreligious studies, comparative theology, and chaplaincy. As rapporteur for the Building Bridges Seminar, she is the co- or solo-editor of eight volumes of the project’s proceedings. Ovamir Anjum, Ph.D., is Imam Khattab Chair of Islamic Studies; Professor, Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies; and Affiliated Faculty, Department of History at the University of Toledo (Ohio). His work focuses on the nexus of theology, ethics, politics, and law in classical and medieval Islam, with comparative interest in Western Thought. Elizabeth Phillips is the Director of Studies at Westcott House, an Anglican theological college affiliated with the University of Cambridge. She is also a Research Associate with the Margaret Beaufort Institute of Theology and an Honorary Fellow of the Department of Theology and Religion, Durham University. Her work is in Christian Ethics and Political Theology. Moderator: Chaplain Khalil Abdullah, Muslim Advisor and Multifaith Advisor of the William Jewett Tucker Center, Dartmouth College. Khalil is a 2019 graduate of the Master of Arts in Religious Studies at Hartford Seminary, with a focus on Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations. Note: Hartford Seminary is committed to providing accessibility for all. Please contact Susan Schoenberger at or 860-509-9519 at least 7 days in advance if you have questions about our accessibility or need reasonable accommodations for this event.
Climate Conversations
Join us for an in-depth conversation with national leaders, the Rev. Lennox Yearwood, founder of Hip Hop Caucus, and Dr. Katharine Hayhoe, a leading climate scientist, on climate change, where we are, where we are going, and what we can do about it. Moderated by Rabbi Joshua Hammerman, Temple Beth El in Stamford, this event is co-hosted with the Interreligious Eco-Justice Network. Free, but donations deeply appreciated. Once you register, you will be sent the webinar link via Eventbrite.     About the Speakers The Rev. Lennox Yearwood The Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr. is the President & Founder of Hip Hop Caucus, a minister, community activist, U.S. Air Force veteran, and one of the most influential people in Hip Hop political life. Rev Yearwood entered the world of Hip Hop Politics as the Political and Grassroots Director for the Hip Hop Summit Action Network in 2003 and 2004, and as a key architect of P. Diddy’s “Vote Or Die!” campaign in a run up to the 2004 Presidential Election. To carry the energy of the efforts beyond election day, he founded Hip Hop Caucus in September of 2004. The goal of Hip Hop Caucus is to build a powerful and sustainable organization for the culture’s role in the civic process and empowerment of communities impacted first and worst by injustice. As a national leader and pacemaker within the Green Movement, Rev Yearwood has been successfully bridging the gap between communities of color and environmental issue advocacy. With a diverse set of celebrity allies, he has raised awareness and action in communities that are often overlooked by traditional environmental campaigns and elected officials. His innovative stance has garnered the Hip Hop Caucus support from several environmental leaders including the Sunrise Movement, League of Conservation Voters, Earthjustice, and Zero Hour. Dr. Katharine Hayhoe Katharine Hayhoe is an Endowed Professor in Public Policy and Public Law in the Public Administration program of the Department of Political Science at Texas Tech University and co-directs the Climate Center at Texas Tech. She has a B.Sc. in physics and astronomy from the University of Toronto and an M.S. and Ph.D. in atmospheric science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and has been awarded honorary doctorates from Colgate University and from Victoria College at the University of Toronto. Professor Hayhoe's research focuses on developing and applying high-resolution climate projections to evaluate the future impacts of climate change on human society and the natural environment. She has published over 125 peer-reviewed abstracts and publications and served as lead author on key reports for the U.S. Global Change Research Program and the National Academy of Sciences, including the Second, Third and Fourth U.S. National Climate Assessments. Her TED talk has received nearly 3 million views and she is currently writing a book on talking about climate change that will be released in early 2021. She is an Oxfam Sister of the Planet and currently chairs the Earth Science Women's Network Advisory Council as well as serving on the American Geophysical Union's Climate Communications Prize Committee, the National Center for Atmospheric Research Walter Orr Roberts Distinguished Lecture Committee, the science advisory board for the Environmental Resilience Institute at Indiana University, the Editorial Committee of Texas Tech University Press, the scientific research advisory council for Engie, the international advisory board for the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion, and the advisory board for the Smithsonian Natural History Museum. In 2019, Dr. Hayhoe was named to Foreign Policy's list of 100 Global Thinkers for the second time and received the United Nations Environment Programme's flagship award, being named Champion of the Earth in the category of Science and Innovation.      
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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