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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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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Council Launched
Hartford Seminary's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Council, established this summer after President Joel N. Lohr called on the Seminary's leadership to respond to the national reckoning around racial justice, had its first meeting on Sept. 17. The council is chaired by Lorraine Browne, newly named Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer. Other members are: Naseem Shaikh, Trustee Ann Crawford, Chief Operations Officer Jean Amos Lys, Trustee Lucinda Mosher, Faculty Associate in Interfaith Studies In its first meeting, the council established an annual meeting schedule and began a review of the recommendations put forward by the Seminary's Senior Leadership Team. The council also agreed that the Seminary's website should include a section on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to serve as a clearinghouse for internal initiatives, news, resources, and upcoming events. The council is beginning to examine opportunities for structured dialogue on race and social justice, implement a process to respond to racial incidents at the Seminary, as well as partner with and support other groups in Hartford working to further social justice. As the council begins to compile and analyze various data, diversity targets will be established and shared. After the tragic deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and others, President Joel N. Lohr encouraged the Seminary community to work with him and senior leaders to address how we as an organization—systemically—will deliver on our commitment to support racial justice and the Black Lives Matter movement. "Questions of racial justice and the inclusion of all people in society and at Hartford Seminary, especially those most at risk, historically less privileged, or oppressed, go to the very core of our mission and identity," President Lohr said. The Seminary’s senior leadership team, led by Academic Dean David D. Grafton and Chief Operations Officer Ann Crawford, was tasked with leading an exploration of these questions and to make community- based recommendations rooted in action—a deep, foundational educational commitment that goes to the Seminary’s core and informs everything we do. Two of the recommendations that came out of that call included the establishment of a diversity officer and an advisory council. The council will now vet and begin to implement the other recommendations put forward, as well as developing its own. If you have thoughts or ideas, please email lbrowne@  
Phoebe Milliken Named Faculty Associate in International Peacebuilding
Phoebe Milliken, Coordinator of the International Peacemaking Program, has been promoted to Faculty Associate in International Peacebuilding and Director of the International Peacemaking Program. In this new role, she will help guide the seminary as it develops a new program in interreligious peacebuilding that will have a high degree of synergy between learning in the classroom and community engagement in the Greater Hartford area. Academic Dean David D. Grafton said of the appointment: "As we look to build on and expand the International Peacemaking certificate program that has been such an important part of Hartford Seminary, Phoebe Milliken provides the necessary knowledge and skills to lead the seminary into another phase of our educational endeavors. I am delighted that we can welcome Phoebe as a Faculty Associate for an exciting new venture at Hartford Seminary." Milliken’s background is in experiential education and peacebuilding. She spent approximately four years living in Southern Africa. She studied in South Africa and Zimbabwe, worked for a literacy program in Zimbabwe, and then directed Augsburg College’s study abroad program in Namibia. From 2009-2015, she was Program Manager for Plowshares Institute, a small non-profit in Connecticut that led travel seminars to the Global South and taught conflict transformation skills internationally. During that time she gained an appreciation for the many sorts of skills that contribute to building peace. Since 2015, she has led Hartford Seminary’s International Peacemaking Program, creating a skill-building co-curriculum to augment students' academic learning. Phoebe holds a master’s degree in International Education from George Washington University. She lives in Canton with her husband and two lively children. “I’m so excited to be moving in to this new role at Hartford Seminary," she said. "Working with the remarkable students who come to Hartford Seminary has been a great joy,  and I look forward to expanded opportunities to teach and to learn from them.”  
Call for Papers for 2021 Luce-Hartford Conference
The Duncan Black Macdonald Center for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations at Hartford Seminary 2021 Luce-Hartford Conference on Christian-Muslim Relations: Christian-Muslim Relations in the Midst of the Pandemics: Activities, Opportunities, and Challenges CALL FOR PAPERS In recent years American Muslim and Christian communities have faced challenges arising from the impact of debates and policies related to immigration, Islamophobia, racial injustice, “law and order,” and the public rise of white supremacy. Islamic centers and Christian congregations have had to contend with the realities of a deeply divided electorate that prompt ideological debates within and between communities. As COVID-19 has disrupted traditional patterns of worship and community life, it has also impacted, and perhaps spurred, opportunities for interfaith engagement that address the longstanding pandemic of racial injustice. The 2021 Hartford Conference on Christian-Muslim relations will focus on the current state of Muslim and Christian relationships in the U.S. between congregations and masjids, Islamic Centers and social service agencies in the midst of the COVID-19 health care crisis and the longstanding pandemic of racial injustice. We are interested in the descriptions of models and analyses of projects on Muslim and Christian intercommunal relationships in specific urban, suburban, or rural contexts. Have the more recent public events and debates surrounding these pandemics contrived to curtail and put pressure on established relationships? Or, have the pandemics led to unique interfaith encounters and positive outcomes? Papers should examine the specific social-cultural-political contexts out of which Christian-Muslim intercommunal projects arose and developed, the impetus for relationships, and the challenges faced, including but not limited to economic, environmental, political, ethnic, racial, social, and theological realities. In particular, we are interested in how the last several years have impacted Muslim-Christian relationships in the United States and how Muslim and Christian communities have sought to address the public challenges of Islamophobia, racism, white nationalism, and public health concerns caused by COVID-19, and how communities have or might work together to overcome these public challenges. An abstract of 500 words is due November 1, 2020. Papers of selected participants are due February 15, 2021. Selected authors and contributors will be invited to the June 7-9, 2021 Hartford Conference on Christian-Muslim Relations to present their papers. Selected papers will then be published in the 2021 summer edition of The Muslim World.  Questions or inquiries, as well as abstracts, should be directed to Dr. David D. Grafton, Professor of Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations, Hartford Seminary ( (Funding is available to provide grants for participation in the conference.)
Online Book Talk: 'In the Spirit of Jesus' with Dr. Miriam Therese Winter
Join us to hear pioneering feminist theologian Dr. Miriam Therese Winter as she talks about "a new way to understand Jesus." In the Spirit of Jesus was written while Dr. Winter was in quarantine. It includes prompts for personal reflection, group discussion, and prayers, as well as song lyrics and poetry. The book directly addresses the prevailing issues of 2020, including racial injustice, climate change, and the coronavirus pandemic, among others. “We are living in unprecedented times," she writes. "We need to discover unprecedented ways to live faith fully in a world that is radically different from whatever has been before. How can we change water into wine, metaphorically? When will we finally hear the cries of those who hunger for food … for justice … for a place at the table where crucial decisions are made?” Dr. Winter directs both the Women's Leadership Institute and the Master of Arts in Transformative Leadership and Spirituality at Hartford Seminary. This talk is free, but donations to Hartford Seminary are gratefully accepted. Information about accessing the Zoom session will be provided when you register. Note: Hartford Seminary is committed to providing accessibility. Please contact Susan Schoenberger at or 860-509-9519 at least 1 week in advance if you have questions about our accessibility or need reasonable accommodations for this online event.
Webinar - Community Prayer in a Pandemic: How Faith Leaders Are Adapting
Congregational leaders from the three Abrahamic faiths — Rabbi Tuvia Brander, Bishop Dr. Benjamin Watts, and Imam Refai Arefin — will discuss the pastoral, spiritual and logistical challenges they face, as well as the unanticipated opportunities they encounter as they guide their communities of faith in prayer during this time of crisis and social distancing.  Jews around the world are currently observing a ten-day period of intense repentance and prayer (Aseret Yimay Teshuvah) in preparation for the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur).  It is thus, an apt time for Abrahamic siblings to learn from and support one another in their faith practices. Deena Grant, Associate Professor of Jewish Studies, will moderate.     About the Speakers Rabbi Tuvia Brander is the Mara D'Atra (spiritual leader) of the Young Israel of West Hartford. Under his leadership, the Young Israel of West Hartford has continued to grow rapidly – welcoming new faces and families from near and far. Rabbi Brander’s warm and welcoming personality and commitment to creating multiple, diverse, halakhicly meaningful moments and spiritual opportunities have helped attract people of diverse backgrounds and ages to feel at home in the Young Israel community. Bishop Dr. Benjamin K. Watts is the Senior Pastor of the Shiloh Baptist Church of New London, Connecticut, where he has served for over 30 years. Under his leadership, the church ministry has grown and serves the spiritual, cultural, and physical needs of its members and the community. Dr. Watts is also Hartford Seminary's Faculty Associate in Religion and Community Life and Director of the Black Ministries Program. Imam Refai Arefin serves as the Assistant Imam of the Islamic Association of Greater Hartford.  He pursued study of Arabic and Islamic sciences abroad for over ten years at Al-Azhar University and Qortoba Institute in Cairo, Egypt, at Balqa’a University in Amman, Jordan, and under traditional tutelage in Fez, Morocco and Damascus, Syria.  He has spoken at countless mosques, churches, schools and universities throughout the State of Connecticut on Islam, its spiritual underpinnings and social manifestations. Dr. Deena Grant is Associate Professor of Jewish Studies at Hartford Seminary. She received her Ph.D. in Hebrew and Judaic Studies from New York University, specializing in Hebrew Bible. An observant Jewish scholar, Dr. Grant values studying and teaching the Hebrew Bible from a historical-critical perspective and also as it is interpreted and lived out by faith communities. Note: Hartford Seminary is committed to providing accessibility. Please contact Susan Schoenberger at or 860-509-9519 at least 1 week in advance if you have questions about our accessibility or need reasonable accommodations for this event.    
Carpenter Foundation Awards $80,000 Grant for LGBTQ+ Peacemakers
The E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation has awarded Hartford Seminary an $80,000 grant to support LGBTQ+ students in the International Peacemaking Program (IPP). Among the foundation's areas of interest are programs offering "support to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons of faith, or endeavoring to insure faith communities’ understanding, affirmation, and inclusion of such persons." The foundation has supported LGBTQ+ students in the past who have completed the IPP. This new gift will allow for future students to participate in the program, which brings emerging leaders with undergraduate degrees from the United States and other countries where there is interreligious tension or conflict to Hartford Seminary for an academic year. With long-established expertise in interfaith dialogue, Islamic studies, and Christian-Muslim relations, Hartford Seminary is at the forefront of training leaders for peacemaking between religions. Fellows in the International Peacemaking Program study interfaith dialogue, conflict transformation, and leadership skills. They live in intentionally interfaith housing on campus, spend time in local faith communities, and receive practical skill-building training to enhance their capacity as peacemakers. Past recipients of Carpenter Foundation scholarships include: The Rev. Louis Laurens Botha Gaum, '18, of South Africa, one of a group of Dutch Reformed Church clergy and members who won a high-profile case against the church’s policy on same-sex marriages. Megan Strauss, '19, of Connecticut, who recently completed the Seminary's Cooperative Master of Divinity program and is now studying at Yale Divinity School. Jason Fredlund, '20, of Connecticut, a Racial Justice Educator and Equity Consultant at Re-Center: Race and Equity in Education in Hartford.
Hartford Seminary Supports #ScholarStrike to Address Racism, Injustice
Hartford Seminary faculty canceled academic meetings and evening synchronous classes on Tuesday and Wednesday, the opening days of school, to participate in the nationwide #ScholarStrike focusing on "the urgent importance of addressing racism and injustice in the United States." Scholar Anthea Butler called for the strike last week in a tweet to call attention to "the racial climate in America, and the rash of police shootings and racialized violence."  Early Tuesday, Academic Dean David D. Grafton sent a message to all staff and faculty stating that two meetings would be canceled to support colleagues participating in the #ScholarStrike, which is also supported by the American Academy of Religion. Faculty who canceled classes were urged to do teach-ins or share resources. Dr. Bilal Ansari, Faculty Associate in Muslim Pastoral Theology, helped lead a teach-in about the struggle for justice in Williamstown, MA, on Tuesday evening. "We must do what we can to speak and act, in whatever little way possible," Dean Grafton said. #Scholar Strike is described as "both an action, and a teach-in." Scholars across the country plan to refrain from their usual duties to "participate in actions designed to raise awareness of and prompt action against racism, policing, mass incarceration and other symptoms of racism's toll in America." President Joel N. Lohr indicated his strong support for the strike, saying: "If not now, when? And if not us, who?" For more information about the strike and for educational resources, visit this link.
Dr. Miriam Therese Winter Releases New Book on Jesus
Miriam Therese Winter, Director of Hartford Seminary's Master of Arts in Transformative Leadership and Spirituality and of the Women's Leadership Institute, has a new book about a "living, loving, inclusive Jesus." In the Spirit of Jesus is available for purchase at this link. Dr. Winter describes the book as a "new way to understand Jesus" that is "right for this moment." "We need a new narrative, one that acknowledges there is more to the story of Jesus of Nazareth, his life and his mission, than what we profess and proclaim. Without a more inclusive and compassionate understanding of the one we know as Jesus, not only churches, but our beloved planet, with all of its inhabitants and nature's graced diversity, cannot - will not - survive. Jesus is an example of how we humans can continue to be a beneficial link in the evolutionary chain. His living spirit - a holy Spirit - is calling to us all." The book, Dr. Winter's 18th, was written while she was in quarantine. It includes prompts for personal reflection, group discussion, and prayers, as well as song lyrics and poetry. The book directly addresses the prevailing issues of 2020, including racial injustice, climate change, and the coronavirus pandemic, among others. Dr. Winter writes: "We are living in unprecedented times. We need to discover unprecedented ways to live faith fully in a world that is radically different from whatever has been before. How can we change water into wine, metaphorically? When will we finally hear the cries of those who hunger for food ... for justice ... for a place at the table where crucial decisions are made?" About the author Dr. Winter is a Medical Mission Sister with a Ph.D. from Princeton Theological Seminary and a passion for breaking new ground. She  is best known for the award-winning "Joy Is Like the Rain," sung all around the world, and "Mass of a Pilgrim People," recorded live at Carnegie Hall. Publications include a trilogy on all the women of the Bible; pioneering feminist resources for ritual; the story of Ludmila Javarova, a legitimately ordained Roman Catholic priest in the Czech underground church; and Paradoxology: Spirituality in a Quantum Universe. Congratulations, MT!    
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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