The Craft of Teaching (CoT) is the Divinity School's program of pedagogical development for its graduate students, dedicated to preparing a new generation of accomplished educators in the field of religious studies. We bring together Divinity School faculty, current students, and an extensive alumni network of decorated teachers to share our craft and to advance critical reflection on religious studies pedagogy. Find out more here, or browse our program schedule and multimedia library.
The CoT unveils its new blog (Oct 24, 2014)!
Important improvements in the Craft of Teaching announced for 2014-15
Download the our fall newsletter to see changes in the program requirements and a preview of the upcoming year of new offerings and initiatives!
Andrew DeCort named 2014 Excellence in Course Design Award Finalist
Congratulations to Divinity School PhD student Andrew DeCort for being selected as a finalist for the 2014 Excellence in Course Design Award by the Chicago Center for Teaching. Andrew's course "Authority, Action, Ethics: Ethiopia", taught at Wheaton College last spring, was recognized as exemplary from a highly competitive pool of applications submitted by graduate students from all the university's divisions.
John and Jane Colman make gift of $900K to endow the Craft of Teaching (October 30, 2013)
John and Jane Colman, long-time friends and supporters of the Divinity School, have made a generous gift of $900,000 to endow the Craft of Teaching. The entire Divinity School community is deeply appreciative of their vision and leadership. Read more here.
The Craft of Teaching not only has a new Facebook page, we now have a members-only group for online conversation about pedagogy! We'll communicate event info on our FB page, while our FB group is intended as a semi-private place to post questions, share ideas, and otherwise confer about teaching and professionalization. You could share your thoughts on the last Craft of Teaching Seminar; or ask other teachers for advice about leading an upcoming discussion section; or post a link to an interesting article on the future of religious studies departments. It will also be a fantastic place to connect with and ask questions of Div School alums on FB, who are eager to share their teaching experiences with current students. Be sure to like our page and join our group the next time you're on FB!
Cultivating Rigorous Creativity in Your Students
Wednesday, October 15 from 4:00 - 5:30 PM in Swift 201
Too often in academia we think of creativity as a frivolous thing, but there is nothing frivolous about it. It is a rigorous intellectual process of synthesis that goes beyond critical thinking and analysis. Participants will be encouraged to design assessments that demand rigorous creative thinking from their students. Featuring Mark Maxwell, English and Fine Arts, Rolling Meadows High School. Mr. Maxwell is the author of the novel Nixoncarver (St. Martin's Press) and several short stories, and many of his students have gone on to publish their own creative writing. Presented by Kevin Hector, Assistant Professor of Theology and Philosophy of Religions.
Advanced viewing recommended by Mr. Maxwell:
Dean's Fall Craft of Teaching Seminar with Joanne Maguire Robinson ("From Paper Syllabi to Online Learning: Expanding Course Boundaries")
Friday, October 24 from 12:00-2:00 PM in the Swift Hall Common Room
With the help of technology, college-level teaching has expanded well beyond classroom walls. Using a selection of syllabi from her seventeen-year career, Divinity School alumna Joanne Maguire Robinson (PhD, History of Christianity, 1996) will discuss shifting settings for and assumptions about both teaching and learning. Prof. Robinson is Associate Professor and Department Chair in the Department of Religious Studies at University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She is a recipient of the Bank of America Award for Teaching Excellence (2012), a National Endowment for the Humanities "Enduring Questions" course development grant (2012), and the North Carolina Board of Governors' Award for Excellence in Teaching (2013). She is also a member of the Editorial Board of Teaching Theology and Religion. Prof. Robinson is the author of Nobility and Annihilation in Marguerite Porete's Mirror of Simple Souls (SUNY 2001) and is presently revising Waiting in Christianity.
The quarterly Dean's Craft of Teaching Seminar is the flagship seminar of the Craft of Teaching program, centered on issues of course design and institutional context. Complementary lunch is provided at all Dean's Seminars for the first 25 RSVPs. Please RSVP at any time to email@example.com, indicating meat, vegetarian, or vegan preferences.
Please read the following material in preparation for the seminar:
See our full line-up on our schedule page.
Dean's Spring Craft of Teaching Seminar with Davíd Carrasco
Thursday, April 24, 2014
Led by the 2014 Divinity School Alumnus of the Year Davíd Carrasco (ThM 1970, MA 1974, PhD, History of Religions, 1977), Neil Rudenstine Professor of the Study of Latin America at Harvard University, with a joint appointment in the Department of Anthropology and the Harvard Divinity School. Prof. Carrasco is the author of numerous books, including Quetzalcoatl and the Irony of Empire, Religions of Mesoamerica, Breaking Through Mexico's Past: Digging the Aztecs With Eduardo Matos Moctezuma and Cave, City, and Eagle's Nest: An Interpretive Journey Through the Mapa de Cuauhtinchan No. 2. He has served as the editor-in-chief of the Oxford Encyclopedia of Mesoamerican Cultures and was the executive co-producer of the award winning film Alambrista: The Director’s Cut which put a human face on the ordeal of undocumented workers from Mexico. Prof. Carrasco will discuss his pedagogy in relation to his teaching context and a recent course he has taught. Professor Carrasco's syllabus for "Moctezuma’s México" is available for download here. Click here to download mp3 audio of this event.
Dean's Craft of Teaching Seminar with Jonathan Z. Smith (Winter 2013)
February 27, 2013
Led by Prof. Jonathan Z. Smith, Robert O. Anderson Distinguished Service Professor of the Humanities, Associate Faculty in the Divinity School, and author of a collection of essays on pedagogy entitled On Teaching Religion: Essays by Jonathan Z. Smith (edited by Christopher Lehrich; Oxford UP, 2012). Prof. Smith discusses his approach to pedagogy especially in relation to the Introduction to Religious Studies course that he taught in the College.
Visit our Multimedia Library for audio and video of more Craft of Teaching events.
Craft of Teaching requirements for Divinity School doctoral students (updated September 2014):
Attendance at the Center for Teaching and Learning's Workshop on Teaching in the College and the submission of a workshop journal.
Attendance at three of the Dean's Quarterly Craft of Teaching Seminars
Participation in three Arts of Teaching Workshops
Participation in at least five additional Craft of Teaching programs of your choosing
Submission of a Philosophy of Teaching Statement
Download the printable self-tracking sheet available in Word format or PDF. For additional details, see the Program Requirements page.
For more information about the Craft of Teaching, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.orgBrandon Cline Program Coordinator, The Craft of Teaching University of Chicago Divinity School Aaron Hollander Associate Program Coordinator, The Craft of Teaching University of Chicago Divinity School