The University of Chicago Divinity School is a tough-minded, sprawling, rigorous and dynamic conversation about what religion is and why understanding it is so vitally important. At the Divinity School, we believe serious inquiry into the subject of religion requires a university context where all ideas are subject to uncompromising standards of argument and evidence.
Located in the heart of campus, the Div School is the graduate professional school for the academic study of religion at the University of Chicago. The dominant ethos of the school – toward the cultivation of new knowledge through research – imbues both the PhD and masters programs (MA, MDiv, AMRS), which are taught by the same faculty. The Divinity School and University represent an unparalleled depth of expertise in all five major world religions (Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity and Hinduism), throughout their historical periods, and other religious movements, past and present.
Our faculty and students engage in advanced research in pursuit of new knowledge about the human phenomenon of religion, as viewed from the broadest possible range of perspectives. We train students for all kinds of roles which require thinking and speaking about religion – in general and specific religious communities, in traditions, texts, rituals, and other realities – in a manner that is deeply informed, rigorously critical, and honestly engaged.
Our conversation takes place both through research and teaching in Swift Hall and also through a constellation of extracurricular offerings, such as student-organized workshops, public lectures, our student-run coffeeshop (“where God drinks coffee”), and even Divinity Student Association “4-to-8” socials. It takes place in the major scholarly journals History of Religions and Journal of Religion and in programs of the Martin Marty Center, which promotes scholarly engagement with the wider public. And it takes place every week when we meet in community gathering at the Wednesday Community Luncheon, a tradition of conviviality smack in the middle of the week, a weekly chance to enter the conversation from yet another angle.