The Craft of Teaching

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, invited guests, and an extensive alumni network of decorated teachers to share strategies, develop skills, and advance critical reflection relating to religious studies pedagogy. Find out more here, or browse our program schedule and multimedia library. Craft of Teaching workshops are open to the whole university community, within and beyond the Divinity School.

Stay tuned for Autumn 2019

You can view the Spring schedule here.

For the 2018-19 academic year, five University of Chicago Divinity School-trained educators were invited to provide their unique insights as faculty members. Our Bloggers in Virtual Residence engage with some of the topics addressed by this year's CoT programming and discuss some of their own teaching experiences.
To meet our bloggers and read their thoughts, please visit the Craft of Teaching blog!
  • The Craft of Teaching Program is launching an Inclusive Pedagogy Fellowship Program! (June 2019)

    During the 2019-20210 academic year, nine fellows will be selected to participate in a fellowship program in which they will learn and practice inclusive pedagogy techniques for the religious studies classroom. This program responds to a growing interest among Divinity School students to engage in hands-on workshops rooted in principles of inclusive pedagogy. Fellows will be given the opportunity to practice teaching in the classroom using inclusive approaches and activities and to receive feedback about their teaching.

    The program will consist in three parts:

    1.Orientation Retreat: The Orientation Retreat will take place at the start of the Autumn 2019 quarter (or perhaps the week prior). We will invite an external scholar to lead a hands-on workshop; this scholar has not been confirmed but will be someone who has developed inclusive teaching techniques in her field and who uses inclusive teaching in her classroom. In addition to introducing major concepts, this scholar will train the fellows to use a variety of inclusive classroom skills and teaching activities. This event will last about three hours.

    2.Pedagogy Workshops: The fellow-led pedagogy workshops will take place approximately every month. The fellows will be assigned one day to teach, as well as a book chapter or article to guide their teaching. The Craft of Teaching will purchase or print all required materials for the fellows. Each fellow will develop an hour-long class geared to an undergraduate level. Their aim will be to connect the inclusive pedagogy topics to the topics, interests, and challenges specific to a religious studies classroom. Each fellow should plan 2-3 classroom activities in order to practice different inclusive pedagogy techniques. All Divinity School students will be invited to these hour-long sessions. Following each session, the fellowship cohort will de-brief privately over lunch to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the fellow’s teaching. We will invite at least one professor, the Craft of Teaching coordinator, and a Chicago Center for Teaching staff member or fellow to give constructive feedback, as well. Each of these events will last about 1.5-2 hours (1 hour for the presentation and 30-45 min for lunch).

    3.Exit Retreat: The exit retreat will provide an opportunity for fellows to reflect on what they’ve learned and to communicate those new skills in their job documents. They will each submit a job document (i.e. a syllabus, philosophy of teaching statement, diversity statement, etc). Fellows and invited faculty will read and critique each document. This event will take place in the final weeks of the spring quarter. This event will last about 3 hours.

    Payment: Each student will be eligible to receive a total of $300 for participation in the program. Each student will receive $150 after her presentation and an additional $150 upon satisfactory participation in the program. Fellows should attend at least six of the pedagogy workshops in addition to their own presentations and both retreats. If you can only participate by attending some of the monthly workshops virtually, please indicate your request for this accommodation in your cover letter.

    If you are interested in participating in the Craft of Teaching Inclusive Pedagogy Fellowship, please submit a resumé and cover letter to the . Please indicate your interest in the program, how you imagine contributing to and benefiting from the fellowship, and any questions you have about inclusive pedagogy. Be sure to mention any past experiences teaching (any level or subject) and/or teaching opportunities you will pursue in the 2019-2020 school year. We will select fellows based on the strength of individual applications and the overall composition of the cohort.  

  • The Craft of Teaching has received a grant from the Wabash Center! (Feb 2019)

The Craft of Teaching has received a grant from the Wabash Center to conduct a full-scale review of our programming. We hope to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the program's structure and to plan for its future. 
As a part of this process, we have sent surveys to over 100 recent alumni and current PhD candidates. 
The grant will fund a unique event at the Divinity School on May 29, 2019. We have invited five recent alumni to discuss their experiences with the Craft of Teaching and the usefulness of its programming for their careers. The confirmed alumni participants include:
  • Jessica Andruss, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, Mellon Fellow, Institute of the Humanities and Global Cultures, University of Virginia
  • Patricia Duncan, Assistant Professor of Religion, Texas Christian University  
  • Charles Preston, Visiting Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, Millsaps College
  • Bryce E. Rich, Assistant Professor of Theology and Louisville Institute Postdoctoral Fellow, Brite Divinity School 
  • Joseph Steineger, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Lindenwood University
Students will engage with these alumni in two ways:
1. Alumni Lunch Panel on May 29th - The alumni will introduce their home institutions and positions. We will encourage them to reflect on their transitions from UChicago to other educational contexts and their experiences on the job market (especially in regards to teaching). Come with your questions! 
2. Micro-Teaching sessions on May 29th - Each alum will work with 4-5 students who will prepare 15 minute teaching demonstrations at the undergraduate level. This will be a fantastic opportunity to receive feedback from professors who work with undergraduates all the time. We can arrange to audio record each session so that students may review them later.
  • The Craft of Teaching has partnered with the registrar! (Jan 2019)

In an effort to simplify tracking certification progress, the Craft of Teaching has joined forces with the UChicago Registrar. Divinity Students are now able to see what CoT workshops they have attended, and they are also able to print a PDF attendance log that they can include in their application materials! Sign in to my.uchicago.edu, click on the My Academics tab, and scroll to the bottom of the page. There you will see a "Craft of Teaching Summary" with a "Print Craft of Teaching Summary" link. To track your progress, simply compare your attendance to the CoT requirements found here.

  • The Craft of Teaching has its first publication! (September, 2015)

Hearty congratulations to the graduate student Craft of Teaching participants who have been featured in a co-authored publication in the most recent volume of Teaching Theology and Religion! After the Spring 2015 workshop, "The Art of the Approach: Negotiating Hard Choices in Introductory Course Design," Prof. Russell McCutcheon, our guest for the workshop, invited four Divinity School graduate students to respond to the essay version of his presentation and collaborate on a forum-style submission to the journal. The publication, entitled "Crafting the Introductory Course in Religious Studies," consists of Prof. McCutcheon's essay, the four Divinity School responses (by Andrew Durdin, Kelli Gardner, Adam Miller, and Emily Crews), and an introduction by Aaron Hollander, Program Coordinator for the Craft of Teaching. Download the publication from the journal here and we'll keep you apprised of further interventions in the field of religious studies pedagogy by Craft of Teaching participants.

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

Stay tuned Autumn 2019! 

For the Spring schedule, click here.

Featured Content:

Craft of Teaching's Five-Year Anniversary Celebration

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. On the occasion of the five-year anniversary of the program a reception was held in Swift Hall’s Common Room. Speakers included Caroline Anglim, the president of the Divinity Students Association; Aaron Hollander, Program Coordinator; Margaret M. Mitchell, the Shailer Mathews Professor of New Testament and Early Christian Literature; William Rando, Associate Dean in the College and Director of the Chicago Center for Teaching, and Richard A. Rosengarten, Dean and Associate Professor of Religion and Literature.

For video, click here.

Visit our Multimedia Library for audio and video of more Craft of Teaching events.

Craft of Teaching requirements for Divinity School doctoral students:

  • Participation in the Chicago Center for Teaching's annual Teaching@Chicago Conference.

  • Participation at three 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: craftofteaching@uchicago.edu

Cameron Ferguson
Program Coordinator, The Craft of Teaching
University of Chicago Divinity School
Caroline Anglim
Associate Coordinator, The Craft of Teaching
University of Chicago Divinity School