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.

The Craft of Teaching Spring schedule is now live! 

You can view the full 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 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 par 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

Gendered Teachers, Gendered Students, Gendered Content: A Conversation About Teaching Religion and Gender

Friday, May 3, 1:00-2:30pm, Swift Hall 200

Teaching always involves problems, negotiations, and opportunities related to gender. Come participate in a conversation that grapples with the realities of teaching in and about gender, especially within the context of the academic study of religion. Our conversation will deal not only with the inescapably gendered quality of the materials we explore in the classroom, but also the unavoidably gendered experience of teachers and students alike.

Kelli Gardner, PhD Candidate in Hebrew Bible, will lead this discussion. Kelli teaches religion and gender courses at University of Chicago and Loyola University Chicago, and is a new mom learning how to balance the demands of teaching, dissertating, and parenting.

Lunch Provided for first 15 RSVPs to .  

C.V. Workshop [Arts of Teaching]

Thursday, May 16, 4:00-5:30 pm, Swift Hall 400

The Curriculum Vitae (CV) is one of the main documents that academics use to summarize their experience and qualifications. Whether you are preparing an application for an internal fellowship or a faculty position you will need such a document.  In this workshop we will discuss the components of a CV, focusing on those specific to the academic study of religion, and how best to showcase your work in the doctoral program University of Chicago Divinity School. Students are encouraged to bring drafts of their CVs to discuss. This workshop will be led by Profs. Sarah Fredericks and Margaret M. Mitchell.  Please RSVP by Monday, May 13, to craftofteaching@uchicago.edu.

Coffee and Tea Provided.

For the full 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