• Nadine Pence (PhD‘92), Eugene Gallagher (PhD'80, History of Religions), and Dean Margaret M. Mitchell at "From Here to There: The Transition to the First Years of Teaching", Spring 2013

Craft of Teaching Requirements

On this page can be found all you need to know to complete the University of Chicago Divinity School’s Craft of Teaching program successfully. Please refer to the tabs below for information 1) on its required components, 2) the Philosophy of Teaching Statement, 3) how to track your progress, and 4) the Chicago Center for Teaching’s own certification program, which, while independent, is both complementary and useful in furthering the depth and range of your pedagogical skillset.  

Divinity School doctoral students who successfully meet the minimum requirements of the Craft of Teaching will:

Painting of Scholar taking notesReceive the Divinity School's Certificate in the Craft of Teaching in the Academic Study of Religion, serving as evidence of their interest in and preparedness for teaching in the area of religion. This certification can be listed on application materials for employment and will be officially noted on graduates' university transcripts. To receive the Divinity School's Craft of Teaching certification, all requirements of the Craft of Teaching must be completed within a five-year period

Fulfill the departmental pedagogy requirement for the Chicago Center for Teaching's (CCTCertificate in University Teaching. Please note that those who also wish to apply the Divinity School's Craft of Teaching program toward their CCT university-wide certification must complete all the requirements of the Craft of Teaching within a two-year period.

Successful completion of the program consists of the following (within a five year period; two years, if applying toward the CCT's certificate):

  • Participation in the Chicago Center for Teaching's Teaching@Chicago Conference.  Teaching@Chicago (formerly the Workshop on Teaching in the College) takes place over the course of a single day during Orientation week and is geared towards preparing graduate students for Teaching Assistant appointments. This workshop is required both for the Divinity School's Craft of Teaching program and for the CCT's teaching certification.  Additional details and registration can be found on the CCT website.

  • Participation in three of the Dean's Quarterly Craft of Teaching Seminars. Dean's Seminars are the flagship program of the Craft of Teaching, in which distinguished alumni return to the Divinity School to lead seminars on pedagogical problems that animate them, focusing especially on issues of course design, institutional context, and leadership in higher education.

  • Participation in three Arts of Teaching Workshops.  Arts of Teaching workshops specifically focus on skill development and teaching practice.  They are designed to integrate the theory and practice of teaching, emphasizing hands-on, participant-centered pedagogical development.  Qualifying workshops are clearly marked as Arts of Teaching events on the Craft of Teaching schedule.  Students who are teaching (either as a teaching assistant or stand-alone instructor) may count one Individual Teaching Consultation from the Chicago Center for Teaching toward the Arts of Teaching requirement.  (Note: For those who started the program prior to September 2014, the following past workshops may be counted toward this requirement: any Divinity School Syllabus Workshops, Assignment Design Workshop (Spring 2014), Microteaching Workshop (Winter 2014), Reacting to the Past Conference (Spring 2014), and completed ITCs.)  

  • Participation in at least five additional workshops of your choosing.  These programs may be selected from those listed on the Craft of Teaching events schedule (unless otherwise noted as not-for-credit).  Note that these will sometimes include select programs offered outside the Divinity School but endorsed by the Craft of Teaching (i.e., listed on our schedule).

  • Submission of a Philosophy of Teaching Statement.  Upon completion of the requisite number of workshops, participants will submit a one- to two-page Philosophy of Teaching Statement that clearly articulates their self-understanding as a teacher of religion.  This document will be submitted to the Task Force on Teaching via the Program Coordinator as part of the exit protocol.  The composition of a teaching statement is an extremely valuable exercise in pedagogical self-reflection, particularly for those nearing the end of their graduate training.  It is also a standard document that candidates will use when they enter the higher education job market.  To teach the genre and to support this requirement, an annual Divinity School Philosophy of Teaching Workshop is offered as a regular part of the Craft of Teaching schedule.  While attendance at this particular workshop (which counts as an Arts of Teaching event) is not mandatory, it will greatly assist participants in writing their teachings statements for the capstone requirement.  For more information, see the Teaching Statement Requirement section below.

Since it incorporates and reflects upon the experience and skills gained through the Craft of Teaching program and one's own teaching, the submission of the Philosophy of Teaching Statement should ideally be the last requirement to be fulfilled.  The best introduction to the genre is provided by the Craft of Teaching's annual workshop on teaching statements.  If you are unable to attend the Divinity School's workshop, as an alternative you are strongly encouraged to attend the CCT's Seminar on Teaching Portfolios, which is offered every quarter. (Please note that attendance at the CCT's Seminar on Teaching Portfolios will not count toward your Craft of Teaching attendance requirements, although it will count toward the university-wide teaching certification.)   

If you are unable to attend either the Craft of Teaching or CCT workshops, or need additional help preparing your teaching statement, the following websites provide excellent overviews, writing advice, and sample statements:

Before submitting your finished statement, it is also recommended that you take advantage of consultation and review services offered by both the CCT and Grad Affairs.  More information about these services are available below:

For additional questions about the teaching statement requirement, please contact the Craft of Teaching Coordinators.

In order to track individual completion of the program requirements, participants must remember to sign in at all Craft of Teaching events.

For your convenience, you may also wish to download the printable tracking sheet as a personal log of your own progress (Word or PDF).  Please note that this form does not constitute your official attendance record; participants must still sign-in at Craft of Teaching events to receive credit for attending.

Feel free to contact the Coordinators of the Craft of Teaching to inquire about your attendance records.

What is the relationship between the Chicago Center for Teaching's (CCT) Certificate in University Teaching and the Divinity School's Certificate in the Craft of Teaching in the Academic Study of Religion?  The CCT's Certificate in University Teaching is open to all University of Chicago graduate students and represents completion of a university-wide, comprehensive program in effective college teaching.  The Certificate in the Craft of Teaching in the Academic Study of Religion is specifically designed for Divinity School PhD students to demonstrate competency in the teaching of religious studies.  The two certificate programs are independent but complementary, and we strongly encourage Divinity School students to pursue the CCT's Certificate in University Teaching to develop and to demonstrate further competency in core pedagogical concepts and skills.  While the completion of the CCT's Certificate in University Teaching is not required for the Certificate in the Craft of Teaching in the Academic Study of Religion, Divinity School students seeking the CCT's Certificate in University Teaching must complete the Certificate in the Craft of Teaching to fulfill the departmental requirement of CCT's certification (but note that the Craft of Teaching electives count toward the CCT requirement as well).  See the CCT's website for additional information about its Certificate in University Teaching.