Supporting the Divinity School

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When you give to the Divinity School, you are supporting the School’s rigorous and interdisciplinary curriculum that prepares our graduates to be scholars, teachers, religious leaders, and other professionals who speak publicly about religion in ways that are supremely well-informed, properly critical, and responsibly engaged. In a world in which the public discussion of religion tends toward caricature and polemic, we dare to believe that a radically different model for informed dialogue is not only possible, but essential.

Here’s what Divinity School supporters have said about their reasons for giving: 

I feel a genuine sense of gratitude for all I have gained from the Divinity School, which includes friendships that I maintain until this day, tools for better appreciating my own Orthodox tradition, and an awareness of the questions that thought, theological or otherwise, simply cannot ignore.  I very much believe in the mission of the Divinity School of fostering intellectually challenging conversation on religious questions with a view toward impacting religious, ecclesial and public discourses.

Aristotle Papanikolaou, PhD'98

Although the typical university student (Generation Y, the Millenials) today is well connected yet isolated, independent yet dependent, entitled yet hopeless, still society fails to acknowledge the role of the humanities, particularly as studied in institutions of higher learning, in addressing these issues.  Support of advanced study in the areas encompassed within the Divinity School is, to my mind, a key component in addressing such serious societal ills.

Clare Rothschild, PhD'03

I give because my education was well-funded and because I think it's important to give people who are in the situation I was in the chance to have the education I had.  I was able to take vocational risks that I could not have taken if I'd had a lot of loans for my MDiv. What I was doing was, in some sense, a tremendous luxury and I am grateful that a lot of people made it possible.

Ben Dueholm, MDiv'07 


As an alum, I give out of gratitude, and to help sustain, in a symbolic way, the critical approach to the study of religion.

John Holt, PhD'77

I was only able to attend the Divinity School because of generous financial aid, and I have given every year since I graduated as a way of not only showing my gratitude for what I received (and some years I couldn't give much), but also to help other students obtain the same wonderful--uniquely wonderful--opportunities that I have had.  I owe so much to the Divinity School -- I have a job I love, the kind of job I always dreamed of, and I wouldn't be here without all the support (intellectual, financial, moral) I got from the faculty and staff at the Divinity School.  It never occurred to me NOT to give back!   I give because of what I received, and because I want others to have the same opportunities I have been so lucky to have.

Laura Lieber, PhD'03

There’s no question that one’s loyalty to one’s graduate program will be different from one’s affection for his or her undergraduate school. I’d been a regular supporter of my college for years, with little if anything for Swift Hall, until my wife (whom I married while at Chicago—Jim Gustafson attended our wedding) told me point-blank that everything I’d accomplished professionally was due to my years at the Divinity School. She was right. It’s a debt I owe for the rest of my career, and one that I’m happy to pay, even if in installments more meager than I’d wish them to be.

Ralph Keen, PhD'90