How to Apply: Statement of Purpose


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Post by: Natalie Solis, MTS 2020, HDS Office of Admissions Graduate Assistant 

As part of our “How to Apply” series, I will be going over best practices for the statement of purpose. I do hope that you find this advice helpful during your writing process. Please check back soon for the next and final post in this series featuring common questions about the reapplication process. Don’t forget to take a look at the first two parts in this series, “How to Apply: Letters of Recommendation,” and “How to Apply: Test Scores.”  Continue reading

How To Apply: Test Scores


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Post by: Jarred Batchelor-Hamilton, MDiv 2020, HDS Office of Admissions Graduate Assistant 

Every year, we receive a large quantity of questions about various aspects of the application. This year, we thought it would be helpful to publish a series of posts to answer some of the most commonly asked questions. Last week, we published a Q & A about letters of recommendation. This week, we decided to focus on test scores. Please check back soon to see the next post in our series, “How to Apply: Statement of Purpose.”   Continue reading

How to Apply: Letters of Recommendation


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Post by: Mikaela Allen, MTS 2019, HDS Office of Admissions Graduate Assistant

Every year, we receive a large quantity of questions about various aspects of the application. This year, we thought it would be helpful to publish a series of posts to preemptively answer some of the more popular questions we receive. Please check back soon to see the next post in our series, “How to Apply: Test Scores.” Continue reading

Fall 2018 GRE Prep Book Raffle



Post by: Mikaela Allen, MTS Candidate 19′, HDS Admissions Graduate Assistant

GRE raffle 2018

Divinity Chapel

Hi blog readers! Good news, the HDS Office of Admissions is hosting a raffle to give away five Princeton Review GRE prep books for current and future HDS applicants. As a current student, I remember how stressful preparing for the GRE was for me, but I also know that a good prep book goes a long way. A free GRE book is even better! If you are interested in participating in this raffle, all you have to do is fill out this form by 12:00 PM EST on November 26th when we will pull 5 winners and send them each a copy of The Princeton Review’s “Cracking the GRE: 2018 Edition.”

Good luck and happy Thanksgiving!

DivEx: A Year Later


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Post by: Natalie Solis, MTS 2021 

Read on to learn about HDS’ Diversity and Explorations Program as well as Theological Education Day from DivEx alum and current student, Natalie Solis. Please see the bottom of this post for more information about DivEx and TED. 

Solis DivEx photo 2

Natalie Solis, author, in front of Andover Hall, DivEx 2017

Whether you have dreamt about going to HDS for years or are still discerning whether Divinity School is the right path for you, the Diversity and Explorations program is an extremely helpful introduction to HDS. Just one year ago, I was getting ready for DivEx. Now, I am pursuing my MTS with a concentration in Religions of the Americas and working as a Graduate Assistant at the HDS Office of Admissions. DivEx was a crucial part of my journey to HDS. As a first-generation college student and religion major at the University of Southern California, I learned about HDS early in my undergraduate career from professors who attended HDS. Since I am planning to pursue a career in academia, I sought out faculty advice when I was applying to graduate school last year. In speaking with HDS alum and USC Dean of Religious Life, Varun Soni, he encouraged me to apply to DivEx.   Continue reading

“Pray and Play”: Spiritual Care Through the Lens of the Child


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Post by: Ben Freeman, MDiv 2020

Read on to learn about the intersection of play, experimentation, and the practical applications of an MDiv degree.

Mary Robinson, former Director of Chaplaincy at Boston Children’s Hospital, has said that “play is the spiritual work of childhood.” This thought, though sometimes missing the qualifier “spiritual,” runs through the work of many luminaries of child development and education, among them Jean Piaget, Maria Montessori, and (Mr.) Fred Rogers. This summer, while completing my first unit of Clinical Pastoral Education at Hebrew SeniorLife, concentrating on the spiritual care of LGBT elders, Robinson was a guest facilitator, presenting on developmentally appropriate spiritual care of children. Though I loved working with elders, my professional identity had always been based around children, and I found the guest session profoundly invigorating. The idea that among a chaplain’s many roles in a children’s hospital, one is to be the friend that temporarily allows kids to just be kids particularly resonated with me. In that moment several things clicked simultaneously: pediatric chaplaincy might be a powerful crucible in which to integrate my training as an educator and artist with my burgeoning identity as a spiritual care provider, pediatric chaplaincy a generative evolution of my long-standing love of kids.  Continue reading

Meaning Making in Morocco: Exploring Race and Buddhist Ministry 


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Post by: Ismail Buffins, Master of Divinity (MDiv) ‘20; Social Justice Chair, HDS Student Association (HDSSA)

Read on to learn about an MDiv student’s explorations of family, race, and Buddhist ministry this past summer. 


Ismail and his uncle, Luqman

This summer, I went to Morocco to familiarize and develop a relationship with disparate elements of my family, all while studying the relationship between Buddhist soteriology, racial justice, and political praxis via interviews and reading. My interviews took place with my uncle, Luqman. He is a child of the Great Migration and a devout Muslim. I spent lots of time gleaning stories from him. These stories came together to form a cloth, one in which I could explore the living quality of an individual’s search for spiritual fulfillment and racial justice. Racial violence was no stranger to my family. My grandfather fled white terror twice. Initially, he left Memphis as a teen on warning from a family associate that violence was coming his way for not staying in his place. The second time, he left Cleveland for New York because of a violent loan shark. My father and my uncle both served in the Marines in the early 1950’s and afterwards converted to Islam at the Nation of Islam’s Temple No. 7, the masjid where Malcolm X was minister. They were not raised religiously; their conversion to the Nation was motivated by a sense of empowerment and belonging. My uncle served as driver for Malcolm for some time and my father as a captain in the Nation. After the deaths of Malcolm X and Elijah Muhammad, my uncle moved away from the Nation. In the 1980’s he decided to leave the United States to live in Morocco. Much like his father, he was leaving a region that he felt was unsafe for a Black man. Morocco was also place he found he could practice his religion more easily. Continue reading

New Year, New Team: Introducing our 2018-2019 Graduate Assistants


Hi everyone! My name is Mikaela and I am both a second year MTS student, and a second year Graduate Assistant in the Office of Admissions. This year, our office is fortunate to welcome two new, wonderful Graduate Assistants, Natalie Solis and Tessa Evoy who are here to help you navigate the application and discernment process. If you call, email, or visit HDS this year, you will likely talk to one or more of us.  Because we think it is important for all of you to know who we are, we’ve including short introductions below. Continue reading

Summers of a Graduate Student


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Post by: Jarred Hamilton, Master of Theological Studies (MTS), Women, Gender, Sexuality, and Religion; Graduate Assistant, HDS Office of Admissions.

Hi everyone! My name is Jarred Hamilton and I am the new Graduate Assistant for the summer in the Office of Admissions. I am originally from Raleigh, North Carolina and I majored in English and Art History at UNC Charlotte. I am going into my 2nd year of the MTS degree studying a combination of sexuality and medieval forms of sanctity in the high and late middle ages.

Continue reading

School’s Out for Summer


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Post by: Emily Rogal, Master of Divinity Student ’20; Graduate Assistant, HDS Office of Admissions

As the school year comes to a close, the other Graduate Assistants and myself are reflecting on how unbelievable it is that it’s already been a full academic year since we first stepped onto the campus as students. It’s been a year full of making new friends, taking interesting classes, late night paper writing sessions at Andover library, navigating Harvard Yard, drinking fancy lattes from Tatte (that might just be me), and, of course, talking to the wonderful prospective students! As summer rapidly approaches, current students such as ourselves are putting the last touches on our summer plans. To give some insight into what a summer may look like for an HDS student, here is what we are planning to do. Enjoy! Continue reading