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. 

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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

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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.

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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

Student Organizations at HDS: Pushing the Boundaries at WomenCircle

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Hi everyone! I’m K.C. McConnell, a current MTS student as well as a Graduate Assistant in the Office of Admissions here at HDS. Coming to graduate school, I never imagined that I would be able to participate in student-run clubs and organizations. I thought that most students in graduate school woke up, went to class, went home, and did not interact with their fellow classmates outside of informal gatherings. At HDS, I was pleasantly surprised. Not only does our school have dozens of student organizations, but many of our organizations are extremely active in life around campus.

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HDS People Feature: Zachary Davis and Ministry of Ideas

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MinistryofIdeasLogoMikaela* here! If you have been perusing our blog at all, you should all know that HDS is full of amazing people doing wonderful things. I was fortunate enough to interview one of these people for you, dear readership. What follows is an interview with HDS student Zachary Davis, whose podcast, Ministry of Ideas, was featured in a BuzzFeed article titled “27 Podcasts You Need To Start Listening to in 2018.” Read on to discover the web connecting Zach, HDS, the Religious Literacy Project (RLP), and his podcast, Ministry of Ideas. Continue reading

Some Things to Think About

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A sunny, snowy day at Andover Hall. Photo credit to the HDS Office of Communications. Photographer Kristie Welsh.

Hi, my name is Emily Rogal, and if you’ve called or emailed the Office of Admissions, I’m one of the three Graduate Assistants you’ve probably talked to. A few weeks ago, the HDS Admissions Graduate Assistants hosted a webinar specifically for those awaiting decisions for this application cycle. What follows is a condensed, blog-friendly version of the webinar with a cute, furry surprise at the end. Unlike the original webinar, this post is intended to provide food for thought for all audiences, whether you have already submitted your application or are still discerning which graduate schools you might like to attend in the future. Continue reading

Sky-Bridges and Labyrinths: The Long Wait

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HDS campus after the summer 2008 installation of the campus green and labyrinth. Photo credit to the HDS Office of Communications. Photographer Kristie Welsh.

Our HDS Admissions Blog has served many a prospective student during the application and matriculation process. I’ve compiled an annotated list of the posts that were most helpful to me during the anxious period between submitting my application, hearing back about The Decision in mid-March, and making my decision to matriculate in April. I do hope that these posts will bring comfort and insight to those awaiting decisions, those only beginning to consider HDS, and even those of us already spending evenings in Andover Library, searching for a sense of renewal in a new semester. Continue reading

The Life of a Dual-Degree Student

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Robin in Harvard Yard. Photo credit to Pepples G.

Hello everyone! My name is Robin El Kady and I am an international student from Berlin, Germany. I am currently doing a dual Master’s degree at both the Divinity School at Harvard University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. The dual-degree program has offered me a unique and incredible opportunity to juxtapose the different fields I am interested in, namely: international relations (with a focus on public international law and conflict resolution) and the interrelationships among religion, ethics and politics. Continue reading

Common Questions about the CSWR (and their answers!)

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While giving tours to prospective HDS students, I am sure to bring them to see the Center for the Study of World Religions (CSWR). However, even as a current student and a Graduate Assistant in the Office of Admissions, I felt that I did not know as much about the CSWR as I would have liked, so I arranged to meet with Dorie Goehring, the Staff Assistant at the CSWR. I was surprised to learn that Dorie graduated from HDS with a Master of Divinity in Islamic studies and theology in 2016. It is always great to hear how HDS Alums continue to support and engage the HDS community.

Read our conversation below to learn more about the CSWR! Continue reading