Reflecting on Theological Education Day

Post by: Kate Hoeting, MTS ‘21 and Graduate Assistant in the Office of Admissions 

I can’t believe that Theological Education Day (TED), our annual open house for prospective students, has come and gone! I had so much fun getting to meet you all that it was sad to see you all go. If you couldn’t make it to TED this year, let me offer you a brief overview. 

Graduate Assistant Julia Reimann welcomes visitors on the morning of TED  
Photo Courtesy of KATE HOETING 
What TED is…What TED is not…
 ► A jam-packed day filled with information panels, campus tours, and opportunities to visit classes
 ► A time to talk with current students, professors, denominational councilors, and Admissions staff
 ► An event designed to help prospective students decide if divinity school is right for them by introducing them to Harvard Divinity School’s programs and atmosphere
 ► An opportunity to shower the Graduate Assistants with questions about Harvard Divinity School, which you can continue to do by emailing
 ► TED is not the only opportunity to visit campus! Anytime during the academic year you can check out our Admissions visit calendar and sign up to sit in on classes or go on a campus tour.
 ► TED is not, despite its name, just for people who are interested in “theology” or “education.” (Who would think that? Certainly not me back when I was applying to HDS…)
 ► TED 2019 is not gone forever even though it’s over! You can find videos of panels and other events from TED 2019 on HDS’ YouTube channel, which is also filled with other goodies like lectures and interviews.

So what actually happened at TED? Here’s a list of some of our panels: 

  • Introduction to the MDiv, MTS, ThM, & PhD Curricula 
  • Ministry at HDS—What You Don’t Know Might Surprise You 
  • Considering HDS Mid-Career 
  • What is Community Life Like at HDS? 
  • Planning Your Future—Admissions and Financial Aid 
  • Studying the World’s Religions at the Center for the Study of World Religions

Concurrent with these panels, TED attendees could choose to visit faculty, denominational counselors, and staff office hours. Prospective students could also sit in on classes such as the following: 

  • Buddhist Chaplaincy: Spiritual Foundations in Caregiving Practice 
  • Religious Literacy and the Professions I: Government and Humanitarian Action 
  • Islamic Ethics: Between Reason, Revelation and Reform 
  • Unitarian and Universalist History in the United States  
  • Covenant, Conversion, and Intermarriage 

And many more! 

Speaking of showering the Graduate Assistants with questions, I couldn’t believe how many great questions I heard people ask during TED. Here are a few common questions that I heard: 

  • Does the MDiv thesis need to be a written paper? No! Because HDS students have such different career goals and vocations, our degrees are very flexible to accommodate that diversity. In the 3rd year of the MDiv, students can write a formal academic thesis or engage in another creative or community-oriented project that makes sense for their personal interests.
  • How do students make enough money to afford rent? You’re looking at my ticket to the big bucks right now! Many students at HDS have part-time jobs—mine is working as a Graduate Assistant in the Office of Admissions. Students who are work-study eligible could find part-time jobs working as office assistants, library workers, or research assistants. If you peruse Facebook and Craigslist long enough, you’ll be able to get a sense of where the good rent deals are in Cambridge, Sommerville, and Boston. 
  • Is the GRE really optional? Yes! We encourage you to think about your specific application and decide if taking the GRE is right for you. Do you feel like one aspect of your application, such as your GPA, isn’t as strong as it could be? Have you been out of school for some time and are looking for a way to show that you’re ready for graduate-level work? Then the GRE may be a helpful addition to your application! It’s really on a case-by-case basis. As always, if you need guidance, feel free to email us at We’re happy to help! 

Editor’s Note: Remember, if you missed TED 2019, you can come visit campus, chat with current HDS students at, or set up a phone call with one of the Graduate Assistants to learn more about HDS! If you’re planning to apply for the 2020-21 academic year, remember that if you are admitted you’ll be invited to our Open House for Admitted Students, which will have similar opportunities as TED. For those of you applying in the years to come, we hope to see you next year at TED 2020. 

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