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Editor’s Note: We had such an impressive collection of applicants this year, so we’re launching a three-part series to introduce you to some members of our incoming class! We’re publishing this post to celebrate student orientation, which is happening online this week. During student orientation—online or in person—students have the opportunity to get to know their fellow classmates, explore student organizations, and meet their faculty advisors. This is part one of a three-part series—you can also check out part two and part three.

Annie Hanock, MDiv ‘23, studying spiritual caregiving and multifaith chaplaincy 

As a nonreligious person, I was originally really drawn to HDS as a nonsectarian divinity school where I would be able to take part in theological study without committing to a specific religion or practice myself. Although I’m not entirely certain what path my studies as a Master of Divinity student will follow, I do hope to become a multifaith chaplain, and I look forward to learning more about spiritual guidance and counseling, liberation theologies, and religious spaces/communities in general as conduits for revolutionary change. Although COVID has made it pretty much impossible to prepare for my first year at HDS as I had originally imagined I would, I have been really lucky to be able to dedicate a lot of time throughout these past couple of months to some hardcore personal/spiritual reflection (usually while sewing potholders or knitting dishtowels in preparation for my move to Cambridge), which I hope will help guide me as I begin my studies. 

Courtney Godwin, MTS ‘22 focusing on Literature and Culture  

At HDS I plan to continue studying relationships between religion, environmentalism, and intersectional feminism through literature. I chose HDS because of the students! Every one of my peers that I’ve had the privilege to meet is brilliant, compassionate, and hard-working. This summer I have been doing an internship with the Society of Biblical Literature as their Coordinator of Programming Initiatives and taking the Spanish Summer Language Program

Patrick Downes, MDiv ‘23, studying chaplaincy and sacred space 

At HDS, I plan to study toward chaplaincy, but this is a broad contemplation, one that includes contemplative care and Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) alongside landscape architecture and considerations of sacred space. I applied to HDS after a long, long history of fighting vocation, of fleeing the Divine. This summer, I finished a draft of a novel, my fourth, and I’m wondering if I have enough time for a little more creative work before turning toward school.