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Editor’s Note: With so many course options, it can be difficult for students to narrow down which classes to take during their short time in graduate school. This blog post part one of a two-part series highlighting some of our current student’s favorite HDS classes. You can read part 2 here. Please note that these are just a few of the great courses HDS offers! The HDS Course Catalog is public, you can check out the other courses offered here. 

Reem Shaikh MTS ’21 She/Her/Hers 

Hadith Jibril: An introduction to the theological, legal, and spiritual dimensions of Islam. I really enjoyed this class because it allowed me to take a break from academia and rather approach religion from a spiritual perspective, which kept me rooted to my love for what I study.” 

Rebecca Mendoza Nunziato MTS’22 She/Her/Ella 

Moctezuma’s Mexico is an incredible course that has helped me connect to my own heritage while also clarifying my research interests. It has been especially interesting to discuss the differences of social stratification, gender, and pandemics then and now.” 

Kenashia Thompson MDiv’23 She/Her/Hers

“The best class that I’ve taken so far at HDS is Black Women, Black Church, Self Narratives taught by visiting professor, Dr. Nyasha Junior. This has been my favorite class thus far (this is only my first semester at HDS so I’m sure I’ll have others by graduation) because we are reading texts by a marginalized group; Black Women. It’s a reading-intensive course that focuses on Black American women writers. Each week, we examine classic and contemporary memoirs and autobiographies to engage the variety and distinctiveness of mostly Christian beliefs (although many of the authors grew up Christian, they found a home in other religious/non-religious bodies) and practices. We consider how race and gender inform representations of the self and how such representations speak to their social and religious contexts. I literally get to make up my own projects that fit into my interest field, only 2 projects for the whole semester, and the class discussions are amazing and typically run past the hour!” 

Madeline Levy MTS’21 (Religion, Ethics, and Politics) She/Her/Hers 

“I really can’t choose just one class; there are too many great ones! I will give a shout out to the required Theories and Methods course (and its teaching team!). It gave me a really solid (and broad) foundation for the rest of my coursework. I end up referring back to those books and articles all the time. It was also really nice to have a shared experience with my entire cohort and, moving forward in our time together, a shared framework for approaching our studies.” 

Malini Srikrishna MTS’21 They/them 

“The best class I have taken is Spiritual Care & Counseling by Prof. Cheryl Giles. This class enabled me to see trauma in a whole new light. The process of Self-care became more than healing myself, it was an opportunity to make healing possible for my whole community.” 

Sally Hammel MDiv’21 She/Her/Hers 

“New Testament with Karen King – I learned that I could learn, even though my religious background is limited, and that my voice matters.”