As you deliberate on your plans for the upcoming academic year, you might be curious about how our current students decided to commit to HDS. Below, second year MTS student Cody Musselman reflects on how her experience at our Admitted Students Open House confirmed that she would thrive here at HDS.
In the spring of 2013, I arrived in Boston for the Admitted Students Open House at Harvard Divinity School. I was nervous and still unsure about whether or not I should attend in the fall. I was fortunate to have other offers and to be in the position of finding the best fit for my ambitions, interests, lifestyle, and personality. It was a wonderful, yet overwhelming position to be in. Visiting the schools in person, I had decided, was the best way to determine the proper fit.
I have always found strong community in singing groups. In high school, I sang with the same women’s choir for all four years, and some of those ladies are still my best friends. In both high school and college, I sang in church choirs, and even though I wasn’t sure I believed every word of every song we sang, I loved it. I love the feeling of singing in harmony with other voices, loved holding down the alto (and sometimes tenor!) part and hearing how it blended with other parts to create an amazing piece of music. I love how easily I feel comfortable around other singers, how quickly I can bond over yet another boring alto part or the excitement of how rumblingly low the bass part gets.
When coming to HDS, I had high hopes of finding a singing group I would love. Maybe I would join a community church choir! Maybe a Harvard choral society! Maybe both! As the realities of the time commitments of grad school set in, however, I have been very grateful for the HDS Noon Service Choir and the opportunity it has provided me to join a wonderful community of singers.
An atheist in Divinity School. A Urantia Book reader who wants to create community for the unaffiliated. Someone who loves attending high church services who identifies one day as spiritual but not religious and the next as agnostic and the next as questioning and the next as a potential Unitarian Universalist and the next as confused. A humanist who is in the process of fellowship for ordination as a Unitarian Universalist minister. What do we all have in common? On the face of it, nothing. And we call ourselves the Nones. Continue reading
To be honest, when I came to HDS for admitted students day I was looking for excuses not to come here. I had just graduated from Emory and received a job offer to stay there and work. I was afraid to leave my comfort zone filled with friends, relationships, and work. But I knew I couldn’t just turn down Harvard without a good reason, so I decided to come to the Admitted Students Day and find a reason why HDS was not for me. The quickest way to do that, I realized, was to discover that there was no real community here and, thus, it was not a place where I could be successful.
GRE scores, GPA, extracurricular activities, lectures and presentations…many things go into making a candidate look good on paper. Yet the personal statement and the letters of recommendation really bring an application to life. They show the admissions committee a bit of who you are. Now, having been accepted to Harvard Divinity School, and perhaps several other institutions, you are on the flipside of the admissions experience.
The first thing I noticed when I arrived at Harvard is that there is always some interesting lecture to attend, a visit by a favorite academic/practitioner, or even a student group to get involved in. In addition to trying to keep up with your classes, how are you supposed to make time for the lecture by Malala Yousafzai or the impromptu visit by Kanye West and Kim Kardashian at the Harvard Graduate School of Design? Truth be told, it can all be a little overwhelming. Sure, there’s the constant joke that FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) is alive and well at Harvard. But there’s another way to look at it: there’s never a lack of opportunities within Harvard to get involved in the things you care about. Continue reading
Academics, Admissions, Alumni, BTI, Classes, Clubs, CSWR, Field Ed, HBS, HGSE, HKS, Housing, MDiv, MIT, Noon Service, Ph.D., Pluralism Project, Prospective Students, Research, Student Life, Thoreau, UU, Work-Study
As I was learning about HDS through the website and preparing my application, I started imagining what it would be like to actually be there. If you’ve applied for the Fall, I bet you’ve wondered that, too. And, if you’re anything like me, you’re probably anxious to hear back from Admissions in mid-March and wondering what to do with yourself until then. The anxiety was nightmarish for me, but that didn’t stop me from dreaming. I mean, if you’re gonna worry about the worst possible outcome, you may as well imagine the best, too, right? So stay positive and start visioning.
Buddhism, Catholic, Clubs, Community, Community Tea, Evangelical, Faculty, Friends, Hear & Now, Humanist, HUUMS, Interfaith, Jewish, Ministry, Muslim, Noon Service, Retreats, RSL, Spirituality, Staff, UU, WomenCircle
I see Harvard Divinity School as a spiritual community, within which there are many distinct spiritual communities. HDS is full of kind, caring, altruistic people, because that’s who the school attracts. Classmates, faculty, and staff have all ministered to me and supported me through difficult times. I often have conversations with people that inspire or challenge me to be my best self (like a good sermon). The Divinity School, like we say at my church, is “a place where we practice being human.”
Community Tea on Tuesday afternoons is like “Coffee Hour” at church to me. It’s when Continue reading
I sat across from him in the pub during orientation week. It was one of the pub-nights organized for us to make friends or something. Of the infinite threads of social conversation, of course I, being an overzealous new Divinity School student, wanted to talk about religion. “I think,” I explained, “that I see the Bible like a series of expanding concentric circles centered on Jesus.” He didn’t know what I meant. I didn’t know what I meant. What I was trying to say was that I seek to believe the Bible with the most ‘plain sense’ reading I could and follow it accordingly. I just wanted to say it in a way that didn’t make me sound stupid.