The University of Chicago Divinity School

Scholars around the world recognize the University of Chicago Divinity School as a premier institution for the study of religion. Known for uncompromising rigor, the Divinity School admits to no orthodoxy except the good argument.

From its beginnings in 1891, the Divinity School has earned this reputation. Early research in the history of religions, sociology of religion, early Christian literature, and religion and literature helped define those fields. During more recent decades, the school developed outstanding programs in Jewish, Islamic, Hindu, and Buddhist studies—a depth of eminent scholarship in world religions no other school can match. This drive to expand arenas of knowledge lies at the core of the Divinity School’s work.

A passion to share this scholarship fills out the Divinity School’s vision. It seeks to make our master’s and doctoral degree programs affordable, to educate effective teachers and leaders, and to improve public discourse about religion. The public sphere needs the tools and knowledge generated in Swift Hall.

The University of Chicago Campaign: Inquiry and Impact provides an opportunity to advance both halves of the Divinity School’s ambitions. In working toward its campaign goal, the Divinity School will increase its capacity to generate knowledge and communicate it.

To talk about religion, dean Margaret M. Mitchell has said, is to play with fire—and at the Divinity School, scholars play with fire for a living. Religion needs to be studied and understood as a complex set of phenomena that influences the world in myriad ways. The conversation is challenging and even risky, but important, and all are invited to participate.

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Priorities