Mission Statement

Hartford Seminary is an educational institution where a consciousness of God is cultivated and shared. We believe strong religious institutions and healthy communities of faith are necessary BEC_5765to the well being of individuals and society. We affirm the goodness of religious differences that exist in the world and we support faithful living in a pluralistic and multi-faith environment. We are committed to the pursuit of knowledge and academic excellence, to the understanding of religion and spirituality as they are lived out in daily life, to the exploration of issues of gender, race and class, and to education that integrates the many dimensions of human experience.


Hartford Seminary serves God

  • By preparing leaders, students, scholars and religious institutions to understand and live faithfully in today’s multi-faith and pluralistic world;
  • By teaching, research, informing the public and engaging persons in dialogue;
  • By affirming the particularities of faith and social context while openly exploring differences and commonalities


These are the values expressed in our programs and within our common life as Trustees, Faculty and Staff of Hartford Seminary:

We seek as people of faith to serve God humbly;

We are committed to the love of God and love of stranger;

We celebrate our Christian foundation;

As part of our fidelity to that foundation, we affirm our historic and continuing commitment to Christian-Muslim dialogue and commit to further dialogue with Judaism and other religious traditions;

We acknowledge the importance of spirituality in living out our mission and the value of ritual and symbol within the spiritual life;

We affirm the common humanity of all people;

We are a community that seeks to be a safe place for disparate voices;

We welcome both those who affirm the traditional voices in faith communities and those who carry doubts regarding those traditions. We seek fresh ways of relating faith, practice, and reason to modern life;

We commit to a justice that moves us beyond toleration to critical engagement in an environment of trust;

We cultivate a community committed to the scholarly pursuit of truth and its practical embodiment;

We strive for excellent and creative teaching and learning experiences throughout the curriculum;

We affirm high quality research, especially that which bridges the theoretical and applied;

We seek practices that embody integrity in our professional and institutional life;

We commit to diversity in our Seminary community;

And we believe in education that is transformative, creative and empowering, enabling people to contribute more fully to their faith-based and civic communities.


The statement of purpose and values that has set our direction for the past decade is the result of a planning process initiated prior to our 2003 self-study. It has been revisited in two subsequent planning processes, both of which retained it as the official, board-approved statement. The purpose and values statement sets forth a set of broad themes that continue to frame the nature and character of our work. These include:

  • The embrace of a set of ongoing educational commitments -e.g., preparing leaders, students, scholars and religious institutions by teaching, research, public education and dialogue across a diversity of faith traditions;
  • A fundamental commitment to multi-faith work with a core commitment to historical strengths in Christianity and Islam, and Judaism;
  • A fundamental commitment to faith-based education and to balancing scholarly understanding, spiritual development and their lived, practical embodiment;
  • The presumption that faith and its practice are contextual;
  • An approach to multi-faith and other forms of social diversity that seeks to deepen one’s understanding and practice of his or her particularities and then connects with the “other” dialogically.

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Hartford Seminary