Leaders in Inter-Religious Education

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Inter-religious leadership has to be cultivated, fostered, and supported. Please help support CIRCLE educate a new generation of inter-religious leaders across the country.

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Founded in 2008 with a generous grant from the Henry Luce Foundation, CIRCLE is a joint initiative of Andover Newton Theological School (ANTS) and Hebrew College (HC). CIRCLE’s mission is to help prepare religious and ethical leaders for service in a religiously diverse society through the cultivation of authentic relationships across lines of difference. CIRCLE engages seminary and graduate students, academics, and communal leaders locally and nationally through our in-person and online initiatives. It is our conviction that through study, dialogue, research, and joint action, we can help to heal and transform the world. 


In 2001, Hebrew College (HC) moved from Brookline, Massachusetts to a new hilltop campus in Newton it would share with Andover Newton Theological School (ANTS). Two years later, Hebrew College, which began in 1921 as a secular cultural institution, created a rabbinical school. For the last ten years, the staff and students of the newest Jewish seminary and the oldest Protestant seminary in the country—Andover Newton’s roots go back to the founding of Andover Seminary in 1807—have formed a partnership that has changed the way both schools think about their educational goals and the nature of their communities. Newton’s “Institution Hill,” named for the other ancestor of Andover Newton, the Newton Baptist Institute, has become “Faith Hill.”

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State of Formation

Latest Articles

  • The Immigration Office

    The Ufficio di Immigrazione of Rome is in a remote location, so remote that it feels like a final test of the long journey of immigrants to Italy. One has to make their way to Termini, Rome’s central train station, then find a commuter rail out to Tor Sapienza, a dusty suburb on the outskirts […]

  • Appropriate Qualifications

    It makes sense that if you want to get ahead in higher education, you should pursue graduate and doctoral studies. Setting an example for the students is one of the most powerful tools we have as educators. We set ourselves in front of the classroom and say 'if I can manage student loan debt, working […]

  • The Valley of the Shadow of Death – Seeking a Jewish Afterlife

    A month ago, my mother-in-law's brother passed away suddenly and unexpectedly. Tom (may his memory be for a blessing), was far too young, too healthy, and too committed to his family for anyone to accept his sudden death as anything but a shock. When leaving the funeral, my mother-in-law, Linda -- who is a catholic […]

Inter-Religious Studies

Current Journal

  • JIRS: Spring 2014

    The articles in this issue of the Journal of Inter-Religious Studies are examples of the broad scope of scholarship and the challenging questions that are laying the foundation for scholars of interreligious studies to study and analyze the Holocaust and its implications. Each article in its own way illustrates the different approaches and the complexities of the issues that arise. Rachel Baum, Khaleel Mohammed, and John Roth write about the ways in which conversations about the Holocaust influenced their Jewish-Christian-Muslim trialogue. Daniel Langton gives an overview of post-Holocaust Jewish theology and its possible application for broader multifaith conversations. A roundtable discussion by a group of Christian seminary professors and scholars illustrates how post-Holocaust Christian theology has informed their teaching. Professor Beverly Mitchell analyzes how her study of the Holocaust and of slavery has shaped her theological emphasis on the significance of human dignity and the way she teaches her courses on human rights. Finally, several members of the State of Formation speak about the impact of their recent visit to the USHMM in Washington, D.C.

  • “The Holocaust and Its Implications for Contemporary Interreligious Studies: An introduction to this issue of the Journal of Inter-religious Studies,” by Victoria J. Barnett

    History as a discipline, and this history in particular, can offer powerful insights into such engagement. Historical work gives us the concrete record and the actual details that must be considered when we attempt to draw theological and ethical conclusions. The historical record of religious leaders and communities during the Holocaust is a complex one […]

  • “Know Before Whom You Stand,” by John K. Roth

    In the summer of 1995, I arrived in Norway for a sabbatical year that included research about the ways in which Nazi Germany’s “Final Solution” targeted even the very small population of Norwegian Jews who lived north of the Arctic Circle. The items on my “to do” list included meeting an early August application deadline […]