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

  • Another Apparent Sikh Hate Crime in NYC

    Originally Published in The Huffington Post Two years ago, the nation came together when a white supremacist entered a gurdwara in Oak Creek, Wisconsin and opened fire on the congregation. It was the most lethal attack on an American house of worship since the 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. […]

  • The Ark’s Physical Resurgence

    In the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the construction of Ark Encounter, or "Ark Park" as it has become informally known, has commenced.  Marketed as "edu-tainment," the theme park, based on the Noah narrative in the Hebrew scriptures, will be, according to the website, "the largest timber-frame structure in the USA."  The first phase of the construction […]

  • Sikh’ing Equal Treatment: Why FIBA’s rules are discriminatory, unfair and have no place in international sports competition.

    Originally Published on The Cauldron of medium.com International basketball’s governing body, the Federation Interenationale de Basket-ball (“FIBA”), will meet in Spain next week to determine the fate of religious freedom in the sport. Presently, FIBA rules do not allow its players to wear religious articles of faith, including the traditional Sikh turban or the Muslim […]

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 […]