Grace Harrington Graduating Class '21

Grace Harrington

Thank you so much for asking me to represent the student experience for the department!

What made you decide to pursue graduate work? 

Dr. Walsh spoke with me after class one day and told me that I should continue my education in religious studies. I had never considered a career in religion before, let alone realize it could be a path for me to take.

What will you be studying?

I will be earning a masters of theological studies geared towards Christian history.

What are your career goals?

My career goals aren't concrete yet. I'd love to be a professor in religious studies and write books on the side, but let's see where the master's takes me first!

Where will you be going to graduate school?

I will be attending Boston University School of Theology this fall!

How did your work in the Religious Studies department contribute to your decision to go to grad school? 

The subjects I was studying were so interesting to me that I knew I had to continue my education. All of my religion classes were outstanding. After taking a couple classes, I knew I wanted to change courses from political science.

What skills (e.g., critical thinking) did you learn from the study of religion that might help you in your studies/work as you move forward?

Studying religion really rewired my brain in terms of critical thinking. When answering tough questions, I'm a lot more thoughtful and careful with my answers. I do much more research and contextualize my work. It's made me a much better writer. Religion has allowed me to study history, politics, philosophy, language, ethics, and more. I'm so grateful to have studied at UM under incredible professors who are well known in their fields. The religion department is the hidden gem of UM Arts and Sciences. If you're thinking about law school, a major or minor in religion might be very helpful, especially in terms of improving critical thinking.

What advice can you give to other students who might be thinking about applying to graduate school?

First, congratulations, this is a very exciting time in your life. Second, buckle up and be prepared to spend months on an application. I'd suggest starting the summer before senior year to plan out all the materials you need to put together to have a cohesive application that is true to you. 

What advice can you give to students who might be considering a Religious Studies major/minor?

Do it. If you want to understand how the world works, studying religion is the most comprehensive path. Try out courses that place you out of your comfort zone. Don't just study what you know because you don't know what you don't know! Lastly, if you can make it happen, study abroad in Rome.

What is the one thing you will never forget about studying religion at UM? (a favorite memory, topic, reading, project)

This is the easiest question. Nothing in undergrad will top my experience abroad at URome. If I can give one piece of advice to my fellow Canes, it's to do this program. You'll eat pasta every day while living and learning in the most beautiful city in the world.