Summer Language Courses

Registration is now closed.  – May 21, 2024

Each summer, Yale Divinity School offers opportunities for language study in a 6-week intensive format.  Each course is fully comparable in scope and intent with two semesters of language work taken during a regular academic year and earns six hours of credit. Instruction is offered in Elementary Biblical Hebrew and Elementary New Testament Greek. Courses are designed specifically to equip students for entry into an intermediate level language course the following fall and/or for taking exams associated with their ordination.  Courses are offered in a synchronous remote format.

Please note: these summer language courses are separate from the Yale Divinity School Summer Study program and require a separate registration and payment (linked at the top of this page).


Enrollment is open to current and incoming Yale Divinity School students and to others interested and capable of doing intensive, graduate level language study. All courses meet daily, Monday – Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Classes begin in late May and do not meet on Memorial Day, Juneteenth, or July 4th. Due to the intensive nature of the instruction attendance at all class sessions is critically important.


Courses are graded on the Divinity School letter grade system (H, HP, LP) but students may request to be graded on the Credit/No Credit scale by submitting the Grade Mode Change Request form by the stated deadline.

Tuition and fees

Tuition is waived for current and incoming students of Yale Divinity School.  Tuition for all others will be billed through YalePay, Yale’s tuition billing and payment platform. A $50 non-refundable fee is required of all applicants. The application fee for current Yale students and incoming YDS students will be posted to student accounts in YalePay.  All others must pay by check made payable to Yale Divinity School and mailed to Registrar’s Office, Yale Divinity School, 409 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511. 

For non-Yale students, registrations will be processed upon receipt of the application fee. After the registration is processed, information about activating the Yale netid and email and about accessing the course site in the Canvas course platform will be provided.


Following successful completion of the course, students will earn six Yale Divinity School credits. Transcripts of the study will be made available to all students.


The following courses are offered:

REL 3608 Elementary Biblical Hebrew—Summer Intensive

This class offers a comprehensive introduction to Biblical Hebrew in six weeks. Daily sessions focus on Hebrew grammar, beginning with the alphabet and concluding with the translation of a number of texts from the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible. This course assumes no prior knowledge of Hebrew or any other foreign language. Completion of REL 3608 earns six hours of credit, equivalent to two full semester classes. Upon completion of the course, students will be able to read prose passages and some poetry passages from the Hebrew Bible with the help of a lexicon. This course prepares students to take Intermediate Hebrew and Biblical Exegesis I (REL 574), as well as a range of Hebrew Exegesis courses offered at YDS during the academic year.

REL 3609, Elementary New Testament Greek—Summer Intensive

This intensive six-week course is the equivalent of a two-semester course covering the basics of New Testament, or Koine, Greek. The course begins by focusing on the grammar, syntax, and vocabulary needed to begin reading the New Testament and the Septuagint. As students gain greater facility with Greek, this course shifts to reading New Testament and early Christian texts with greater speed and accuracy, as well as understanding the critical apparatus found in the standard editions of the Greek New Testament. No prior knowledge of Greek is assumed. The course starts with the alphabet and continues from there. Completion of REL 3609 earns six hours of credit, equivalent to two full semester classes. This intensive course prepares students to take Intermediate New Testament Greek (REL 518) as well as a range of Greek Exegesis courses offered at YDS during the academic year.

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Summer 2024 course information

Course instructors: 

REL 3608, Elementary Biblical Hebrew: Mark Lester ( Mark Lester has been teaching summer Hebrew at Yale since 2017. He holds a Ph.D. from Yale (focusing on Hebrew Bible 2020). He is currently an Instructor in the Department of Theology at Loyola University, Chicago.

REL 3609 Elementary New Testament Greek: Chris Atkins ( Chris Atkins has been teaching summer Biblical Greek at Yale since 2023. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Classics and Religious Studies at Yale where he is writing a dissertation on the interrelationship between ritual practices and philosophical discourses in Greco-Roman antiquity.

Course tuition: $3,673 

Format: synchronous remote. 

Dates: Courses run from May 21st through July 3rd. Classes do not meet on May 27th or June 19th. 


Registration deadline: May 7, 2024

Tuition refund dates for course withdrawals:

  • Withdrawal by 5:00 pm on May 23  – full refund 
  • Withdrawal by 5:00 pm on May 31  – 50% refund 
  • Withdrawal after 5:00 pm on May 31  – no tuition refund

Deadline to request CR/NC grading: June 11 by 5 pm