What is the Theological Opportunity Program (TOP), Harvard?

From 1977 when Lucile was 66 years old until the early 2000s when Lucile moved from Massachusetts to Washington State to live near her children, Lucile was also a long term and loyal participant in the Theological Opportunity Program (TOP) at Harvard Divinity School.

Harvard Divinity School Theological Opportunities Program (TOP).

Lucile says:

Those attending TOP believed the process of reviewing our own lives and understanding how we have grown is something that strengths our spirits. They took turns sharing with each other….

“This religiously oriented group (TOPs)  brings together women from congregations of many faiths for two lecture series a year. The lectures in each series are in response to questions whlch we, predominantly lay women, have formulated after hours of discussion about our individual and common theologioal concerns.”

Lucile was among several UU women who actively participated. It was organized by Elizabeth Dobsen-Gray, a feminist theologian and author.

All four of Lucile’s presentations reviewing her life journey,  delivered at TOP, are included here . The fourth telling of her life story from her perspective at 81 years old , Transforming the Myths – Telling Our Stories, 4-16-1992  , is particularly insightful concerning her primary passion, understand the role of women and religion in patriarchy and how it effects all of us. Reading this will give you quite a sense of this intelligent leader and why she committed herself to look at the impacts of religion through the eyes feminism.

TOPs was coordinated by Elizabeth Dobson-Gray

ELIZABETH DODSON GRAY is a feminist theologian who is both heir and critic of our Judeo-Christian heritage. For 32 years she was Coordinator of the Theological Opportunities Program, a fall and spring lecture series begun at Harvard Divinity School in 1973. She has authored three books, edited one, and co-authored two others. In 1989 the National Film Board of Canada’s Studio D released a 19-minute film, “Adam’s World,” about her thought and work.

(Search internet for more info about Ms Dobson-Gray and images.)

TOP in present day.

WomenExplore began as T.O.P., the Theological Opportunities Program, a program at the Harvard Divinity School, in 1973 and since then more than 4,500 have participated. Find out more about those involved.

WE’s Mission Statement:   WE provides lecture series within a feminist learning community for women, to connect with the sacred dimensions of their experience and to support and encourage each other in the world community.

Each year, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, WomenExplore plans and runs two series of half-day conferences exploring topics that arise out of the participants concerns. Each series is a “course” on a single theme, with various topics each week. The conference topics and series themes emerge from the women who participate in group meetings of the Advisory Committee, open to anyone who attends a lecture, using a feminist process of sharing our lives and issues, and looking there for concerns from which to design future series. This unique method of designing the series is what makes WE so special. The issues range from the personal to the global.

One Reply to “What is the Theological Opportunity Program (TOP), Harvard?”

  1. I participated in the TOP lectures many lifetimes ago. It changed my spiritual journey and my life and I would like to reconnect. Elizabeth Dobson Grey has always been in my heart.

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