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Hartford Seminary Changes Name and Broadens Mission

HARTFORD, Conn. – Hartford Seminary, a 187-year-old graduate institution that fosters interreligious education, religion research, and global peacebuilding, is changing its name and broadening its mission.

Going forward, the institution will be called Hartford International University for Religion and Peace, or simply Hartford International University (HIU). The name change is the culmination of a 2-year-long strategic planning initiative that positions the university as a global leader in interreligious education, peace studies, and religion research. A new area – executive and professional education – will bring the university’s expertise to a wide array of workplaces and institutions.

“We initiated the name change to better reflect the expanded, international scope of our rigorous academic programs, research, and partnerships,” said university President Joel N. Lohr, Ph.D., who arrived in Hartford in 2018 and led the strategic initiative.

“We’re excited about our future here because the world today, more than ever before, needs the kind of education we provide,” he said. “The goal we’ve set for ourselves is to show that religion and peace are deeply connected. Or, put another way, there will be no peace in this world until there is understanding among religions.”

New Name. Bigger Mission. Same Commitment.

What won’t change is Hartford International University’s deep and longstanding commitment to interfaith dialogue and peacebuilding.

“Hartford International continues to be a pioneering, interreligious school devoted to deepening humanity’s understanding of different faiths and how we can thrive together,” Clare Feldman, Chair of the Board of Trustees, said.

The university’s new outreach through executive and professional education will bring its message to a much wider community.

“Our mission is even more relevant today, where our neighbors increasingly reflect the diversity of our world,” President Lohr said. “We speak different languages, eat different cuisine, dress differently, and practice different faiths or no faith at all. We see this as a critical – and missing – part of the diversity, equity, and inclusion conversation. Employees shouldn’t have to check an important piece of their identity at the door.”

The new Hartford International University logo has five geometric shapes that come together to form an ascending dove. The five colors of the logo represent the colors found in the flags of the world.

“We’ve created a mark that should evoke a universal response – one of hope, peace, and unity,” President Lohr said. “The Ascending Dove logo symbolizes our students journeying out into the world and then back to their communities as messengers of peace and respect. Ours is a message of hope, showing the world what interaction between religions could be.”

For more information, please review the attached fact sheet and visit Watch our name change video at this link: