rabbis jordan braunig, right, and tufts hillel director jeffrey summit

Professional Specializations

During the final two years of rabbinical school, students have the opportunity to specialize in one of the numerous professional tracks offered. Courses are taken as electives. There is no additional cost or additional time in school.

Rabbinical students have the option to pursue a master's degree in Jewish education, offered in partnership with the Shoolman Graduate School of Jewish Education at Hebrew College, which combines academic coursework and supervised fieldwork to prepare rabbis for careers in Jewish education. Within that program, students may choose from one of several specializations.  Additionally, all rabbinical students may pursue one of the following specializations:

Specialization in Pastoral Care

This program, offered in partnership with Andover Newton Theological School, provides academic and clinical training for students seeking to pursue a rabbinic career focused on counseling and pastoral care. Drawing on the wisdom of Jewish texts and traditions, as well as the insights of current scholarship in psychology and pastoral care, students gain the skills to accompany people through crisis points in their lives with sensitivity, sophistication and spiritual depth.

Specialization in Spiritual Care at the End-of-Life 

This program, offered in partnership with Hebrew SeniorLife, provides academic and clinical training in pastoral care specifically for hospice patients. The training consists of supervised clinical work in hospice settings as well as in-depth study of Jewish sources on caring for end-of-life patients. This program is also open to rabbis in the field. Learn more.

Specialization in Spirituality and Social Justice Leadership (NEW)*

Weaving together course work, internships, retreats and mentorship, this program prepares students to bring Jewish wisdom to bear on the most pressing issues of our time and develop the capacity to effect change through communal action. The program also recognizes and emphasizes the critical role of spiritual growth and support for effective and enduring social justice work. Read more about the program.

Specialization in Global Interreligious Leadership 

This specialization is designed to help current and future religious and communal leaders — clergy, educators, chaplains, activists, etc. — develop the knowledge and skills to serve effectively in an age of unprecedented interaction among people with different beliefs and practices. Participants will interact extensively with students enrolled in a parallel program at one of our partner institutions in the Boston Theological Institute, creating a vibrant interreligious cohort. You can read more about it here


 * These specializations are open to non-degree students as certificate programs,
    subject to meeting the appropriate prerequisites.


Degree students who want a specialization and non-degree students who want to receive a certificate must complete the appropriate paperwork with the Registrar’s office.


Rabbi Daniel Klein
Director of Admissions