Our rabbinical program stresses hands-on, reflective learning that is integrated across instructional areas. It cultivates knowledge, skills and character along with passion for Jewish tradition, the Jewish people and social and environmental justice.
Our curriculum, which reflects the Reconstructionist view of Judaism as an evolving religious civilization, offers a chronological introduction to Jewish wisdom. This approach brings students into a dialogue with what came before and primes them to imagine what can come next.
We prepare students for the practical aspects of being a rabbi with courses in liturgy, education, homiletics, counseling, group work and administration.
Some students choose to explore various contexts for rabbinical work as they fulfill the required two years of approved field experience. Others choose to specialize in a particular area such as congregational service, campus work or social justice . Also available is a joint master's degree programs in Jewish education through a cooperative arrangement with Gratz College.
We teach students to read, declaim, converse and write in Hebrew and to analyze the texts they will need for rabbinical work. All of our rabbinical students must become skilled in Hebrew, both classical and modern, as determined by our faculty.
Read more about the cutting-edge approach to Hebrew language study we offer at the Becker Media Center.
Students spend their third or fourth year of the program in Israel—learning with leading scholars, and experiencing contemporary Israeli culture and society. We encourage students to pursue individual goals and interests during their time in Israel; read more about our diverse program.
RRC was the first rabbinical seminary to require students to learn about faiths other than Judaism. Our courses about Christianity and Islam integrate academic learning and supervised community service in a multifaith context. Rabbi Nancy Fuchs Kreimer, '82, Ph.D., a widely recognized pioneer in the field, leads the Department of Multifaith Studies and Initiatives. Learn more.
The Social Justice Organizing Program trains rabbis to lead in creating a socially just, environmentally sustainable and spiritually fulfilling society. It is the first specialized academic track at a Jewish seminary to focus on justice organizing. And the values and goals of the program inform academic and community life throughout RRC. Rabbi Mordechai Liebling, '85, a longtime leader in Jewish social justice, directs the program. Learn more.
With the generous support of the Nathan Cummings Foundation, RRC was the first rabbinical training institution to establish a comprehensive program in spiritual direction—a contemplative practice to help those who seek to discern God's presence in their lives. Although the program is completely voluntary, 75 percent of our students participate each year. Spiritual direction group sessions also meet monthly throughout the school year. Read more.
Students also may participate in spiritual hevrutah, or pairing; duos meet for an hour weekly to discuss their respective spiritual journeys.
Studying in pairs in a Bet Midrash setting is the best way to prepare for text courses. Advanced students are available to assist their colleagues. Bet Midrash sessions are an integral part of our evolving curriculum; during the first two years of the new rabbinical program, students will engage in two hours of Bet Midrash study related to their coursework each week. Read more about what’s new in our curriculum as of the 2013-14 academic year.