This Week: Oct. 31 - Nov. 6

Published: October 28, 2011


Registration beings on Monday, October 31.


Registration tips and reminders:

  • Check your account status before trying to register.  If you have any holds on your account, you will not be able to register until the hold is released.
  • If you have any trouble with your PIN, email for assistance.
  • Students cannot register through WIN for non-Divinity courses. In order to register for courses in the Department of Religion or in other University schools or departments, you will need to fill out the appropriate form (see  Forms, Procedures and Policies under Academic Resources). The CRN numbers for all University courses can be found in WIN, Info Central, Registrar, Spring Courses.  Susan Robinson, administrative assistant for the Office of the Academic Dean, processes these forms.
  • Elective courses have limited enrollment.  If you are unable to register for an elective course because the class enrollment limit has been reached, email Susan Robinson at to let her know you want to be alerted if seats become available in the course. No changes to enrollment limits will be made before Friday, November 4.
  • Students who want to enroll in an independent study course (IDS) must first secure the permission of the instructor with whom she or he wants to study. To register for an IDS course, you must complete an IDS form (see  Forms, Procedures and Policies under Academic Resources) and submit it to the Office of the Academic Dean. Students must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 to qualify for an IDS course.


A Reflection for Spring 2012 Registration Week

Forever — is composed of Nows —

      – Emily Dickinson 

On the first day of Spring registration, October 31, just over 200 ghouls, ghosts, super heroes, and other characters will arrive in my neighborhood seeking Halloween treats. While Halloween is the most visible festival this time of the year, at least in my neighborhood, Halloween is actually only one of a trio of cultural and religious ritual observances that fall during the transitional days between October and November–All Hallow’s Even (or Evening), Hallowmas (All Saints Day), Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead).  The histories, beliefs and practices connected to each ritual vary depending on cultural and geographical location.


All Saints’ Day, which dates to the early 7th Century, is celebrated annually in many Christian traditions on November 1 and commemorates those saints, now departed, who have influenced Christian faith. Current observations of All Saints, particularly in Protestant churches, commemorate all Christians, past and present, and particularly those in local congregations who have died in the last year.  Some churches commemorate local “saints” on All Souls’ Day, the day following All Saints’ Day. All Saints was historically called in some traditions Hallowmas, “hallow” meaning “saints,” and “mas” meaning “mass,” or Eucharistic feast.  Those who observed Hallowmas held a Eucharist feast in memory of saints of the faith. The day before Hallowmas was (and still is in some places) the Vigil of All Hallows, or what is now recognized in popular culture as Halloween.

In some countries, for example in Portugal, Mexico, and Spain, All Saints coincides with Dia de los Inocentes (Day of the Innocents), which is the first day of the Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). On the Dia de los Inocentes, communities remember infants and children who have died. The Dia de los Muertos is observed in varied ways in Spanish-speaking countries, but at the center of many celebrations is time set aside to visit, and in some places decorate, the gravesites of loved ones who have died. The Dia de los Muertos is a national holiday in Mexico.

Emily Dickinson’s famous poetic line, “Forever—is composed of Nows–,” comes to mind as we arrive at these October/November days of remembrance. Time, in Christian tradition and theology, has been defined, discussed, and debated in lively fashion over many centuries. The history of sacred and secular calendars reflects this liveliness of human understandings of time. What Dickinson expresses in her poem reflects one dimension of this season’s trio of ritualized remembrances.  Scholars think that in the poem that contains this line, Dickinson sought to emphasize that eternity in God is the daily experience of humanity. In other words, the saints are, in a sense, with us today, and we are, in a sense, living eternity now.

So, on October 31, Halloween to some, All Hallow’s Eve to others, the School of Divinity begins registration for another spring term. As we anticipate spring course offerings focused on topics ranging from feminist, womanist and mujerista theologies to preaching and worship in sacred time to the Gospel of John to the mystery of the human person to the congregational church we might note the many saints who before us have undertaken theological studies and who have contributed to our always expanding understanding of ministry.  As we contemplate a new semester, we imagine again ways to join our journeys to theirs. 

Blessings on your week,

  Jill Crainshaw
  Associate Dean for Academic Affairs