Shirle Moone Childs, M.Div. '05
B.S. University of Hartford 1968
M.S. University of Hartford 1970
Ph.D. University of Connecticut 1978
I am a native New Yorker, and I have been a Methodist all of my life and continue in the tradition of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. I came to Yale Divinity School from a memorable career in education and had been a Kindergarten teacher, elementary school principal, director of early childhood programs, director of curriculum, instruction and evaluation, and an assistant superintendent of schools. At the time I started classes at YDS, I was working fulltime as an early childhood education consultant for the Connecticut State Department of Education. As long as I live, I shall never forget my first class and first hour of that first course—Systematic Theology. Barth and Rahner are still arguing, and they are not listening to me.
I am continuing to work on a development project in Penyi Village in Ghana, West Africa that I began during a travel study tour last year with 11 other students. When I returned from Ghana, I started a non-profit corporation, known as the GBOA, Inc., God's Bridge Over the Atlantic, and I am going back this summer to work on the project. In the village, I am a Queen Mother, and my official African name is Mama He! shie II. My work in the village includes training and teaching young women in the areas of child development; early literacy and numeracy; health; and vocational skill improvement, including textiles, beading, weaving, and agriculture. A major goal is to raise $5,000 to put a roof on the church that is being built in the village. My vision also is to build a Family Resource Center where training will take place and where doctors and nurse practitioners will see patients; to open a child care center; and to start a full-day kindergarten for young children in the village.The Center will also organize daily activities, including meals for senior citizens.
My desire for greater Bible knowledge was the initial reason for wanting to be at YDS. I am interested mostly in Christian Education, but I found all of my courses both necessary and valuable. Upon graduation, I will be engaged in a teaching ministry at church, including a noonday Bible study.