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Notes from the Quad

Over the semester break, Yale Divinity School Dean Harold Attridge made a pilgrimage that took him far from the quiet of Sterling Divinity Quadrangle— to the northern reaches of the coast of Asia in South Korea and all the way down to the southern extremities in Malaysia.  The trip was a whirlwind of activity over a nine-day span from Jan.  2-10, including visits with alumni, theological educators and church leaders. At the end of it all, the dean had accomplished one of the trip’s primary goals: to cement agreements with two theological schools—one in Hong Kong, the other in Singapore—that expand YDS’s student exchange programs to include Asia as well as Europe. >Go to story

In an effort to boost alumni support for a YDS Annual Fund that is lagging behind last year¹s contribution figures, YDS Dean Harold Attridge held a Feb. 19 conference telephone call with a number of alumni leaders. The dean emphasized the school¹s rock solid commitment to student financial aid and support of a top-notch faculty, along with other positives, but he also gave a sobering presentation on the impact the recession is having on YDS and the University as a whole. >Go to story

Registrations are now being accepted for Summer Term 2009, at tuitions that are significantly reduced from 2008 rates.  Offered is a full range of courses for clergy and laity in Bible, pastoral care, church history, theology, and worship and the arts—along with some practical courses on topics such as writing about faith, and economics for church leaders.  Registration materials and details about Summer Term are available on the YDS web site. Three one-week sessions are scheduled between June 8 and 26. 

>Go to Summer Term

WatkinsSharon Watkins ’84 M.Div., general minister and president of the Disciples of Christ, delivered the sermon at the National Prayer Service on Jan. 21. In her sermon, she encouraged President Obama to “stay centered on the values that have guided us in the past, values that have empowered to move us through the perils of the present, of earlier times, and can guide us now into a future of renewed promise.”  Watkins became the first woman ever to preach at the National Prayer Service. >Go to story

Bradford E. Ableson ’85 M.Div., hailed by peers as one of the most gifted and inspirational military chaplains in the country, died Feb. 17 in Omaha, NE after a long bout with cancer.  Ableson had a lengthy career as a Navy chaplain and was credited with transforming the military chaplaincy from an institution focusing almost entirely on pastoral needs to one embracing chaplains as agents of reconciliation with religious leaders around the globe.  In 2008 he was the recipient of YDS’s Lux et Veritas alumni award.  >Go to story

BlodgettBarbara Blodgett, director of supervised ministries at YDS, has resigned her position to take up new responsibilities as minister for vocation and formation at the United Church of Christ’s national headquarters in Cleveland, OH.  At YDS, Blodgett oversaw the many internship relationships that afford students an opportunity to gain experience in the field.  During her tenure, she expanded supervised ministries to include a vibrant Leadership in Public Ministry program. >Go to story

In a letter to alumni, Mary Ellen O¹Driscoll ¹02 M.Div., president of the Yale Divinity School Alumni Board, encourages nominations for distinguished alumni award honorees, nominations of people to serve on the alumni board, and volunteers to serve as class agents, secretaries, and in other capacities.

>Go to story

Yale Divinity School’s student recruitment efforts took a new twist this fall by bringing a bit of Sterling Divinity Quadrangle “into the pews” in a four-stop tour of New York and New England churches where alumni and potential students were treated to presentations by two senior YDS faculty.  This fresh initiative is centered on the idea that churches with significant alumni connections are likely to be fertile ground for future YDS students.  Meanwhile, applications to YDS for 2009-10 rose 13 percent from last year’s figures. 

>Go to story

It is hard to escape news of the current economic crisis. For recent graduates and current seniors, reports of rising unemployment rates are a particular cause for concern.  It is hard to imagine a worse market in which to launch a job search. For YDS alumni, there are specific ways to be of great help to those students and fellow alumni in the job market. Director of Career Counseling Susan Olson outlines networking resources in an open letter to alumni. 
>Go to letter

M. Shawn Copeland, associate professor of systematic theology in the Department of Theology at Boston College, will deliver the 2009 Parks-King Lecture at Yale Divinity School on Feb. 24, 5:15 p.m., in Niebuhr Hall. The title of Copeland’s lecture is The Fierce Urgency of Now: Critical Black Theology and Hope. Copeland contends that the conditions of New Orleans and Detroit suggest that many of the existential, cultural, and social challenges that Martin Luther King Jr. addressed continue to demand our attention.  >Go to story

Sallama Shaker, visiting professor of Islamic Studies at Yale Divinity School, will deliver the 2009 Margaret Lindquist Sorensen Lecture on the topic We Came a Long Way.  The lecture, free and open to the public, will be held in Niebuhr Hall on March 3 at 5:15pm.  In this lecture, Shaker will explore the power of education and learning and the ways in which stereotypical images can be affected by building bridges, e.g., between religions and cultures.

>Go to story

Religion and a New Environmental Ethic, a film featuring Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim, describes the emerging alliance between religion and the environment. Tucker and Grim, founders and co-directors of the Forum on Religion and Ecology, have joint appointments in the Divinity School, the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and the Department of Religious Studies.  The film was produced by the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and is presented with permission on the Yale Divinity School web site.  >Go to film

For Leigh-Anne Walker, a student in Yale Divinity School’s M.A.R. program in ethics, the continuing turmoil on Wall Street is a kairos moment – a time of great challenge but great opportunity as well.  A YDS student since 2005, this former JPMorgan/Chase senior vice-president now teaches ethics to the officers of a major U.S. regulatory agency in New York City, facilitates a think-tank of business executives at New York’s Redeemer Presbyterian Church, and teaches ethics in the graduate program at Manhattanville College in Purchase, NY. >Go to story

In 2008, five high-profile conferences captured the breadth of Yale Divinity School’s increasingly ambitious engagement with the world beyond Sterling Divinity Quadrangle.  Conferences were held on Christian/Muslim relations, religion and the environment, faith and immigration, Black religion in the African diaspora, and nuclear disarmament. 

>Go to story (will open a pdf)

ISM: conferences on music and preaching, organ pedagogy

Preachers, presiders, scholars, and musicians will gather at the Yale Institute of Sacred Music March 8-10 to explore three broad repertoires of liturgical music: Jazz, Sacred Music of the Black Church, and Western Classical. Each repertoire will be examined and discussed in lecture and workshop during the Music and Preaching conference.  ISM will also host the 15th annual AGO National Conference on Organ Pedagogy from March 11-14. The conference will explore recent demographic, cultural, and theological shifts and the challenges in the field of church music today. >Go to Music and Preaching conference, Organ Pedagogy conference

Berkeley Divinity School at Yale will sponsor two leadership development seminars in June, just prior to Summer Term 2009.  A two-day seminar on leadership development for graduates of the last 10 years will be held June 1-2.  A one-day leadership development seminar for church wardens will be held on June 1.  In charge of both programs is Alfred Tisdale, director of Anglican studies and formation.  

>Click here for further program details


Recent news about alumni, faculty and students

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YDS’s Gifts of a Lifetime initiative can help provide financial certainty in these times of financial uncertainty. With a life-income gift benefiting YDS, such as a charitable gift annuity, you can receive guaranteed quarterly payments from Yale during your lifetime. To learn more about this, other Planned Giving options, and about remembering YDS in your will, please visit http://yale.planyourlegacy.org or call 203-432-5358/800-445-6086.

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