About People

Lamin Sanneh, the D. Willis James Professor of Missions and World Christianity, was a featured guest recently on the Connecticut Public Radio station WNPR in Hartford, speaking on the topic of Islamic worship traditions.  An expert in interfaith relations, and Christian-Muslim relations in particular, Sanneh is series editor of the multi-volume Oxford Studies in World Christianity.  He also serves as director of the newly created World Christianity Initiative at Yale and is a member of the Vatican’s Pontifical Commission on Religious Relations with Muslims.


Former YDS Dean Richard Wood  ’65 Ph.D. has been awarded the Order of the Rising Sun by the government of Japan, the second highest honor conferred by the government.  A ceremony will be at the Consul-General's residence in New York on Jan 22.  Wood has served as interim president of the Japan Society and as chair of the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission in Washington, D.C. He served a four-year term as dean at YDS from 1996-2000. From 2001-2006 he was president of the United Board for Christian Higher Education.

"Our attendance is staying the same and increasing a little bit. In this time of chaos, a community of faith can offer grounding and certainty amidst the turmoil."  Brandon Johnson ’08 M.Div., associate minister at the United Church of Santa Fe, Santa Fe (New Mexico) Reporter, Nov. 25, 2009, in a story about church finances amid the financial decline.


Claude Welch ’45 B.D., ’50 Ph.D., former dean, president, and professor emeritus of historical theology at the Graduate Theological Union (GTU), died Nov. 6. He served as Graduate Theological Union Dean and President from 1971 to 1982 and as Dean from 1982 to 1987, when he retired. He taught 19th Century Theology throughout his career, and authored several books, among them Protestant Theology, co-authored with John Dillenberger, 1954; and the seminal 2-volume Protestant Thought in the Nineteenth Century, 1985.


Karl Phillip ’43 B.D. died at his home in Madison, CT on Oct. 23 at the age of 93. During his long career as a minister, he served a number of congregations, including Cadman Memorial Church in Brooklyn, NY, Sauguoit Valley Larger Parish in New York, the First Congregational Church in Mt. Vernon, OH, and Old Stone Church (UCC) in East Haven, CT.  In 1966 he became Area Minister for the UCC Massachusetts Conference staff.  His last parish before retirement was the Congregational Church of Boothbay Harbor, ME.

 “Evangelical Christianity is growing in many parts of the world, and accompanying that growth has been a resurgence of Calvinist theology.  In that context, Edwards is attractive not only because he is probably the greatest Calvinist theologian other than John Calvin himself, but because he also was a great defender of religious revivals, which are the source of evangelical worldwide growth.”  George Marsden ’65 Ph.D., Nov. 30, 2009, Yale Daily News, in an article about overseas expansion of the Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale.


"I would use the terms progressive and unabashedly Christian.  Jesus was not about excluding people. He reached out to those who were marginalized and oppressed. Gay and lesbian people, just as Africans who were enslaved, have been marginalized and oppressed in our society."  Geoffrey Black ’72 M.A.R. and president of the United Church of Christ, Dec. 1, 2009, The Christian Century, in an article describing the UCC titled “On hot-button issues, UCC is anything but reserved.


Eun Young Hwang ’10 M.A.R., was awarded a $1,000 first-place prize for his essay examining today’s environmental crisis in light of Calvin’s image of God and justice.   Results of the essay competition were announced Oct. 30 by the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, which coordinates the annual competition on behalf of the Lombard Prize Committee.  The award is named for the Genevan banker, Georges Lombard, who served as WARC’s General Treasurer from 1948 to 1970.