TippetAbout People

“My background as a diplomat is as important for this subject as my training as a journalist.  Religion is a touchy subject. You’re really getting at the core of people’s identities, an intimate place. This religious sphere in our public life is very charged, and I want to disarm that.”  Krista Tippett '94 M.Div., May 28, 2010, The New York Times, in the article “Radio Program About Faith Defies the Skeptics.''


SlieSamuel Slie, '52 M. Div., 63 STM will officially celebrate his 85th birthday on June 8.  Here, Slie is pictured at an advance celebration organized by members of Shalom United Church of Christ in New Haven at the Killam's Point retreat center in Branford, CT.  Slie served on the regional staff of the New England Student Christian Movement and was president of the National Campus Ministry Association.  He was a lecturer at Yale Divinity in religion in higher education in 1965-75 and 1980-83 and served for 11 years as associate University Pastor with William Sloane Coffin Jr. at the Church of Christ at Yale, where he was elected pastor emeritus.

''That a theologian should be surprised about being a Christian may seem strange, particularly among folk who have little sympathy with Christianity. They often assume that theologians by definition must believe in what they think about. That, of course, is a deep mistake made, particularly in recent times. Many who become theologians in our time think their task is to try to determine how much of what has passed for Christianity they still need to believe and yet still be able to think of themselves as Christians. I discovered, however, that I did not know enough about Christianity to know what I was disbelieving.''  Stanley Hauerwas '65 B.D., '68 Ph.D., June 3, 2010, writing in The Huffington Post about his new book, Hannah's Child: A Theologian's Memoir. (Eerdman's, 2010)


''Because of the documentary lacunae, this is an impossibly difficult tale to tell, but Gordon’s version is steeped in the ever-expanding scholarly literature and, until someone unearths new archival treasures, it ought to be regarded as definitive. Gordon provides a nuanced portrayal of Geneva’s response to the arrival of Calvin’s Reformation (a blend of intellectual curiosity and grumbles about all the moral nit-picking and Calvin’s habit of shipping in French pals to fill the city’s pulpits). He offers an even-handed account of Calvin’s attempt to foster pan-European Protestant unity (a curious admixture of barking your own theological conclusions and embracing compromises whenever they seemed sensible) and, best of all, he tells us what it must have been like to live in Calvin’s Geneva.''  Jon Wright, writing in the BBC's History Magazine, in a review of the book Calvin (Yale University Press, 2009) by Titus Street Professor of Ecclesiastical History Bruce Gordon.


“The book began as Hultin’s doctoral dissertation. It contains all the positive hallmarks of such beginnings and none of the negative ones. It is well thought out, well structured, well referenced and well written. The recourse to primary source material in particular is erudite and clear.”  Glenn M. Balfour, in the Journal for the Study of the New Testament, p. 15, in a review of Associate Professor of New Testament Jeremy Hultin ’03 Ph.D.’s book, The Ethics of Obscene Speech in Early Christianity and its Environment (Brill, 2008)


 “Military solution is no solution at all.  We must use the love of God to disarm their hearts and their policies. That’s the only hope I see.” Syngman Rhee '65 S.T.M.,  May 23, 2010, The Daily (NC) Reflector, in the article “Korean Pastor Says People, Nations Can Reconcile.''


"My basic takeaway is we were bit players in a vast drama.  There have been so many people who've done such important work -- who laid down their lives." Bill Stevens '63 B.D., May 23, 2010, Winston-Salem (NC) Journal, in the article “Victory for history: Sit-ins forced a city to change.’‘


“We are all working hard to overcome the worst recession in decades...I am someone who has stood up for, fought for and will continue to invest in public employees.  I am pleased they have chosen me because of my ideas, my energy, my willingness to go to Washington and fight for our children and our future.”  Chris Coons '92 M.A.R., 92 J.D., May 14, 2010, sussexcountian.com (DE), in the article “State teachers union throws weight behind Coons in U.S. senate race.’‘


 “I’m a believer that things come our way when needed in life. In retrospect, I’ve been given what I’ve needed when I needed it.  It’s not always something we want, like a crisis or an illness, but it’s something we need—and with that comes growth and change.”  Hannah Hochstetter '91 M.Div., June 3, 2010, Housatonic (CT) Times, in the article “Pamela Hochstetter Shares 'Light of the Feminine in Show,’‘ about an exhibition of her art.


“A lot of reporters are a bit scared of religion - the third rail of the newsroom - and probably some feel lucky that I’m there to answer any questions they have on deadline. In the same way, I’m scared out of my mind to look at an earnings report on deadline, so I feel lucky there’s a business reporter nearby to calm me down. I’m also lucky to have the kind of position in the newsroom where I feel like my editors and reporter colleagues value whatever knowledge I bring to the paper and our readers.” Tim Townsend '05 M.A.R., May 10, 2010, GetReligion.org, in an interview about his job as religion reporter at the St. Louis (MO) Post-Dispatch.


“People of faith are the last people standing with the power to inject spiritual realism into the financial conversation. They need to find their bearings again, fast. Otherwise, the soulless emerging paradigm of bullying hysteria and conquest will prevail.”  Ray Waddle, editor of YDS's Reflections magazine, in the column “Faith and Financial America's Moral Compass,’‘ published June 1, 2010 in The Huffington Post.


"What I'll miss is just how diverse and unique each person is, and there's an amazing and wonderful acceptance and embrace of each other.  With all our quirks and everything that's sort of visible and loved, we all have rough spots and rough edges and slowly they smooth out. To see how all of us have been growing and becoming so accepting and patient and gentle to each other over the years. we just grow more in those directions and in those ways, and I think that's what I'll miss, not being able to see this happen in others, and others to point it out in me."  John Holliger '73 M.Div., May 30, 2010, MarionStar.com, May 30, 2010, about his retirement from St. Paul's Episcopal Church  in Marion, OH.


"I was born into a sacramental world, and the sacraments have been the ordering principle within which and into which I live. There is a cycle to the church’s sacred moments. The sacraments of initiation, of healing and of vocation can catch us up when we need to be reminded to slow down and witness the blessings of the moment. There is always something to celebrate; even the long stretches of ordinary time are packed with feast days.”  Alice Kearney Alwin ’06 M.Div. writing in the May 10 issue of America Magazine, in a column entitled “Family Trees.”

Andy Thompson '06 M.A.R. has been selected as the winner of the youth writing contest for Edinburgh 2010, a major ecumenical mission conference held June 2-6 in the Scottish capital. His. essay deals with the relevance of an early 20th-century Anglican missionary and missiologist, Roland Allen.


"An extraordinarily thorough analysis of Old Testament legal texts, organized around the categories of civil law, criminal law, and social welfare legislation.”  David P. Gushee, Distinguished Professor of Christian Ethics at Mercer University, commenting on a new book on biblical law by Richard H. Hiers ‘54 B.A., ‘57 B.D., ’61 Ph.D.  The book is titled Justice and Compassion in Biblical Law and is published by Continuum International.


“We cannot in good conscience begin this discussion without acknowledging the tremendous hurt and harm, agony and anguish that has been caused by the sexual abuse crisis. The first response by anyone who belongs to the Church must be heartfelt, penitent, unremitting apology.” Kerry Robinson '94 M.A.R., in the column “A time for prophetic leadership and accountability,'' about the sexual abuse scandal in the Cathlic Church, in the Washington Post's ''On Faith'' feature, April 1, 2010.



“Although we don't often think of ourselves this way – and certainly not as often as we should – nurses are leaders.  We have an obligation to be a vital part of shaping our society's response to the health care problems we see and we work on, day in and day out.  That's why it was so important to have the input of experienced nurses and their organizations in the health reform debate.”  Lois Capps ’64 M.A.R., April 19, 2010, in the 2010 Bellos Lecture at the Yale School of Nursing, entitled,  “Nurses Make the Best Advocates,’‘ about health care reform in the U.S.


“I wanted to integrate psychology, spirituality and sexuality, and both my experience at Divinity School and here have allowed me to pull it all together, both personally and professionally.  They fit together seamlessly.”  Justin Jones '01 M.A.R.,  May 27, 2010, describing the interdisciplinary study of gay fathers he conducted as part of his doctoral dissertation work at Columbia University's Teachers College.


“Spiritual direction is an ancient practice in the church and was recovered and renewed by Vatican Council II . . . Spiritual direction gives individual attention to enable a person to grow into God and the experience of God.”  Janet Ruffing, Professor of the Practice of Spirituality and Ministerial Leadership, May 28, 2010, in the article “An Ancient and Contemporary Pathway to God,” National Catholic Reporter, about the 20th anniversary of Spiritual Directors International.


"The conflicts of the world are philosophical and we must learn to address those conflicts philosophically. If we are to confront ideologies of hate, we must be prepared to live, explicate and promote a philosophy of love, unbounded by symbols and creeds, but seen and understood by looking through transparent symbols and creeds to the truths beyond them to which they point." Ronnie Yoder '64 M.Div., April 25, 2010, in the commencement address he delivered at Goshen College.


As the United States' first ambassador to post-apartheid South Africa, James Joseph '63 B.D. often worked side by side with Nelson Mandela. So it's no surprise that he took a cue from Mandela's thought when he recently delivered the annual John Turner Lecture at Lynchburg College.  "The potential to forgive," Joseph stressed, "is part of the potential of the human spirit."

Rebecca Chopp, who preceeded Harold Attridge as dean of YDS, was recently sworn in as the president of Swarthmore College. Chopp has a Ph.D. in theology from Chicago and previously served as President of Colgate University.


James Robert “Bob” Scott '50 B.D. recently received emeritus status as pastor of Bandara United Methodist Church in Bandara, TX. An elder in the Methodist Church, Scott had served in the Little Rock Arkansas Conference from 1945 to 1991 before retiring to Bandara. 

Christiana Olsen, M.Div '02, is now rector at Saint Francis of Assisi Episcopal Church in Gulf Breeze, FL. Previously Olsen worked at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., and Saint Michael Church in Dallas.