Wesley Theological Seminary scholar joins YDS faculty
Mary Clark Moschella, a pastoral theologian accomplished in academe and experienced as a pastor in the United Church of Christ, is joining the YDS faculty as a professor of pastoral care and counseling.  Her appointment is effective July 1.

Moschella“Mary Moschella brings to YDS extensive experience as a pastoral theologian who has made significant contributions to the field with her ethnographic study of the way in which congregations engage in fruitful pastoral practices,” said Harold Attridge, the Reverend Henry L. Slack Dean and Lillian Claus Professor of New Testament, in announcing the appointment May 19. “Her future research, on the theme of joy in pastoral care, promises to be equally influential,”

Moschella, currently a professor of pastoral theology and congregational care at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington D.C., is the author of two books and the co-editor of a third. In 2010-2011, she is one of six Henry Luce III Fellows in Theology and, as such, is researching a project entitled “Anatomy of Joy: A Pastoral Theological Call for Joy in the Ministry and in Life.”

She holds a B.S. from Southern Connecticut State University, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and in 2001 received a Ph.D. from the Claremont School of Theology. Following Claremont, Moschella spent 9 and one-half years teaching at Wesley, a 500-student institution affiliated with the United Methodist Church founded in 1882.

Moschella compared that experience with what she expects to find at YDS: “At Wesley, an outstanding Protestant seminary in the nation's capitol, the main focus of my teaching has been on preparing pastoral leaders for the church.  At Yale, students come with a broader range of academic goals and faith perspectives, so I will expand my teaching of the care of souls tradition accordingly. This probably means that I will assign more reading!”

Prior to receiving her doctorate in theology and human personality, Moschella held two pastoral positions as a United Church of Christ clergywoman in Massachusetts. The first was as an interim and associate minister at Memorial Congregational Church in Sudbury, from 1984 to 1987. Then came a post as pastor of the First Congregational Church in Lee, where she served from 1987 to 1996.

All three of Moschella’s books were published in the last three years.  Ethnography as a Pastoral Practice: An Introduction, was published by The Pilgrim Press in 2008, the same year that Pickwick Publications released Living Devotions: Reflections on Immigration, Identity and Religious Imagination. In March of this year, Lexington Books published Pastoral Bearings: Lived Religion and Pastoral Theology, co-edited by Moschella, Leonard Hummel and Jane Maynard.