People Notes

Miller and a fish
Photo by Chris Hartlove Courtesy Johns Hopkins Medical Magazine

“My primary purpose is to establish a genuine, empathic, and mutual relationship with a patient.  We try to see where someone is, and engage them there. For some, faith is very important while others may look more to family and friends for meaning and comfort. . .  “It’s a privilege to be allowed into intimate situations with patients and their families.  At the minimum, we’re offering hospitality and courtesy, but we often get into really deep moments of meaning, or grief, or joy.”  Bill Bell ’07 M.Div., Johns Hopkins Medical Magazine, Oct. 1, 2010, in the article “Agents of Hope,” about Bell and other pastoral care residents at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.


Samuel Candler ’82 M.Div., Dean of Atlanta’s Episcopal Cathedral of St. Philip,is the featured preacher Nov. 7 and 14 on “Day 1,” the nationally syndicated radio program also accessible by podcast at Each program includes a message by Candler along with interviews conducted by Peter Wallace, executive producer and host.


Noted biblical and patristic scholar Franklin Woodrow Young, who formerly taught at Yale Divinity School, died Saturday, Sept. 25 at his home at Carolina Meadows, NC.  Young was Amos Ragans Kearns Professor Emeritus of New Testament and Patristic Studies at the Duke Divinity School.  He served as an assistant professor at YDS from 1950-54.

 “I think that burning the sacred book of another religion is a loathsome act. I think the same is true of destroying the sacred sculptures of another religion. It is not compatible with the teaching of Christianity, as I understand it, that we should behave in these ways. This is especially true when we recognize, as we should within the Abrahamic faiths, that we worship the same God.”  John Hare ’03 M.A.H., Noah Porter Professor of Philosophical Theology, Oct. 22, 2010, in an interview in Intifada: Voice of Palestine.

Elizabeth Strawn ’04 M.A.R., former director of alumni relations at Yale Divinity School, has been appointed Associate Secretary and Director of Corporation Affairs for Yale University.  As such, she will work with University Secretary Linda Lorimer on matters relating to governance of the Yale Corporation, the University’s chief governing body, University by-laws and regulations. 

Emilie Townes, associate dean of academic affairs and the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of African American Religion and Theology, was honored for her work during the Black Religious Scholars Group's  13th annual program, "Making It Plain: Unmasking the Cultural Production of Evil in the Black Church and the World at Large."   The program was held Oct. 29 at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta during the annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion.  The event was co-hosted by Ebenezer and the Candler School of Theology at Emory University.  Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Oct. 28, 2010

“Ecological contributions are both theological and ethical. Indeed, ecological awareness of the world in which we live, move, and have our being constitutes the most recent manifestation of the twentieth century’s convergence between matters of ethics and theological formulations.” Christiana Peppard ’05 M.A.R., Oct. 14, 2010, National Catholic Reporter.

“Often . . .  the most transformative reform is led by the teachers, not administrators. If we want teachers to get better at teaching, we need to both empower and support them. If we want them to be professional in their approach to teaching and learning, we need to treat them like professionals, and that includes professional-level salaries.”  Eric Tipler ’12 M.Div., in the article “Schools or Teachers: Which are More Important?” in The Huffington Post, Oct. 4, 2010.

The Delaware News Journal in Wilmington, DE published a profile of Chris Coons ’92 M.A.R. ’92 J.D., a candidate for U.S. Senate in Delaware, in its Oct. 10, 2010 issue, entitled “Chris Coons' journey from divinity school to county executive.”

Mark Beckwith ’78 M.Div. was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree by General Theological Seminary in New York during the seminary’s fall convocation on Oct. 14.  Episcopal News Service, Oct. 19, 2010.

“He is not a leader and I don't think we deserve a bench warmer just holding onto this seat simply because he has the right letter of party affiliation following his name.” Rebekah Davis ’06 M.Div., commenting on the record of her incumbent Republican opponent, Adrian Smith, in Nebraska’s 3rd Congressional District race.  Omaha World Herald, Oct. 20, 2010.

“What we’ve learned is that individuals will not be able to achieve their highest quality of life without employment, without income. The goal is that you leave people better than you found them in the service that you provide. It’s really about improvement.”  Bonita Grubbs ’84 M.A.R. ’85 M.P.H., Oct. 21, 2010, The Middletown (CT) Press, in the article “Tough economy increases burden on nonprofits.”

"My hope is that this is a place that both illuminates the relationship between religion and politics, and also encourages respectful but vigorous debate.  Respectful does not mean wishy-washy. It means respectful."  John Danforth  '63 B.D. '63 LL.B. '73 M.A.H.  , speaking about the new John C. Danforth Center on Religion & Politics, which officially opened on the campus of Washington University in St. Louis on Oct. 26.  St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Oct. 26, 2010.

Melissa Pucci ’04 M.A.R., assistant director of admissions and recruiting at YDS, has been honored with Salve Regina University’s 2010 Outstanding Young Alumni Award.  The award recognizes exceptional achievement and honors alumni younger than 35 years old who have demonstrated great promise and accomplishment in their chosen professions or through community, public or humanitarian service.  New Haven Independent, Oct. 25, 2010.

"All those things came through during the interview process, and now that she's here, it's evident.  It's a perfect fit, and we're so blessed to have her here. . . . The way she takes the Scripture and makes it relevant to today is absolutely brilliant " Lori Snyder, chair of the ministerial search committee for the Winchester Center Congregational Church in Winsted, CT, about the selection of Jacquelyn R. Hall ’09 M.Div. as the first female pastor of the congregation.  Waterbury (CT) Republican, Oct. 25, 2010

Edward Marvin Bishop ’81 M.A.R., 56, of Lexington, Ky., died Monday, Oct.18, 2010, at the Truman Memorial Veterans Hospital in Columbia, MO.  He was an ordained Disciples of Christ minister and adjunct professor of religious studies at University of the Pacific in Stockton, Calif.  Columbia (MO) Daily Tribune, Oct. 24, 2010.

The fall 2010 issue  (Volume 40, Number 3) of the SPLC Report, the newsletter of the Southern Poverty law Center, contains an article on Gaylord Noyce ’52 B.D., professor emeritus of the practice of practical theology at Yale Divinity School, titled "Early activist leaves legacy with SPLC.”  The article includes a small photo of Noyce with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Noyce, who was on the YDS faculty for over three decades, died in August, 2009.  In the spring of 1961, the YDS faculty raised $1,000 to bail Noyce out of an Alabama jail, where he had landed as part of a Freedom Ride drawing attention to racial segregation in the American South.