Busy summer on the Quad capped by homiletics conference

For an academic institution like Yale Divinity School, summer is a precious time when faculty can get away from campus, take time to step back, think about their academic trajectory, read on the beach, consider their next book, travel, or think about exciting new approaches to classroom teaching.  And more.

However, that does not mean activity is absent from Sterling Divinity Quadrangle, and summer 2010 was no exception, when the Quad was abuzz with activity from the beginning of June until early August.  Some of those activities were YDS-related, such as Summer Term 2010, while others involved outside groups drawn to the Quad for its pleasant yet practical ambiance.

The summer’s bookends were the June 6-18 Summer Institute “Paradigms and Practice:  Approaching Islam-West Relations,” co-hosted by the Yale Center for Faith & Culture and Pathways for Mutual Respect, and the biennial conference of the Societas Homiletica, which ran from Aug. 1 to Aug. 5 and brought to campus 80 homiletics scholars not only from North America but from locations such as Africa, Australia, China, Burma (Myanmar), Europe, India, Korea, and New Zealand.  Click here for more about the homiletics conference.

In between the Summer Institute and Societas Homiletica were four other significant events:

Summer Term on Sterling Divinity Quadrangle 2010, June 7-25, where 147 persons, including many alumni, gathered for three weeklong series of continuing education courses taught primarily by YDS faculty.  Topping the popularity list was Dean Harold Attridge’s course on the Gospel of John, with 30 registrants.

The East Rock Institute Teach Korea Conference, June 28-30.  The Institute is a New Haven-based nonprofit research and educational organization dedicated to the enhancement and deepening of cultural understanding between Eastern and Western societies through innovative approaches to research and teaching.  It’s Teach Korea Corps is a national pilot project, concentrating on developing curriculum on Korean culture and history in American public schools, and concurrently a teacher training movement appealing to Korean American young professionals. The 2010 conference was on the subject “Korean Culture Through Language, Diaspora, Life Cycle Rituals, Foods and Clothing: A Comparative View.”

Elm City ChamberFest, June 28-July 9.  The Elm City ChamberFest was founded in 2005, in downtown New Haven.  Its goal is to provide the New Haven Community with a top-quality educational chamber music program for young students, as well as to bring world class performing artists to the area in the summertime.  During ChamberFest 2010, young musicians performed and attended concerts and master classes by ECCF faculty and guest artists.

GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness & Readiness for Undergraduate Programs), June 28-July 15.  Gear Up involves local partnerships that help prepare low-income students to enter, and then thrive, in college.  Through a $6.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education, the Bridgeport, CT-based program brings together Yale and Bridgeport Public Schools.  During their three weeks at YDS, 50 high-achieving 8th graders from the Bridgeport area took classes taught by high school teachers to provide academic enrichment and support.  Each day a bus dropped students off in front of the main entrance to YDS. They then had breakfast in the Common Room before heading off to classes on the Quad, followed by lunch in the Common Room and then afternoon outdoor sessions.