Summer Term draws participants from UK, Canada, California, Texas

Summer Term at Sterling Divinity Quadrangle 2011 elicited an outpouring of positive reaction from amongst the more than 100 clergy and laypersons who took part this year.

Some, like John Olson ’74 M.Div. who teaches at Providence College, plan a return to Summer Term in future years.

“The fun, fellowship, and collegiality of YDS Summer Term is really quite an exceptional learning experience,” said Olson, who enrolled in the course “Preaching from the Lectionary, Year B,” taught by Hoober Professor of Old Testament Robert Wilson and David Bartlett, the Lanz Professor Emeritus of Christian Communication.   “I expect to return again often.”

At the same time, participants offered a number of suggestions for improving Summer Term in surveys filled out at the end of courses, such as “encourage people to eat together,” “advertise more,” inclusion of worship services, and making housing available on the YDS campus.

Summer Term Icon WorkshopOf the 107 persons enrolled in Sumer Terms 2011, 52 were alums, and five were current YDS students.  Participants hailed from locations as far away as Northern Ireland, Canada, California, and Texas.

The most popular classes this year were Dean Harold Attridge’s course “The Letter to the Hebrews,” followed by “Jonathan Edwards as Pastoral Theologian,” taught by Kenneth Minkema and Adriaan Neele of The Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale; the Wilson-Bartlett course; “Preaching and Teaching in the Big Tent,” taught by Wesley Avram, former Clement-Muehl Assistant Professor of Communication at YDS and the Institute for Sacred Music, and Allen Hilton, who is minister of faith and learning at a congregation in Wayzata, MN; and the “Icon Writing Workshop” taught by Vladislav Andrejev, founder of the Prosopon School of Iconology.

Heather Miner ’98 M.Div. of Corona del Mar, CA noted the “great pace of learning” in Attridge’s Hebrews course, adding, “Spending one week with a professor at the top of his game is amazing, unparalleled.  The students are also always of high quality, allowing wonderful conversations.”

Every year, YDS and its partners on Sterling Divinity Quadrangle—Berkeley Divinity School at Yale, and the Yale Institute of Sacred Music—collaborate to offer three weeklong sessions of Summer Term during the month of June.  This year, the sessions ran June 6-10, 13-17, 20-24.  While courses are not offered for academic credit, many clergy enroll and receive continuing education credit from their respective denominations.

Cecil Grant of County Antrim, Northern Ireland, who took Walter H. Gray Associate Professor of Anglican Studies & Patristics Christopher Beeley’s course Pastoral Leadership: Wisdom the Early Church, said “So many more pastors could benefit if they were aware of this option for continuing education and sabbatical.”

Joshua Rinas ’08 M.Div. of Waterbury, CT called the music courses taught by Patrick Evans, associate professor in the practice of sacred music—Musical Skills and Vocal Development for Parish Ministry and Renewing Congregational Song—“phenomenal,” adding, “Theoretical and highly practical, they served as a terrific continuing education resource.”

The Bible through Art and Artifact II,” taught by Julie Faith Parker, a United Methodist minister who holds a Ph.D. in Old Testament, received a number of superlatives.  Mary Kannass ’90 M.Div. of Brookfield, WI, for example, commented, “The course was wonderful.  Julie Parker put a lot of effort into her preparation and teaching.  We were able to have access to wonderful collections of art and artifacts.  This is an extremely useful course for people who are teaching and preaching in congregations.  It is also tremendous simply for one’s own learning.”

In Parker’s course, students combined scholarly and creative study of the Bible with a related excursion.  Among the Yale venues visited were the Peabody Museum of Natural History (for a tour of the evolution exhibit related to creation texts), the Yale Art Gallery (to see coins and artifacts related to daily life in biblical times), the Yale Collection of Musical Instruments (to learn about music in the ancient world), and the Yale Center for British Art (to view biblical stories in painting and sculpture).

View more Summer Term 2011 photos here.

Posted: 07/05/2011