YDS Summer Study initiative turns a page

Registration for Yale Divinity School’s 2012 Summer Study program opens online on Jan. 16 with offerings that include a special conference on religion and the environment and 16 courses taught over two five-day sessions.

For the first time, summer courses are being consolidated under distinct weekly themes: “Bible Study and Interpretation Week,” June 11-15, and “Tools and Timely Topics Week,” June 18-22.  Summer Study will begin with “The H. Boone and Violet M. Porter Conference on Religion and Environmental Stewardship,” June 5-7

Students on the Quad

 The format changes come in response to ideas offered by alumni and former participants for enhancing the Summer Study program experience.

One new element is the introduction of informal gatherings each week, around the lunch hour, when students and faculty from all of the classes can come together for presentations and discussion of topics of common interest.

John Lindner, director of the Department of External Relations at YDS, said, “Alums and friends made helpful suggestions. One that we heard was to feature a conference; another was to enhance our offerings in scripture.  Participants also affirm interest in tools and topics, especially those that enhance skills for ministry or cover topics that may be of interest for adult study in parishes.

“Participants from previous years also requested opportunities for conversation and fellowship beyond the classes.  All of these suggestions have been incorporated in the offerings for this summer.  It is an exciting line-up of study opportunities.”

In most cases, the cost of courses, which generally run in either the morning or afternoon over five consecutive days, remain the same as they were in 2011—$325.  Courses do not carry academic credit but frequently are used toward denominational continuing education credit.

Summer Study courses are held on Sterling Divinity Quadrangle.  The last week of Summer Study coincides with New Haven's International Festival of Arts and Ideas, an ideal backdrop for this interdisciplinary learning experience. 

The environmental conference – aimed at clergy, lay leaders, and seminary faculty -- will engage experts from Yale and across the country to address topics such as the greening of seminaries and churches, curricular initiatives in eco-theology, climate change, environmental justice, and preaching and liturgical approaches to environmental stewardship. The conference will include a screening, and discussion, of the movie Journey of the Universe, for which Yale Divinity School Senior Lecturer and Research Scholars Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim served as executive producers.

The conference will be co-sponsored by YDS, the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and the Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology.

Each of the two five-day course sessions will include a mix of courses taught by long-standing members of the YDS faculty as well as newer members of the faculty, research faculty, Yale staff, or recent Yale Ph.D. graduates.


During week one, “Bible Study and Interpretation Week,” YDS Dean Harold Attridge will teach a course on The Book of Revelation; Robert Wilson, Hoober Professor of Old Testament and Professor Emeritus David Bartlett will teach their perennially popular “Preaching from the Lectionary” course; and Associate Professor of Hebrew Scriptures Carolyn Sharp will offer “Testifying in the Shadow of Empire: The Hebrew Scriptures, Postcolonial Criticism, and the Contemporary Church.”

At the same time, Colby College’s Julie Faith Parker ’02 S.T.M., ’09 Ph.D., will offer “The Bible Through Art and Artifact”; Assistant Professor of Old Testament Joel Baden will teach “The Historical David: Fact or Fiction?”; and newly appointed Associate Dean for Chapel Maggi Dawn will present “Reading the Bible through Literature, Music and Art.”


Week two, “Tools and Timely Topics Week,” includes courses by: Danielle Tumminio  '03 B.A. '06 M.Div. '08 S.T.M., and author of the book God and Harry Potter at Yale: Faith and Fiction in an Ivy League Classroom, “What’s Christian about Harry Potter?”; Visiting Professor of Islamic Studies Salama Shaker, “Religion and the Arab Revolutions”; Christopher Beeley, Associate Professor of Anglican Studies and Patristics, “Augustine’s Confessions”; Kenneth Minkema and Adrian Neele, executive editor and associate editor, respectively, of The Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale, “The Great Awakening: Context and Text”; Assistant Professor of Ethics Fred Simmons, “The Economy and Christian Ethics”; Assistant Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling Jan Holton, “Complicated Issues in Death, Dying , and Grief’; Associate Dean for Chapel Maggi Dawn, “Practical Liturgy”; Senior Research Scholar Theodore Malloch, “The Virtues of a Marketplace Theology”; Ray Waddle, editor of Reflections magazine, “Writing Workshop.”

For further information about Summer Study 2012, including complete course descriptions, click here.  Online registration will open on the Summer Study web site on Jan. 16.

Posted: 01/09/2012