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Preparation for Ministry

Ministerial Studies

Yale Divinity School combines the best of two worlds: It is an ecumenical school of theological education based in a major secular research university, a place where faith and intellect coexist and nourish one another.  The mission remains, first and foremost, to train women and men for lay and ordained ministries.  In this setting, YDS is uniquely positioned in the landscape of theological education to meet the challenges of theological education in the 21st century.  Students are prepared for ordination in a program that is theologically informed, professionally competent, academically rigorous, and oriented to the life of the church. >Ministerial Studies Brochure

Denominational Preparation

From worship services, to courses in church polity, to dinners and other social events, to guidance in ordination and vocational discernment, students have many opportunities to engage activities focused on specific faith traditions. Learn more about each denomination below:

Baptist Methodist
Historic Black churches Presbyterian/Reformed
Episcopal Roman Catholic
Lutheran United Church of Christ/Disciples of Christ

Spiritual Formation

Spiritual formation at YDS is woven into the fabric of life on a day-to-day basis.  However, there are two essential strands that formalize the process.  A designated faculty member holds the position of Professor of the Practice of Spirituality and  Ministerial Leadership and organizes specific curricular activities in that area.  And the Annand Program for Spiritual Formation offers  individual and group spiritual direction, retreats, small group programs,  special worship services, and a provocative speaker series highlighting faculty  and other campus leaders.

Supervised Field Work

YDS’s internship programs in supervised ministries offers opportunies to gain experience not only in the pulpit but in a number of nonprofit, social service, hospital and educational venues.  Students gain professional competence, build frameworks for raising practical theological issues, acquire comprehensive and realistic views of the church and its ministries, and develop ministerial identities.  Internships can take place during the academic year or over the summer. >Read more