Mentor Memories


Bill Muehl

Class of: 1957
Two memories. First at the gathering of my entering class, Mr. Muehl spoke, beginning with the observation that we were in the midst of a great religious revival, which had even reached Washington, D.C., why...

Roland Bainton

Class of: 1957
One of the deciding factors in my coming to Y.D.S. was Roland Bainton lecturing on Luther during my exploratory visit to the campus during my college senior year. However, one of my fondest memories...

H. Richard Niebuhr

Class of: 1957
Many years after my Y.D.S. sojourn H. Richard Niebuhr's understanding of truth was a major topic of my Ph.D. dissertation at University of Chicago. I recall that he and Roland Bainton were...

Robert Calhoun

Class of: 1957
In addition to Bainton's lecture on Luther, the other deciding factor in my coming to Y.D.S. was the question session in Calhoun's Systematic theology course I observed during my college senior-...

Charles Forman

Class of: 1960
I took two courses with Mr. Forman: Theory and Practice of Christian Mission, and Christianity and Communism. This was during the Cold War, when most Westerners were "up tight" about the...

Sydney Ahlstrom and Roland Bainton

Class of: 1971
Sydney Ahlstrom's Mary Baker Eddy lecture. The lecture hall on the main campus was packed. The lecture was humorous, belly laughing funny,historically accurate...

Dr. Liston Pope

Class of: 1974
Dr. Pope was an excellent teacher and friend. he made the study of ethics enjoyable, and he found innovative ways to make ethics practical. I am grateful for his encouragement and challenge to make a...

Jim Dittes

Class of: 1976
He listened, and listened and listened more deeply still. I am an extrovert, an activist, quite different from Jim, in those respects, and yet every time I sit with a student (I have been a seminary professor...

Harry Smith

Class of: 1979
Harry was my advisor. His compassion to get to know me and set up an academic plan for me was terrific. He left after my first year to become a college president, but his plan for me continued to work and has...

Joan Bates Forsberg and Jim Annand

Class of: 1981
I entered my YDS interview unsure of my footing. My college transcript, while above average, was not terribly distinguished. Since leaving school, I'd left...

Peter Hawkins

Class of: 1988
One of the first faculty members that I met when I arrived at YDS in 1980 was Peter Hawkins since he and Professor Jon Gunnemann had offices just down the hall from my dorm room in Seabury Hall (!) I was...

Letty Russell

Class of: 1991
Without a doubt Letty Russell had the greatest influence on me. She was at the heart of my education at YDS. I came to know feminism in its fullest sense in my bones where it continues to reside and has...

Lamin Sanneh

Class of: 1995
Dr. Sanneh's class on World Christianity changed my life. His insights on the centrality of translation in the missionary encounter were central to my dissertation and continue to be at the heart of...

Margaret Farley

Class of: 2000
Margaret Farley as an ethicist viewing sexual morality and human thriving in a changing era was insightful, humane, just. our discussions have staid with me and are still the bed rock of my own...

Letty Russell

Class of: 2004
At the end of Letty Russell's course on hospitality, the class was invited to her house to share in a communal dinner with Letty and her partner. It was a wonderful evening. I remember being amused...

Peter Hawkins

Class of: 2011
Peter Hawkins's "Dante's Journey to God" was the one class every alum told me to take when I came to YDS. I expected a strictly academic examination of Dante's theology, much...

Joseph Britton

Class of: 2012
In my first week at YDS, Joe Britton told a gathering about a letter Evelyn Underhill had once written to the archbishop of Canterbury: "Remember, archbishop, the interesting thing about religion is...

Sallama Shaker

Class of: 2014
Dr. Shaker is a truly remarkable professor, mentor, and person. Her constant encouragement and support gave me the confidence to pursue further studies in gender and politics in the Middle East. She is an...

Janet Ruffing

Class of: 2014
During my first week of classes at Yale Divinity School, I sat down to have lunch with a group of Roman Catholic professors. As a new student and “cradle Catholic,” I wasn’t sure what kind of community I...