About YDS graduates

Thank you for your interest in the students and alumni/ae of Yale University Divinity School. Every May, Yale University confers approximately 120 degrees to its Divinity School graduates. These men and women earn the Master of Divinity, Master of Arts in Religion and Master of Sacred Theology degrees.
Yale Divinity School's graduates utilize their theological education in a wide variety of professions, especially the following:

  • Lay and ordained pastoral ministries in and of the churches.
  • Education, in both public and private K-12 institutions
  • Higher education administration, ministries, research and teaching
  • Business Management in non-profit enterprises and the private sector
  • Administrative positions in a wide variety of venues
  • Community development, advocacy, and social justice work
  • Arts, arts management
  • Communications, editing and publishing

Yale Divinity School's programs prepare students for these careers in the following ways:

  • Rigorous Academic Training. Yale Divinity enjoys a long history of immersing students in a most challenging academic environment where they are required to thoughtfully and critically analyze contemporary issues in the light of a long tradition of theological reflection. Divinity School graduates learn to write clearly, research independently, listen critically, and manage time effectively. Skills in public speaking, creativity, and leadership are developed and honed through demanding coursework with a distinctive faculty.
  • University Based Education. Yale Divinity School is one of 11 Graduate and Professional Schools that, together with Yale College, comprise Yale University. Divinity School graduates will have had the resources of one of the world's major research universities at their fingertips. Students may cross enroll in courses throughout the university, utilize all of its outstanding libraries and attend formal and informal events within the widest range of disciplines. Additionally, students have the opportunity to complete dual degrees with other Graduate and Professional Schools, such as law, medicine, public health, nursing, forestry and business.
  • Supervised Ministry. Students are invited or required (depending on degree program) to integrate the practical and the theoretical through participation in a comprehensive supervised ministries program. Through internships and theologically informed supervision, this program develops professional competence, a framework for raising practical theological issues, a comprehensive and realistic view of the Church and its ministries, and a ministerial identity.
  • Common Life Yale Divinity School's mission statement notes, "…the School recognizes as indispensable to its mission a communal environment that combines rigorous scholarly inquiry, public worship and spiritual nurture, practical involvement with the churches' ministries and mutual regard among human beings across the diversities of gender, sexual orientation, race, class, nationality, and culture." YDS graduates will have had their education informed by a myriad of formal and informal interactions with a diverse and lively community. Skills in mediation and collaboration, along with a particular sensitivity to differences are critical byproducts of this intentional approach to communal life.
  • Preparatory work A competitive admissions process allows the divinity school to select students with preparatory work at some of the finest colleges and universities worldwide. Students may have completed degrees in a vast array of liberal arts or professionally based programs. . Independent research, international travel, leadership experience, and extensive service to church and community have typified the types of students that we accept. Additionally, many students come to us mid career, with extensive experience in fields such as education, law, medicine, business and the arts.
  • Attentiveness to the Arts YDS students, through exposure to the unique programs of the Institute of Sacred Music, will be particularly attentive to the contribution of the arts to intellectual, religious and human experience.

For questions, please contact Susan Olson at susan.olson@yale.edu or 203-432-9485. Please note that the career office works only with positions for graduates. Internships are handled through the office of supervised ministry.