Who We Are

Each graduating student has his or her own story. Over the next several months, we'll share some of them here...


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Alex and Kate

Hello! I'm Alex Peterson, Senior Class Gift Co-Chair and proud member of the Class of 2012.

Just prior to YDS, I worked for three years in rural Ghana as a Peace Corps Volunteer. There, I would discuss the best techniques for growing onions in the morning, work in a hospital in the afternoon, and plan a cultural reconciliation project in the evening. I also worked at a drug education non-profit in Nebraska, and helped craft and implement a holistic program to sensitize communities about social ramifications of drug use. I came to YDS because of its focus on service and servant ministry.

While I’m not certain of the exact path I’ll take in the future, I’m leaving YDS confident that the past three years have shaped me and my understanding of my place in the global community. YDS was the right place for me.

I’m part of the 90% of students who receive financial aid from YDS. Simply put, I could not be here without it. The legacy other classes left through their Class Gifts and donations gave me the opportunity to be here, and I want to make sure my class leaves a similar legacy.

Hi! I'm Kate Stratton, Senior Class Gift Co-Chair and proud member of the Class of 2012.

I am excitedly preparing for a professional ministry that will blend pastoral care, liturgy, and the arts in congregations/hospitals/schools. Before my matriculation at Yale, I was a "starving artist" in New York City. There I auditioned, performed, and worked odd jobs to pay the rent. The life was exciting—I joined a renegade theater troupe in Greenwich Village, fetched pu-pu platters for Meryl Streep, served regularly as overnight host for a small men's homeless shelter... Finally, though, I answered a long-dormant call to put God at the center of my life and work. Now, three years later, I celebrate all the challenges and blessings that have come from my time at YDS. This is exactly where I was meant to be.

Like many students at YDS—past, present, and future—I would not have been able to attend Yale Divinity School without financial aid.

Jackie PhillipsMy name is Jackie Phillips and I'm from Ledyard, Connecticut, a small town about an  hour away from New Haven. I studied religion and Hispanic studies at Wheaton College  in Norton, MA before coming to YDS. I came to YDS pretty certain that I did not want  to pursue ordination, but seeking a ministry which combined my faith and passion for  social justice. During the summer after my first year at YDS, I took the Leadership in  Public Ministry course and discovered just what I was looking for: faith-based  community organizing. This summer internship led to a two-year partnership with a  local church and broad-based organization. As I look forward to graduation in May, I anticipate continuing the community organizing work I've begun during my time at YDS  and look forward to using the skills I've learned here. I was fortunate to receive a  scholarship from YDS, without which I'm not sure I would have been able to pursue my  studies and interest in organizing.

I am extremely grateful for the opportunity YDS has given me, and I want to ensure that students in the future are able to access the same opportunity, wherever their paths may take them.