Brad AblesonBrad Ableson '85 M.Div.: Chaplain to Sailors and Marines

Captain Brad Ableson '85 M.Div., a career Navy chaplain, has traveled the world many times over, taking part in most of the major U.S. military operations of the last two decades. His professional journey was mirrored by a personal one, as exposure to different faiths left him humbly determined to bridge gaps and heal wounds between sometimes opposing religious traditions.

Nearly 22 years after graduating with an M.Div. from YDS, Ableson, 48, credits the school with giving him the academic foundation and spiritual vision to be an effective pastor to sailors and marines of many faith traditions. Noting that he wants to give back to the school, Ableson said, "I am leaving my entire estate to YDS in gratitude for the wonderful education I received."

Although Ableson holds degrees from three other institutions of higher education, YDS was an easy choice to make for his planned gift. "I loved YDS from my first moment on campus," he recalled. "It was a place with remarkable people exploring the Christian faith through critical thinking in a diverse environment. The school has enriched every single day of my life since matriculation, and I wanted to give that gift to bright students who might not otherwise have the opportunity to study at YDS."