The Rev. Dr. Debora Jackson became Yale Divinity School’s first Director of Lifelong Learning in January, 2017, her arrival heralding an exciting new expression of the School’s traditional mission of service to church and world.
Dr. Jackson comes to YDS from the Ministers Council of the American Baptist Churches, USA, a prestigious and historic organization dedicated to the support of Baptist clergy. She led the Council from 2012 to 2017, helping the organization restructure and revitalize while securing important new revenue streams. Prior to that, she served for eight years as Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Needham, Mass., which under her leadership reversed years of decline and flourished as a church known for its engaged preaching, new ministries, and extensive outreach.
Debora worked in business for 20 years, with an emphasis on IT and software engineering, before heeding the call to ministry. During that time she served as (among other positions) the Chief Operating Officer of an Internet-based energy services provider and as Managing Director of an IT consulting group.
An Indiana University graduate, Dr. Jackson earned her M.Div. at Andover Newton Theological School in 2006 and her D.Min., also from ANTS, in 2012. In addition to her regular work, Dr. Jackson has been a frequent speaker, guest preacher, and workshop leader. She is also the author of numerous articles and one book, Spiritual Practices for Effective Leadership: 7 R’s of Sanctuary for Pastors (Judson Press, 2015).
As the new leader of lifelong learning at YDS, Dr. Jackson devotes herself to developing a robust program to assemble and leverage the abundant intellectual and professional resources of the School for the betterment of churches and other ministries.