Notes from Notables

Peter Salovey
President, Yale University

I am thrilled to congratulate the YDS community on reaching this bicentennial milestone. The school has played a vital role in shaping our campus and communities across the world. I know that our future will be brighter, more peaceful, and more compassionate because of the knowledge and wisdom YDS faculty, graduates, students, and staff will continue to contribute to society.

(Full text of the President’s letter available here.)


M. Craig Barnes
President and Professor of Pastoral Ministry
Princeton Theological Seminary

Princeton Theological Seminary congratulates Yale Divinity School on its Bicentennial Celebration.  Over its glorious history YDS has provided many of the profound theological voices from whom we all continue to learn. Significantly, it has also trained fabulous pastors, professors, and public servants who are known only to the people they have spent their lives faithfully serving – and to God. Today, members of its faculty are leaders in the important theological discussions about the role of faith in our changing society. And as the school builds upon this firm foundation, we are certain that its future is filled with hope. 


Rosa DeLauro
Member of Congress

Congratulations on 200 years of the Yale Divinity School! This school’s rich history plays such a central role in our country. Your mission of fostering the knowledge and love of God through scholarly engagement with Christian traditions in a global, multifaith context, with an emphasis on social justice and moral leadership, has manifested in a far-reaching impact. It has produced a myriad of leaders, from those pursuing academia and chaplaincy to medicine and social service. One such leader is my colleague and dear friend, Congressman David Price of North Carolina, who has very much been the conscience of the United States House of Representatives, reflecting the values and ethics of the Divinity School. Your incredible institution is a grounding moral cornerstone of our country and will continue to inspire the minds of those who will carry our country forward. I look forward to seeing the next generation of influential leaders this great institution will undoubtedly produce.


Craig C. Hill
Leighton K. Farrell Endowed Dean
Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University

Heartfelt congratulations to Yale Divinity School on the occasion of its Bicentennial! It is no exaggeration to say that my two years as a Luce Fellow at YDS changed the course of my life. I had completed a D.Phil. in New Testament at Oxford with the intention of returning to serve a church in Illinois. The fellowship I then received at Yale was created to encourage persons to teach in a school of theology. In my case, it more than met that objective. My time there was standard-setting, and it deeply influenced me over three ensuing decades. So, I in company with the Perkins School of Theology at SMU celebrate Yale Divinity School’s incomparable legacy, and honor and support its vital, ongoing mission. 


Jan Love
Mary Hardin Willard Dean and  Professor of Christianity and World Politics
Candler School of Theology

It is my joy and privilege to represent the faculty, staff, students, and alumni of Candler School of Theology at Emory University in offering congratulations to Yale Divinity School on the occasion of its bicentennial. Two hundred years as a leading school of theology in one of the world’s finest universities is indeed an achievement to celebrate! 

As we at Candler experienced during our centennial year in 2014-2015, such a milestone brings the opportunity—and the responsibility—for rich reflection on what has been and inspired imagination on what could be. I am thrilled to see you have taken up that dual challenge for your bicentennial with the theme “YDS 200: Reflecting on our Past, Imagining our Future.” I pray that your discussions and discernment will yield fruit to seed the future, and I look forward to seeing what’s next as you turn to your third century. 


The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D. 
Dean and President and Professor of Theology and Ethics
Virginia Theological Seminary

Two hundred years is a major milestone. And over those two hundred years, Yale Divinity School has shaped the conversation of faith both in the Church and the Academy. YDS is a powerhouse of intellectual activity that has been the central hub of all of the major religious trajectories in the western world. May the next two hundred be just as significant and important.


Rev. George Parsenios ’02 Ph.D.
Dean, Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology

I am honored to share in the Bicentennial celebration of Yale Divinity School by contributing a few thoughts on my time there, and my recollections focus on the renowned faculty who taught me.  I served as a TA and adjunct at YDS during my doctoral studies from 1996 to 2001, and had the great good fortune of reaching the stage of dissertation writing in the year that Dean Emeritus Harold W. Attridge arrived at Yale. He is a renowned scholar, but an even finer human being, so the greatest gift I received at YDS was having Harold Attridge as a dissertation advisor. Adela Collins arrived in the next year, and was kind enough to be a reader of the dissertation, along with David Bartlett and Dale Martin, from the Graduate School. But even before Attridge and Collins arrived, the school shone with illustrious names. I was able to sit in on the final course on Romans that Leander Keck taught, as well as the final course on Isaiah that Brevard Childs taught.  Wayne Meeks, whose appointment was actually in the Religious Studies Department, also taught a course on Revelation at YDS during his final year, and I joined several doctoral students in taking that class as well. This collection of renowned teachers is hard to match, and I am grateful to YDS for affording me the opportunity to learn from such people.


Thomas D. Stegman, S.J.
Professor of New Testament
Boston College School of Theology and Ministry

My colleagues and I at the Boston College School of Theology & Ministry send hearty congratulations to our friends at Yale Divinity School upon their Bicentennial celebration. Two-hundred years of stellar service to the church and academy is a tremendous gift and legacy. As a scholar of scripture, I am keenly aware and appreciative of the tradition of excellence in this field of study in forming and assisting learned ministers of the word. Ad multos annos! 


Sharon E. Watkins ’84 M.Div.
General Minister and President (2005-2017)
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Greetings Yale Divinity School on your Bicentennial! You are a community where intellect and spirit interact with equal honor and respect. Worship is at the center of your being. In your embrace, generation upon generation of students have deepened faith in a living God, have grown in understanding of God and God’s people, and have been formed for leadership in their lifetimes. For two hundred years, you have made a difference in many lives and in mine. I am grateful!