A vintage photo of the original Yale Divinity School building in downtown New Haven circa 1872.
YDS 200
In the 2022-23 academic year, Yale Divinity School celebrates the 200th anniversary of its founding as a distinct school at Yale.

YDS 200: Reflecting on our Past, Imagining our Future

Bicentennial logo. 200 Years, Yale Divinity School

In 1822, YDS became a distinct school at a growing Yale, setting us on a course toward becoming the school we are today. During the 2022-23 academic year, from Opening Convocation through Commencement, we are reflecting on and celebrating our history. Janus-like, we are looking toward the future in addition to looking back. Indeed, the theme, chosen by a Bicentennial planning committee comprising alumni, students, faculty, and staff, is “YDS 200: Reflecting on our Past, Imagining our Future.”

There is a great deal to look forward to in the coming months, including the debut of a new hymn composed for the Bicentennial, a YDS history book, a special issue of Reflections, exhibits on YDS history, a conference on theology at YDS past and present, and a special Fall Convocation designed for more interaction between students and alums. Several special lectures as well as our annual named lectures will contribute to the Bicentennial celebration. 

LEARN MORE: A brief history of Yale Divinity School

So much has happened, and so much has been accomplished, in our two centuries as a school at Yale. But our conversations about the future are, to me, the most exciting part of the Bicentennial. The story of Yale Divinity School is still being written and will continue to be written for generations to come.

—Gregory E. Sterling, Dean

Bicentennial Events


Fall 2022

Spring 2023

  • January 20, Celebration of Andover Newton’s affiliation in Marquand Chapel
    • Lunch in the Old Refectory and Common Room
  • January 31, Sorensen Lecture by Jason McLennan, founder of the Living Building Challenge and consultant to YDS Living Village project
  • February 24, Parks-King Lecture
  • February 28, Portrait unveiling
  • March - June, Biblical Scholarship at YDS: A Bicentennial Retrospective exhibit (pdf) in the Yale Divinity School Library.
  • March 6, Bartlett Lecture
    • alumni panel on China and global Christianity
  • April, Sarah Smith Gallery
    • Exhibition on history of Marquand Chapel, created by Dean of Marquand Awet Andemicael
  • April 10-12, Shaffer Lecture
    • Library exhibit on the history of scriptural study at Yale Divinity School
  • April 20-21, Conference on “Moral Theory and the Trinity”
  • April 27, Plaque dedication, Bicentennial celebration concert
  • April 28, Community celebration picnic
  • May, Commencement

Note: More events to be added soon. For more information email Tom Krattenmaker, Director of Communications. 

The Origin of the Theological School at Yale College

As part of the observation of the 200th anniversary of Yale Divinity School, the YDS 200 Committee presents two documents that tell the story of the Divinity School’s founding in 1822 in the words of those who were there. Download the publication.

Articles about YDS history and historical figures

March 23, 2023
By Peter J. Thuesen This month would have been the 100th birthday of the Yale theologian George Lindbeck (1923-2018), whose work was formative for how I think about religion...
March 14, 2023
By Timothy Cahill ’16 M.A.R. In 2017, the Rev. Dr. Rena Joyce Weller Karefa-Smart ’45 B.D. was presented with the Lux et Veritas Award, one of Yale Divinity School’s most...
March 7, 2023
During this year’s Bicentennial observance, YDS is imagining its future in addition to looking back on its two centuries of history. The future-oriented side of that was in...
November 9, 2022
More than 300 alums, friends, and campus community members congregated on the Quad for Convocation and Reunions Oct. 12-15—the first in-person enactment of the annual...
November 7, 2022
To mark the YDS Bicentennial, the Yale Center for Faith & Culture at YDS is highlighting Divinity School professors and alums in a special episode of its “For the Life of...
October 18, 2022
October 17, 2022 Yale Divinity School on Friday launched a fundraising campaign aimed at strengthening support for students, academic programs, justice work, and construction...
September 8, 2022
Editor’s Note: During the year of our Bicentennial, YDS hopes to publish alumni/ae stories from their time at YDS, such as this piece by Robert Tiller. If you would...
May 3, 2022
May 3, 2022 YDS Dean Greg Sterling released the foillowing statement today to the Divinity School alums and the campus community. —— I write today about a major...
January 15, 2022
Dean Greg Sterling has issued an unprecedented acknowledgment of Yale Divinity School’s historical complicity in slavery and racism and has announced a series of actions to...
October 25, 2021
By Dr. Moses Moore ‘77 M.Div. The social and political activism of contemporary clergy such as the Rev. William Barber illuminates the “applied Christianity” that marked the...
July 12, 2021
By Moses N. Moore ’77 M.Div. As faculty, students, alumni/ae, and friends of Yale Divinity School reflect on the challenges posed by COVID-19, we can gain insight from the...
April 27, 2021
By Lauren Yanks ‘19 M.Div. Fifty-one years after the historic May Day protest on the New Haven Green, YDS alumni of the era are reflecting on the momentous events of a half-...
April 26, 2021
Editor’s note: The following brief excerpt comes from a history of Yale Divinity School being prepared for publication in 2022, when YDS will celebrate its 200th...
February 5, 2020
Editor’s Note: On our social media and website, Yale Divinity School is honoring African American alumnae and alumni during Black History Month. As part of that effort,...
November 8, 2019
By Moriah Lee ’20 M.A.R. At the urging of the YDS Alumni Board, the Divinity School introduced an element of oral history to last month’s Convocation and Reunions, offering...
September 3, 2019
By Ann-Catherine Wilkening ’19 M.A.R. On a Tuesday last March, I was working my shift as a student worker in the Divinity School’s bookstore. As I placed price tags on a new...
The Catholic Luther at YDS
April 3, 2019
By Christine Helmer  Christine Helmer ’97 Ph.D. is the author of The Trinity and Martin Luther, which was revised in a second edition with Lexham Press (2017). Her new book,...
October 22, 2018
In the 1830s, James W.C. Pennington became the first African American to attend classes at Yale. He audited classes at the Divinity School despite not being allowed to...
March 16, 2018
Editor’s Note / January 14, 2022 In honor of Martin Luther King Day 2022, YDS is reprising this content feature, initially published in 2018. —— Yale...
December 7, 2017
By Kathrin Havrilla Yale Divinity School is proud to celebrate a momentous occasion in the School’s history, a landmark event that symbolizes the vibrancy, vitality, and...

Secondary Attractions

Fundraising campaign
'We Are Called': YDS launches fundraising campaign for scholarships, faculty, social justice initiatives, and Living Village.