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. Next year, from Opening Convocation through Commencement, we will reflect on and celebrate our history. Janus-like, we will look 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 next year, 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. We will share more details on all of this and more in the weeks ahead.

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 next year’s observance. 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

  • August 30, Opening Convocation
    • Debut of a newly commissioned hymn
    • Address by President Peter Salovey
    • Reception in the Refectory and Common Room
  • September-October, Sarah Smith Gallery
    • Exhibition on history of Marquand Chapel, created by Dean of Marquand Awet Andemicael
  • October 12-15, Fall Convocation
    • October 12, Ensign Lecture, Scott Thumma, Hartford International University
    • October 13-15, Beecher Lectures, Eunjoo Mary Kim, Vanderbilt Divinity School 
    • Event to celebrate the publication of the new YDS history book, “This Grand Errand”: A Bicentennial History of Yale Divinity School
    • Berkeley Divinity School celebration of 50 years at Yale and YDS
    • Panel on the future of theological education
  • October 27-28, Conference, “Generous Orthodoxy: Hans Frei and the Future of Theology,” Drew Collins and Ben Fulford, cochairs

Spring 2023

  • January 20, Celebration of Andover Newton’s affiliation in Marquand Chapel
    • Lunch in the Old Refectory and Common Room
  • February, Parks-King Lecture, portrait unveiling
  • March, Bartlett Lecture
    • alumni panel on China and global Christianity
  • April, Shaffer Lecture
    • Library exhibit on the history of scriptural study at Yale Divinity School
  • April/May, Spring Reception
  • May, Commencement

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

Articles about YDS history and historical figures

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...

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