Ministerial and Professional Formation

Discovering the Work of our Lives

Academic and professional degree programs at Yale Divinity School prepare students for a wide range of careers and vocational directions, from the many fields of ministry to non-profit and service careers, from work within the academic realm to preparation for further degree study.

Vocational direction and focus seldom comes without significant effort. One’s time at YDS should, in addition to academic study and practical experience, include time for reflecting on one’s hopes and dreams for the future, and conversation with trusted mentors and companions along the way. This is not work for the final semester, but rather needs to be a purposeful process that begins early in the degree program, and continues throughout one’s time at Yale.

Every degree student is asked to build and maintain an online portfolio throughout their time at YDS, posting both a selection of academic work and some personal reflection on that work, as well as a professional resume. Additionally, each student should build a small group of trusted advisors, mentors really, who can serve as resource people and support system. Sharing the e-portfolio with these mentors is an important way to seek their input and encouragement, and to find focus for one’s own vocational discernment process.

Additionally YDS staff in the offices supporting professional formation and leadership are glad to serve as resource people, as students seek to make sense of their vocational yearnings, and to learn about the possibilities for meaningful work after they complete their Yale degree.

You may be in touch with:

Bill Goettler, Associate Dean, Ministerial and Social Leadership –

Jenny Davis, Director of Supervised Ministries

Alison Cunningham, Director of Professional Formation, 203-432-5330

Jere Wells, Director of ELM, Educational Leadership and Ministry

William Goettler

William Goettler

Associate Dean for Ministerial and Professional Leadership, Lecturer in Parish Leadership and Church Administration
(203) 432-9896

Jennifer Davis

Director of Supervised Ministries, Divinity School

Alison Cunningham

Director of Professional Formation
(203) 432-5330


Ministerial and Professional Formation