International Exchange Opportunities

Many students in the M.A.R. or M. Div programs avail themselves of international study during their years at YDS, either through travel seminars, summer programs, or international exchange programs.  Is a semester or year studying abroad right for you?  Each student has particular educational and professional goals, but study abroad can be a significant experience for students preparing for an academic career or for those preparing for parish ministries. 
Each of YDS’s six international study sites offers distinct features.  The German programs, for example, provide an option to study in a German-language setting.  The other three programs offer study in English, although Chinese language study is a possibility in Hong Kong and Singapore. 
Students preparing for academic careers will most likely want to consider the particular departmental strengths and research resources of each program.   Students preparing for ministry, in addition to classes offered, may want to explore the cross-cultural opportunities also available in each setting.   For all students, study abroad is a valuable chance to expand personal and professional worldviews through study and encounter with other cultures, languages and perspectives.  Most students describe the impact of these experiences as “life changing.”

Second-year M.A.R students and second- or third-year M. Div students are eligible to consider this program.

Please contact Antonio Bravo, Assistant Director of International Student Exchange Programs, for application information.

Westcott House (Cambridge, England) (on hiatus 2022-2023)

Baden-Würtemberg Exchange (Heidelberg, Freiburg, Tübingen in Germany)

Chung Chi College (Divinity School) of Chinese University of Hong Kong

Trinity Theological College (Singapore)

Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Westcott House (Cambridge, England) (on hiatus 2022-2023)

Westcott House is a member of the ecumenical Cambridge Theological Federation, which brings together seven different theological training institutions to provide a wide range of courses and subject teachers.  A number of exchanges have taken place between Westcott and YDS under this ongoing program. Westcott has an historical association with the Cambridge University faculty of divinity, and students are able to audit all Cambridge University courses. As members of the Theological Federation, students learn from and alongside Roman Catholics, Methodists, Orthodox, Evangelical Anglicans, and members of the United Reformed Church. Most courses are taught in the traditional “English tutorial” model. Participants benefit from living in a unique Anglican theological college and participating in a liturgical and community-based environment. The House has a range of accommodations. Most single students live in rooms situated around the main (“old”) court. Married students live either in flats in Westcott or Wesley House (across the street) or in houses nearby.  Worship and prayer are the focal point of the life of Westcott House, centered on celebration of the Eucharist and the rhythm of daily morning and evening prayer.

Baden-Würtemberg Exchange (Heidelberg, Freiburg, Tübingen in Germany)

The Baden-Würtemburg Exchange, coordinated by the State of Connecticut Department of Higher Education, provides eligible Yale Divinity School students the opportunity to spend one or two semesters at one of three participating universities in this German state.  Each university offers a four-week orientation and language program for Exchange participants and language support during the semester.  At least one year of prior German language study is strongly recommended.

  • Heidelberg University:

    Founded in the fourteenth century, Heidelberg University has a strong tradition in the liberal arts and now in the sciences.  There are opportunities for German language training, theological study and more in this beautiful and historic location.   Courses are taught in German and in English. Heidelberg University has some 4,500 international students from 130 countries. It is one of the most popular German universities among students from abroad. The roots of this international popularity date back for centuries. Just seven years after the university’s founding in 1386, an English student from Canterbury visited the new university. The first U.S. student, from St. Louis, enrolled in 1793.  The faculty at Heidelberg is Protestant.  Heidelberg is also the home of the College of Jewish Studies.

  • University of Tübingen:

    Founded in 1477, the University of Tübingen offers a full range of academic disciplines, from traditional liberal arts to computer sciences.  Of particular interest is the living arrangement within the Stift, a medieval building that is the ecumenical home to students studying theology and preparing for ministry.  Through the centuries Tübingen has prepared many leading theologians, and the school currently has dual Protestant and Catholic faculties.  Many view Tübingen as primarily an intellectual city, yet others view it as romantic because of its idyllic old town or because of the many poets who are identified with Tübingen, like Uhland, Schwab, Kerner and Hesse.  Still others see this city—in which Hegel and Schelling received their intellectual training—as a revolutionary hotbed.  After the introduction of the Reformation in Wurttenberg in 1534, this former Augustinian monastery was converted to a seminary.  Many famous poets and philosophers enjoyed a free education in Protestant theology here, particularly at the end of the 18th century when Hegel, Holderlin and Schelling all attended.   

  • University of Freiburg:

    Founded in 1457, the University of Freiburg is located in a picturesque valley on the western border of the Black Forest.  There are opportunities for German language study as well as a wide range of theological classes and other general humanities coursework.  The university is consciously aware of its intellectual roots in the occidental Christian tradition and the humanism of the Upper Rhine.  Building on the original disciplines of theology, law, medicine, and philosophy, it is dedicated to passing on the classical cultural heritage to new generations and continuing the southern German liberal tradition. The theological faculty at Freiburg is Catholic.  Freiburg is located on the border with France, near Strasbourg, where the Lutheran Institute for Ecumenical Research is located.   In addition, its Black Forest surroundings help make the school’s ecology program particularly strong.

Chung Chi College (Divinity School) of Chinese University of Hong Kong: 

An affiliate of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the Divinity School of Chung Chi College is the only theological education institution operating within a Chinese public university.  It is ecumenical in orientation, not tied to any particular denomination but supported by several traditions:  Congregational, Presbyterian, Reformed, Lutheran, Anglican, and Methodist. As a result, no particular doctrinal confession is endorsed, and acceptance of each other’s faith tradition is stressed.  Training in Chinese is available, and classes are taught in both English and Chinese. Apart from training pastoral workers, the college also aims at raising the level of theologizing of the laity. There are opportunities for outside service work through ecumenical agencies such as the Amity Foundation ( and the Hong Kong Christian Council. The campus is large and modern and conveniently located near public transportation, with its own stop on the Metropolitan Transport Rail.  The faculty of the Divinity School is also part of Chinese University’s Department of Culture and Religious Studies.  That department includes a wide range of research centers including: Center for Catholic Studies; Center for Christian Studies; Center for the Study of Daoist Culture; Center for the Study of Humanistic Buddhism and a Center for Harmony in Diversity.

Trinity Theological College (Singapore):

Trinity Theological College opened its doors on 4 October 1948 under sponsorship of the Methodist, Anglican and Presbyterian churches. The idea for such an institution developed out of conversations among church leaders interned in Changi Prison during the Second World War who felt the need to establish an institution to train pastors and church workers.  TTC seeks to serve all Christian churches and denominations by educating and equipping Christian leaders for the manifold ministries of the church across Asia.  Trinity operates two significant research centers: The Centre for the Study of Christianity in Asia (CSCA), which provides a forum where Christians in Southeast Asia can collaborate in affirming their distinct Christian ethos and articulating their faith positions.   And the Centre for the Development of Christian Ministry, which aims to serve the Church by providing lay training programs, seminars, conferences and research on Bible, theology and ministry.

In 2002 Trinity dedicated a new campus with state-of-the-art library, classrooms and excellent student housing facilities.   The campus is located in a suburban section of Singapore and is accessible to the city by public transportation.  The student body includes students from throughout Asia and from a diversity of denominations.  Students participating in this program may avail themselves of opportunities for involvement with churches in Singapore as well as visits and service projects with churches in Malaysia.  

Hebrew University of Jerusalem:

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem is Israel’s second oldest university, established in 1918.  Hebrew University is ranked as the top university in Israel, and as the 59th-best (or, in other rankings, 23rd-best) university in the world.  Its 23,000 students attend classes on three campuses in Jerusalem and one in Rehovot. The exchange program operates in conjunction with the Rothberg International School (RIS) at Hebrew University, located on the Mount Scopus campus.  Courses are taught in English and Hebrew, with the latter requiring an Ulpan level of Heh.  Modern Hebrew courses are offered during the semester; pre-semester Hebrew courses are available but incur extra fees.  The program can facilitate a semester-long or a full-year exchange, with the semesters extending October-February and March-July.  The application for the March-July term takes place in October/November of the preceding year, i.e., a mere three months before exchange students leave for Israel.  Yale GSAS sets up a downtown information session.


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