YDS Campaign Co-Chair Rev. Nancy S. Taylor establishes challenge grant for scholarships

YDS is pleased to announce an exciting $200,000 challenge grant from the Rev. Nancy S. Taylor ’80 M.Div., Co-Chair of the We Are Called campaign for Yale Divinity School and member of the Dean’s Advisory Council. Securing funds for student scholarship support remains a top fundraising priority for YDS, and this gift will go directly to supporting students as part of the school’s financial aid program. We are delighted that a member of our community has offered such a generous challenge to help inspire additional support.

To meet this challenge, YDS needs to raise $400,000 in new endowed scholarship funds, resulting in a total of $600,000 added to the school’s scholarship endowments. You can participate by creating a newly endowed scholarship fund with a minimum commitment of $50,000 (payable over five years) or by making a single gift of $10,000 or more to the YDS general scholarship fund or the Rev. James Pennington Scholarship Fund.

We send our warmest appreciation to Nancy Taylor for the generous gift that makes this challenge possible. In addition to her service to Yale Divinity School, Rev. Taylor has had an exemplary career as a leader of churches, pastoring, among other congregations, Old South Church in Boston. As Dean Greg Sterling says, “Nancy leads not only by position but by example, not only by voice but by action. She is incredibly generous to YDS with her time and resources.”

The challenge runs through June 30, 2024. Any donor who establishes a new endowed scholarship fund at the $50,000 level will also get an additional $25,000 added to the principal of their endowed fund through the Dean’s Matching Gift Incentive Program after making your first installment gift of $10,000 in cash or securities.

The goal of the financial aid program at the Divinity School is to enable students enrolled in our degree programs to cover their institutional and living expenses without diverting undue energy or attention from their educational responsibilities. Producing great leaders takes great resources. Fully funding student financial need is critical to strengthening Yale Divinity School’s capacity to train students for leadership in the academy, church, and society. While YDS has achieved the milestone of covering the cost of tuition for 100% of our students with financial need, tuition is only 56% of the costs associated with attending YDS. Now more than ever, YDS students must be liberated from the stress of educational debt and free to focus on their vocations.

As Rev. Taylor explains: “I can imagine people asking why, given the number and enormity of the problems in the world, it’s so urgently important to support theological education. My answer is that that there is nothing more potent than religion when it comes to addressing the challenges of this time. Versed in ethics, religiously knowledgeable, and formed in faith, our students emerge from YDS uniquely capable of fostering the positive transformations needed in our communities, country, and world.”

To partner with us in meeting this challenge, contact Rod Lowe at 203-432-8127 or rodwin.lowe@yale.edu.