Office of Lifelong Learning

The Lifelong Learning program at YDS provides for theologically grounded clergy and laity a vibrant array of opportunities to deepen and extend their understanding and practice of their faith tradition. The Lifelong Learning program will leverage the rich theological resources of YDS, including events, lectures, programs, and courses, making them accessible and available to a diverse, global community. By doing so, we will inspire the world through lifelong learning by offering opportunities that resource, equip and enrich.

We are excited by this brand new program at YDS and encourage you to explore our offerings. Better yet, subscribe to our mailing list and be updated regularly so that you can take advantage of what we have to offer. Welcome to the community of lifelong learners. Partner with us and let the lifelong learning continue.

Biography of Rev. Debora Jackson, DMin, MDiv, ME, MS, BS

The Reverend Dr. Debora Jackson is the Director of Lifelong Learning at Yale Divinity School. In this position, which heralds an exciting new expression of the School’s traditional mission of service to church and world, Rev. Jackson is responsible for developing a robust program to assemble and leverage the abundant intellectual and professional resources of the School for the betterment of churches and other ministries.

Prior to her appointment at Yale Divinity School, Rev. Jackson was the Executive Director of the Ministers Council of the American Baptist Churches, USA, a prestigious and historic organization dedicated to the support of American Baptist clergy. She led the Council from 2012 to 2017, helping the organization restructure and revitalize while securing important new revenue streams. Previously she served for eight years as Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Needham, Mass., which under her leadership reversed years of decline and flourished as a church known for its engaged preaching, new ministries, and extensive outreach.

Rev. Jackson worked in business for 20 years, with an emphasis on IT and software engineering, before heeding the call to ministry. Key roles she held during that time included Chief Operating / Chief Information Officer of an Internet-based energy services provider and as Managing Director of an IT consulting group.

Rev. Jackson received her Doctorate in Ministry, emphasis in Leadership, and Master of Divinity degree, emphasis in Spirituality, both with honors, from Andover Newton Theological School. She holds a Master of Engineering degree in Manufacturing Engineering and a Master of Science degree in Management from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business from Indiana University.  Rev. Jackson is the author of numerous articles and one book, Spiritual Practices for Effective Leadership: 7 R’s of Sanctuary for Pastors (Judson Press, 2015), which was the 2016 Illumination Book Silver Medal Award Winner. Rev. Jackson’s printable biography is available here. 

Debora Jackson

Director of Lifelong Learning
(203) 432-5330


Lifelong Learning