The Living Village

Building Communities of the Future at Yale Divinity School

Yale Divinity School seeks to provide a holistic environment for living and learning through the creation of a residential complex that offers an inspiring model for the nation and world.
As the human population rises above 8 billion we have clearly entered the Anthropocene, an epoch marked by climate change, species extinction, and resource depletion, all largely due to human activities. What is needed is a new type of leader trained for a new reality. These leaders will bridge faith and sustainability and develop the resourcefulness to bring communities together in the face of instability.
To that end, Yale seeks funding to help build the world’s largest green-building residential complex. It will produce zero waste, using only the water that falls on the site and capturing all the energy it needs from the sun. It will become an international model for sustainable living, especially on college and university campuses, and make a profound theological statement.
The 127,000-square-foot Living Village will house 155 students at the Divinity School at below-market rental rates, helping enhance the spirit of community at YDS while providing financial relief for students. We are grateful to have worked with Jason McLennan, the founder of the Living Building Challenge. By pursuing the Living Building Challenge, the world’s most stringent and progressive design framework and sustainability certification, the Living Village is intended to engage students in a new way of living.
Our students, and extended community, will be integrated with nature and grounded in principles of responsibility, equity, and beauty while residing in triple-net-zero facilities that generate all their own energy and capture and treat their own water and waste. Doing so solidifies Yale Divinity School’s commitment to being a global leader, with the aim of becoming the first divinity school in the world to achieve these notable accomplishments, and one of the first in the world of any project type to meet the laudable performance goals of the Living Building Challenge.
The initiative places us among a unique set of projects of this kind world-wide and will help to amplify our excellence and innovative leadership, nationally and internationally. The Living Village will promote true stewardship, community, and an equitable, just world for all, while enhancing our competitive edge in attracting students, faculty, and future stakeholders globally.
Once completed, it will be:
  • the world’s largest academic Living Building Challenge (LBC) project
  • potentially the first Living Community Challenge-certified campus
  • the first LBC project in Connecticut
  • the first Ivy League LBC project
To learn more about the project and giving opportunities, contact Barbara Sabia, Senior Director of Alumni Engagement and Development, at


Alumni Engagement and Development