Yale Divinity School conferred its most prestigious alumni/ae awards to four women leaders at a special awards dinner October 17, part of the university-wide celebration of the 50th and 150th anniversaries of women at Yale. Two additional women received the Dean’s Award for outstanding service.
The awards dinner highlighted the Divinity School’s annual Convocation & Reunions, attended by nearly 500 alumni/ae and friends October 16-18.
The alumni award recipients are:
Kristin Foster ‘77 M.Div.—Distinction in Congregational Ministry
Neichelle Guidry ‘10 M.Div.—William Sloane Coffin ‘56 Award for Peace and Justice
Serene Jones ‘85 M.Div. ‘91 Ph.D.—Distinction in Theological Education
Kathy A. Turner ‘69 M.Div.—Lux et Veritas
For three decades, Kristin Foster provided dynamic leadership of Messiah Lutheran Church, ELCA, in Mountain Iron, Minnesota, a congregation located in the rural-mining-wilderness region known as the Mesabi Iron Range. Before her recent retirement, Foster and her church launched such projects as the Mountain Iron Neighborhood Network to revitalize neighborhood parks, the Summer Work Outreach Project for youth of the community, and a seminary internship to train future pastoral leaders for dynamic rural ministry.
Neichelle Guidry currently serves as the Dean of Sisters Chapel and Director of the WISDOM Center at Spelman College in Atlanta. For six years, Guidry served as the Associate Pastor to Young Adults and the Liaison to Worship and Arts Ministries in the Office of the Senior Pastor at Trinity United Church of Christ on the South Side of Chicago, where the Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III ’95 M.Div. is Senior Pastor.
Serene Jones is the 16th President of Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York, the first woman to be president in the school’s 182-year history. She is a leading public theologian who contributes to scholarly and national discussions on matters of faith, social justice, and political life. Jones served on the YDS faculty for 17 years before becoming the President of Union.
Kathy Turner is a pioneering leader in the movement to train spiritual care practitioners for hospitals, parishes, and other settings and is the first woman to be president of the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education and the International Council on Pastoral Care and Counseling. (The Lux et Veritas award recognizes an alumnus or alumna who has demonstrated excellence and distinction in applying the compassion of Christ to the diverse needs of the human condition through the wider church, institutional ministries, ecumenical organizations, not-for-profit organizations, government, or industry.)
In addition to the alumni/ae award, YDS Dean Greg Sterling presented outstanding service awards to Susan Walker Graybill ’67 M.Div. for her stalwart volunteer efforts on behalf of her alma mater and to Gail Briggs, who is retiring after a decade of exemplary work at the Director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving.