Chantee Parris ‘09 M.Div., ‘12 S.T.M.

A.B. Dartmouth College 2006

I cherish my time at Yale Divinity School for the many ways that I explored putting faith into action. The 2007 Leadership in Public Ministry program in particular allowed me to expand my interest in faith-based community organizing and drew me to complete two degree programs at this school. A total of four years at Yale deepened my commitment to community building, social justice, and academic excellence.

ParrisAlthough there are countless rich experiences that characterize my journey thus far, I am moving forward with great hope in two major projects that were birthed in me at Yale. The first is to partner more deeply with Waveney Dorsett and the Leeds Restoration Community in Guyana, South America to strengthen the Negla Ross Library at No. 53 Village/Union.  And, second, my S.T.M. thesis research on the intersection between community building and Caribbean culture will afford me the opportunity to expand my penchant for Christian education and grow into a role as a publishing scholar and full-time educator.

YDS is the wind beneath my wings. Here, my faith was challenged, strengthened and expanded. I have learned to love more openly and fully embrace my socio-cultural location in the history of this ever-expanding Kingdom of God on Earth.

A noteworthy benchmark of this inner transformation was the Spring term 2012 course “Jesus, Paul and Poverty” taught by Professor Diana Swancutt with a special Lecture by Dr. Paul Farmer concerning  (but certainly not limited to) Partners in Health in Haiti. The outpouring of love for the people of the West Indies in that course and within the larger YDS community deeply encouraged me about the prospect of wide-scale transformation across lines of race, place and even belief. In that course and all throughout my time at Yale, I learned and came to believe wholeheartedly that God’s arms are indeed big enough to embrace the whole world and each and every person coexisting with the whole of creation.

July 3, 2012
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