Nature of the Divinity School

Yale Divinity School (YDS), a graduate professional school of Yale University, is a robust community of learning and worship offering a wide range of resources for students on varied paths, including careers not only in ministry and academia but in many other professions as well. The school is interdenominational and nonsectarian, with a faculty drawn from the major Christian traditions and also other world religions. Students represent numerous denominations and faith groups, and instruction is provided in the history, doctrines, and polity of all the major church traditions.

Programs of study at YDS lead to the degrees of Master of Divinity (M.Div.), Master of Arts in Religion (M.A.R.), and Master of Sacred Theology (S.T.M.). Interdisciplinary study is encouraged through enrollment in courses elsewhere at Yale or by pursuing joint-degree programs offered in collaboration with other graduate professional schools at the university. Beyond the classroom, students engage in worship opportunities, field placements, research, guest lectures, and denominationally oriented activities.

The richness of student experience and opportunity at Yale Divinity School is enhanced by the presence of several YDS partner institutions that specialize in programs of formation: Andover Newton Seminary at Yale Divinity School (ANS), which specializes in the training of ministers within congregationally based polities; Berkeley Divinity School at Yale (BDS), an Episcopal seminary; and the Yale Institute of Sacred Music (ISM), which fosters engagement in the sacred through music, worship, and the arts.

Sterling Divinity Quadrangle—the home of YDS on the Yale campus—is also the site of a number of vital resource and research programs, including the Yale Center for Faith and Culture, the Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale, the James E. Annand Program for Spiritual Formation, the Educational Leadership and Ministry Program, the Center for Continuing Education at Yale Divinity School, and the Center for Public Theology and Public Policy.

Between 280 and 300 students attend YDS at any given time. Central to life on Sterling Divinity Quadrangle are the daily worship services held in Marquand Chapel, in addition to services organized by Andover Newton Seminary, Berkeley Divinity School, and student denominational groups.

YDS maintains strong ties with the Department of Religious Studies in the university’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, which offers the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in multiple fields of study. Some YDS faculty can hold joint appointments in the Department of Religious Studies or participate as Ph.D. program faculty. Conversely, Religious Studies faculty can teach courses at the Divinity School. YDS professors occasionally maintain joint appointments in, or affiliations with, various other Yale departments, such as American Studies, Classics, History, History of Art, and Philosophy. Additionally, YDS students can with permission earn Divinity degree credit for Religious Studies courses, and graduate Religious Studies students can with permission take YDS courses for degree credit.

The YDS website can be accessed at