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About BDS

 

A Word from the Dean

Dean Andrew McGowan

Welcome to Berkeley Divinity School at Yale!

As an Episcopal seminary, Berkeley Divinity School offers what we like to call "the best of both worlds" in theological education: the diversity of a university divinity school, combined with the focus of a denominational seminary. This potent combination offers a rare opportunity for Episcopal seminarians by providing an educational setting where they have access both to the vast educational resources of a secular university, as well as to the intensive formation for ministry of a Christian seminary. Yet it is also a place where we take to heart Evelyn Underhill's famous admonition, that God is the interesting thing about religion!

Berkeley's goal is to create an inquisitive environment where students acquire a clear understanding of the complexity of issues facing the church in the world, so that they may in turn become persuasive, imaginative advocates for the Gospel of Jesus Christ as clergy and lay leaders of the Episcopal Church. Through out partnership with Yale University, Yale Divinity School and the Institute of Sacred Music, Berkeley students are challenged on a daily basis by a lively ecumenical academic life as they engage faculty and colleagues from every variety of the Christian tradition, as well as a focused routine of prayer, worship and hands-on practical pastoral experience. This immersion encourages students to become more firmly grounded in their own Anglican heritage, and at the same time ready to discover fresh conclusions and insights that are both intellectually powerful and theologically genuine. We at Berkeley believe that this method of priestly and lay formation is critical to the future of the church, and we look forward to your participation and presence.

Faithfully,

The Very Rev'd Andrew McGowan
Dean and President

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BDS MISSION STATEMENT

Berkeley Divinity School at Yale fosters the knowledge and love of God, the depth of personal character, and the professional skills needed for faithful and creative leadership in the churches of the Anglican Communion. As a full-time, residential seminary of The Episcopal Church—located within an ecumenical divinity school and a major research university—Berkeley draws on exceptional resources to train both lay and ordained leaders for Christian ministries in a variety of vocational settings.

In collaboration with Yale Divinity School and the Institute of Sacred Music, Berkeley Divinity School carries out its mission of theological education by means of a core curriculum in Anglican studies, daily corporate worship, intentional spiritual formation, community life guided by a common rule, global mission opportunities, and ongoing programs in leadership development.

(Adopted by the Board of Trustees, October 13, 2011)

 

STATEMENT OF EDUCATIONAL EFFECTIVENESS AND ACCREDITATION

(As required by the Standards of the Association of Theological Schools)

Nearly all students enrolled in Berkeley Divinity School graduate with either a diploma or certificate in Anglican Studies. A large majority of the School’s graduates serve in ordained capacities in The Episcopal Church or other parts of the Anglican Communion as parish clergy; as school, college and hospital chaplains; or in other positions of pastoral responsibility. Some graduates pursue lay vocations both within and outside the church, and others go on to further graduate education to pursue academic careers. On average, 85% of the School’s graduates are placed in full-time employment or educational positions within a year of graduation. Moreover, students who are in the ordination process in The Episcopal Church consistently have higher General Ordination Examination scores, on average, than the national norm.

The school is fully accredited by the Association of Theological Schools by virtue of its affiliation with Yale Divinity School.

About Berkeley

Berkeley welcomes students who are committed to academic excellence, who desire to grow in spiritual insight, and who seek to acquire the skills necessary for effective ministry.  Read more about Berkeley’s mission, academic programs and community life here.

History

Berkeley Divinity School's origins go back to the Anglo-Irish bishop and philosopher George Berkeley, who dreamed of building a seminary in the New World that would express the breadth of the Anglican tradition in new environs.

Faculty and Staff

The Episcopal faculty at Berkeley and Yale Divinity Schools cover the whole range of theological disciplines.

Trustees

The Board of Trustees of the Berkeley Divinity School is widely representative of the diverse constituencies served by the seminary throughout the church.

Graduate Society

Connect with and learn more about the community of Berkeley graduates.

Profiles

Learn from the experience of current Berkeley Divinity School students and recent graduates.

Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to basic questions about BDS's academic and spiritual formation programs.

 

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