Learn About Berkeley

From the Dean

Berkeley Divinity School is unique. It is the only Episcopal seminary to do its work within one of the world’s great universities. Berkeley is a small community within the larger community of Yale University and its Divinity School. It is therefore both gathered and intimate, while enjoying the benefits of a comprehensive and world-renowned faculty, a highly qualified and diverse student body, as well as libraries and other facilities of the highest order. Berkeley thus forms a community of future ordained and lay leaders who are both committed and open, who seek to encounter timeless truths and new knowledge, and to absorb ancient wisdom and engage with contemporary insights.

The Berkeley experience is both enriching and challenging. Our students gather every weekday for Morning Prayer and Eucharist. As members also of Yale Divinity School, they experience study as well as worship in an ecumenical context, with colleagues from most Christian traditions and from many cultural backgrounds. Our students thus experience forms of diversity in all aspects of community life and are enabled to gain a deeper sense of the catholicity to which Anglicanism is committed but which it does not exhaust.

Why Berkeley? The future of the Church and its capacity for bringing the witness of the Gospel to individuals, and to communities local and global, requires leaders formed prayerfully and intellectually. In particular we seek to draw diverse, able, and committed students who will provide leadership in new communities and old, in parishes and schools, in public life and in the academy.

We hope you will consider joining us in this great endeavor.

The Very Reverend Andrew B. McGowan

Dean and President

Mission

While Berkeley retains its distinctive Anglican identity, its students are admitted by and fully enrolled as members of Yale Divinity School. As Episcopalians, Berkeley students are formed by the centrality of daily corporate worship, deliberate attention to the spiritual life, and a concentrated course of study in Anglican history and theology. At the same time, they are incorporated into the rigorous academic program of a divinity school with its extraordinary faculty and library.

Founded in 1854 to be a mediating witness during a time of internal controversy in the Episcopal Church, Berkeley Divinity School has historically embraced the wide spectrum of Anglican worship practices and theological perspectives. As indicated by the School’s motto, in illa quae ultra sunt (“into the regions beyond”), the seminary has for over 160 years prepared clergy, educators and other leaders to serve throughout the church as part of its mission of “restoring all people to unity with God and each other in Christ.” Since 1971 Berkeley has done this work as a full partner and affiliate of the ecumenical Yale Divinity School.

Berkeley seeks 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. We seek to form leaders who will have the potential for a reflective theological wisdom that can articulate the Christian faith in a pluralistic society. 

Academic Program

Students wishing to study at Berkeley Divinity School apply to Yale Divinity School and/or the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, indicating in the application their particular interest in Anglican studies. Applicants do not need to have entered a formal discernment process in the Episcopal Church, although a prior relationship with a sponsoring parish or diocese is encouraged for students seeking ordination.
 
Berkeley students also include those interested in pursuing lay vocations, including such career paths as primary, secondary, or higher education; church music; religious and other media; social service and non-profit enterprises; government; or international relief and development.
 

Yale/Berkeley students may pursue any one of three degree programs (for more detailed information, please refer to the Bulletin of Yale Divinity School):

  • Master of Divinity from Yale University and the Berkeley Diploma in Anglican Studies

  • Master of Arts in Religion from Yale University and the Berkeley Certificate in Anglican Studies

  • Master of Sacred Theology from Yale University and a Berkeley Certificate in Anglican Studies

Students are encouraged to cross-register with other schools and departments of the University, as well as to participate in the wide variety of extracurricular offerings in the Yale community. The University offers a vast array of opportunities to hear lectures by visiting scholars and world leaders, to attend cultural events, and to take advantage of the extensive library and athletic facilities. These opportunities contribute to our graduates’ reputation for creative leadership in the Church. 

Anglican Studies

Requirements for students pursuing the Diploma in Anglican Studies include the following:

  • Academic Formation: Completion of the course of study for the M.Div. degree, including Bible, theology, ethics, preaching, church history, ministerial arts, and cultural and comparative studies

  • Anglican Formation: Required courses in the history, theology, polity and worship of the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion

  • Professional Formation: A three-year Colloquium series, a year-long supervised ministry, and Clinical Pastoral Education

  • Spiritual Formation: Regular attendance at daily worship in St. Luke’s Chapel, and participation in the Annand Program for Spiritual Formation including annual class retreats

To receive the Certificate in Anglican Studies students must fulfill the following:

  • Completion of the course of study for the M.A.R. or S.T.M. degree

  • At least three courses related to the history, theology, polity or worship of the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion

  • Regular attendance at daily worship in St. Luke’s Chapel and participation in the Annand Program for Spiritual Formation including annual class retreats

As part of the Yale Divinity School Supervised Ministry Program, students work in parishes, schools, and other ministry settings throughout the region, including metropolitan New York. Berkeley also encourages students to participate in exchange programs with overseas universities or seminaries, and to take up other opportunities for international experience, as another means of broadening their understanding of the global Church. 

Spiritual Formation

The James E. Annand Program for Spiritual Formation allows students from the Yale Divinity School community to discover the fundamentals of prayer and Christian discipleship from seasoned clergy and lay teachers. Sponsored by Berkeley Divinity School, the program is a resource for the larger Yale community, adding a spiritual grounding to the academic life. It encourages students to regard prayer as the foundation of Christian growth and learning.

Seminarians have the opportunity to engage in spiritual direction with one of the many Annand Program mentors, who represent a wide variety of denominational backgrounds (including members of religious orders). Students can participate in small groups exploring such topics as vocational discernment, contemplative prayer, and the faith practices of Christian life. Each Berkeley class undertakes an annual retreat: juniors to a monastic setting, middlers for an Ignatian retreat, and seniors on a Canterbury Pilgrimage.

The Berkeley community is shaped by its distinctive Rule of Life, which establishes normative patterns of prayer, worship, personal integrity and responsibility. In addition, students’ spiritual formation is nurtured as they pursue a variety of ministry internships; as they encounter a steady stream of visiting preachers and speakers from all around the church; and as they travel on mission and research trips throughout the world.
 

Educational Leadership & Ministry

Berkeley Divinity School offers a unique program within the Master’s Degree to encourage and prepare students for ministry in schools, colleges and universities. The Educational Leadership and Ministry (ELM) program, which may be pursued by either M.Div. or M.A.R. students, offers courses that focus on the skills and challenges of serving as chaplains, teachers and administrative leaders in educational environments. Berkeley awards a Certificate of Educational Leadership and Ministry to those who complete certain requirements—such as an internship experience—beyond the academic courses.

Community Life

Worship is at the heart of Berkeley Divinity School. Each weekday, the community offers the Daily Of ce as well as the Eucharist in St. Luke’s Chapel. The Chapel is located in Berkeley Center, near the main Yale Divinity School campus, which houses a core of residential students and functions as the gathering place for the whole community. Here students share in frequent social occasions, dinners, and discussions with faculty, visiting guests, and one another.

All Berkeley students are members of Yale Divinity School and enjoy all the privileges of the University, including ecumenical worship in Marquand Chapel, choirs and ensembles, social and political organizations, sporting and fitness facilities, and numerous conferences and lectures given by the world’s most prominent theologians and church leaders. As a result, students often find that they belong to several communities at once, making for a seminary experience that is especially intellectually stimulating and socially enriching.