Berkeley Adopts New Mission Statement

November 12, 2021

Berkeley Adopts New Mission Statement

As part of its accreditation through the Association of Theological Schools, Berkeley periodically reexamines its mission statement and, when needed, revises it to ensure that the institution’s mission statement, current program, and strategic direction mutually reinforce each other. 

The Board began such a reexamination this past winter as part of its strategic planning process and after considering a series of drafts formally approved the following statement at its recent October meeting:

The mission of Berkeley Divinity School at Yale is to form and transform lay and ordained leaders for the present and the future Episcopal Church and Anglican Communion. A Christian community of worship, learning, and service, it shares in the ecumenical and scholarly vocations of Yale Divinity School. 

Such change is not entered into lightly, nor within a small circle. The process has been iterative, inclusive of many voices, and developed over months of prayerful reflection. The approved statement reflects the multiple and complementary roles of Berkeley within the University and within the Episcopal Church and Anglican Communion, and at a time that calls for adaptive, skilled leadership that is both faithful to the enduring truths and traditions of our faith and responsive to a changing landscape. 

Dean Andrew McGowan, who acted as primary author of the statement, was pleased with the process as well as the outcome: “While we made considerable progress refining the statement between the first and final drafts, and many trustees weighed in, I was pleased that this process seemed so organic. We all knew what we were looking for from the beginning and just needed to work together to find it. It confirmed for me how clear a vision of our work, and our challenges, the Board shares.”

The trustees also approved a short version, or tagline: “The mission of Berkeley Divinity School is to form and transform leaders for the present and future Church.” This pithier statement does not have the same authority but seems likely to appear often as a brief reminder of Berkeley’s commitments.