Yale Divinity School


Programs Offered by Yale Divinity School

Yale Divinity School appears in our ranking of the 30 Best Theological Seminaries in the United States.

Yale Divinity School offers several degree programs and certificates available to students at the graduate level and the certificate level. Degree programs include the Master of Divinity, the Master of Arts in Religion, and the Master of Sacred Theology. Students may also enroll in certificate programs that include the topics of Black church studies, Lutheran studies, and reformed studies.

Additional certificates are available in partnership with the Berkeley Divinity School, the Andover Newton Seminary, and on the topic of United Methodist studies. Students may also enter the Educational Leadership ministry program. Other programs available to students include the Transformational Leadership program, the cooperative Master of Divinity with the Hartford Seminary, and the programs from the school’s Institute of Sacred Music.

For the flagship Master of Divinity program, students take around three years to complete the program and are prepared for ordination at the conclusion of the degree. Some of the courses students will take include those in Christian education, preaching, and pastoral counseling. Students also participate in a supervised ministries placement, which is like a religious internship that takes place in an environment like a social service agency, a church, or a hospital.

For the Master of Arts in Religion program, an ideal student is a person interested in lay ministry in environments like hospitals, colleges, and secondary education institutions. Students may pursue a general curriculum or concentrate in one of several areas like ethics, liturgical studies, religion & the arts, or world Christianity & missions. Other topics for concentration include religion & ecology, the history of Christianity, the Hebrew Bible, and Black religion in the African Diaspora.

Classes students will take in the Master of Arts in Religion program include Old Testament Interpretation I, Intermediate New Testament Greek, Bounty, and Duty: The Hebrew Bible and Creation, and Exodus through the Ages. Students will also take Pauline Theology, Ezra-Nehemiah, and Grief & Emotions: Ancient Philosophy & Theology, Modern Conversations.

For the Master of Sacred Theology program, enrollees must have a Master of Divinity or Bachelor of Divinity to qualify for admission. The program takes a year to complete and is considered by the school to be the fourth year of study beyond the three years required for the Master of Divinity program. The Master of Sacred Theology is a 24-credit program that also requires an extended paper or thesis.

About Yale Divinity School

Yale University’s first classes were on the topic of religion, and Yale Divinity School is the descendant of the institution’s first forays into higher education. The school was established under the umbrella of Yale University in 1822, but it would maintain its own campus and degree programs as of the 1860s. Yale College would originally train Congregationalist ministers for work in Connecticut and would eventually create the Yale Theological Seminary.

The school is affiliated with the Episcopal Berkeley Divinity School, and since the 1970s has also focused on ecumenical teaching rather than instruction based on a single Christian denomination. The deans of the school have come from religious backgrounds like the Methodist Church, the Roman Catholic Church, the Quakers, and the Churches of Christ. There are almost 400 students enrolled at Yale Divinity School.

Yale Divinity School Accreditation Details

Yale Divinity School has received accreditation from the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada. The commission measures the school on its educational effectiveness and is important for students who want to attend programs at other accredited institutions after receiving a degree from Yale Divinity School. The school is also a member institution of the Association of Theological Schools.

The school is also affiliated with several large Christian denominations, which means that students may become ordained ministers in the Episcopal Church, the United Church of Christ, the Baptist Church, or the Lutheran Church. The school also has ties to Unitarian Universalism, the United Methodist Church, the Disciples of Christ, and the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Yale Divinity School Application Requirements

Students who apply to Yale Divinity School will have their applications graded on factors like leadership qualities, emotional stability, and creativity. Admission is also based on the student’s academic record, spiritual maturity, and communication skills. Items required during the application process include the official application, transcripts, a personal essay, and a writing sample.

The writing sample should be no longer than five pages long on double-spaced pages. Students should also submit three letters of recommendation with two of those recommendations explaining the academic potential of the applicant. International students who apply and whose first language isn’t English must take a language proficiency exam unless they can secure a waiver.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition at Yale Divinity School is $25,440. All students pay the same rate because the school is a private institution and doesn’t charge different rates for residency. Students will also pay other fixed fees like a $500 comprehensive fee, a $2,450 health fee, and a $1,200 board fee. The total in fixed expenses for students attending the school is $29,590 per year.

Students should also budget for several discretionary expenses like $11,700 for rent and food, $6,283 for personal expenses, and $1,200 for books. Students who bring a spouse or partner to orientation will also pay an additional $35 orientation fee. The school once charged a separate commencement fee, but that amount has been rolled into the school’s comprehensive fee.

Students have a deadline of March 1st if they want to apply for financial aid at Yale Divinity School. Some funds may be available after that date but only on a first-come, first-served basis. The school tries to send financial aid awards at the same time it sends out letters of acceptance to future students. Students are also reminded that they must reapply for financial aid each year that they remain enrolled at Yale Divinity School.

The school partners with an organization known as iGrad, which helps students plan their financial aid applications by offering information on educational budgeting and financial aid options. Students may read articles and watch videos from the organization to help them figure out how to finance their education. International students who want to attend Yale Divinity School may qualify for scholarships, but the school notes that scholarships usually aren’t enough to earn the student an I-20 for domestic study in the United States.

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