Yale Divinity School
Yale Divinity School | Annual Report | 2019–20
Inspired Minds
Yale Divinity School | Annual Report | 2019–20
Inspired Minds
Greg Sterling, The Reverend Henry L. Slack Dean of Yale Divinity School and Lillian Claus Professor of New Testament

From the Dean

Dear Friends,

I first read the opening clauses of Charles Dickens’s A Tale of Two Cities (1859) in the eighth grade: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” These two clauses capture our moment in the twenty-first century.

“It was the best of times.” In spite of the crises we faced, YDS had a banner year in 2019–20. You made it so. We received the largest gift in the history of Yale Divinity School, a pledge of $15 million from George and Carol Bauer for the Living Village. This followed gifts from George and Carol in previous years that launched the project’s feasibility study and funded the architectural planning. As philanthropists, the Bauers are incredibly generous to many organizations. We are grateful that YDS remains among their top priorities.

Two other couples made significant contributions to the Living Village. Sam and Ann Croll made a $1 million commitment to the Living Village. Last spring, shortly before the pandemic changed our lives, Clyde Tuggle and Mary Streett pledged $1 million. Both couples have made a huge difference for YDS not only monetarily but in service: Sam is co-chair of the Dean’s Advisory Council, and Clyde is chair of the Council’s communications committee.

The Council spearheaded an effort last spring to raise the funds for the Class Gift. Normally each graduating class raises funds for those who will follow. Given the economic crisis and its effect on students, Council members, the Alumni Board, YDS staff, and others raised a record Class Gift of $20,000 on behalf of the class of 2020. Many other alumni/ae and friends of YDS generously supported the School at a time when resources were threatened or scarce. We are grateful to all.

“It was the worst of times.” Last year began on a very high note. We had a great group of students entering and returning, faculty morale was especially good, and we had hired outstanding people to complement the dedicated staff who have been with us for many years; the school felt great. And then COVID-19. It changed the world. It changed YDS. It changed each of our lives, and the end is not yet in sight. The pandemic has not only threatened our health; it has brought an economic crisis in its wake that has unnerved us all. If these two calamities were not enough, a string of brutal shootings culminating in the murder of George Floyd reminded us of our centuries-old struggle with systemic racism and set off a worldwide reaction.

And yet, in the “winter of our despair”—if I may return to Dickens—there is “a spring of hope.” What gives me hope is that in spite of the three major crises hitting us simultaneously, you stood with us. We pride ourselves on community, and you demonstrated what community means through your support, with gifts of every level. It is the commitment that you have all made to our community that gives me hope that we will get through these crises as a School, as a nation, and as a global community. Thank you from the bottom of my heart–not only for your gift, but for the hope that your gift inspires.

With my gratitude,

Gregory E. Sterling

The Reverend Henry L. Slack Dean

Lillian Claus Professor of New Testament

Man wearing backpack approaching the Sterling Divinity Quadrangle

Annual Giving

The Annual Fund is the lifeblood of Yale Divinity School. Rarely has the School seen our volunteers and donors step up as generously as they did in the spring of 2020 to support students struggling with the effects of the global health crisis. With every dollar raised going to student financial aid, the YDS community is exceedingly grateful to those who give.

To learn more about or make a gift to the Annual Fund, please email Debby Jagielow, Director of Alumni Engagement and Annual Giving, or call (203) 432-3871.

Annual Fund gifts of every size are integral to our success.

Annual Fund Giving Levels % of Donors % of Funds
Nathan Hale Associates
0.3% 18.8%
Marquand Society
0.8% 11.4%
Edwards Circle
1.4% 10.4%
Beecher Benefactors
6.7% 22%
Bushnell Sponsors
7.9% 11.1%
Stuart Associates
13.7% 10.4%
69.1% 15.9%
Percentage of YDS students receiving financial aid
Average amount of gift to YDS annual fund
Rank in alumni giving among Yale professional schools

Challenge gifts raise fast funds

Motivated to provide students with essential financial aid, YDS alumni and friends raised over $107,000 in two distinct challenges in May and June.

In May, an anonymous donor sponsored a YDS Financial Aid Challenge of $25,000. The challenge was a 2:1 match for recent graduates (Class of 2010 and later) and a 1:1 match for graduates prior to 2010. The challenge surpassed its goal, attracting $29,375 in gifts from 103 alumnae and alumni, 30 percent of them recent graduates.

In June, several members of the Dean’s Advisory Council mounted a challenge to bring in 100 additional alumni donors in the final seven days of the fiscal year. Dramatically exceeding its target, the challenge garnered 147 new contributions totaling $27,865 and activated $25,000 in challenge funds.

Nathan Hale

The highest annual giving recognition level, the NATHAN HALE ASSOCIATES recognizes generous donors who contribute $10,000 or more to the Annual Fund, 100 percent of which is directed to student financial aid. Nathan Hale Associates have a YDS scholarship named in their honor for the following academic year.

The giving society is named for Nathan Hale, a member of Yale’s Class of 1773 and a famous Revolutionary War figure who volunteered to be a spy under General George Washington’s direction.

Class Agents

The support of CLASS AGENTS, over 100 of whom work year-round to increase support for YDS, was a big boost in the spring of 2020. When the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted students’ lives and studies, Jessica Anschutz ’07 M.Div., chair of the class agent program since 2008, appealed to agents and members of the Alumni Board for special assistance. They answered the call, reaching out personally to fellow alumni and alumnae through phone calls, emails, and letters.

“Class agents are invaluable every year, but their peer-to-peer outreach this year was impressive,” Anschutz said. “We are grateful to those who went above and beyond their regular volunteer outreach.”

Alums rush to students’ aid

Within our peer group of over 100 university-based divinity schools, YDS consistently ranks among the highest in the percentage of alumni giving. Closer to home at Yale, YDS ranks third among the 13 graduate and professional schools in annual fund participation with a rate of 24 percent, illustrating the tenacity and dedication of our alumnae and alumni.

Investment in the Annual Fund helps produce exceptional graduating classes. In June, degrees were conferred upon 134 students: 65 receiving the Master of Arts in Religion (M.A.R.), 58 the Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree, and 11 the Master of Sacred Theology (S.T.M.) degree. The youngest of the graduates was 23 years old, and the oldest 84. The new graduates are heading into ministerial positions, further graduate study, nonprofits, and other fields.


Students studying in the Day Missions Room of the Divinity School library

Major Gifts

Major gifts and planned gifts allow donors to have a transformative impact and allow the Divinity School to enhance excellence across facilities, programs, and faculty. YDS is grateful for the opportunity to discuss ways you might help us fulfill our mission by making a major gift. Naming opportunities are available.

To learn more about ways to give, please email Barbara Sabia, Senior Director of Alumni Engagement and Development, or call (203) 432-4791.

Largest gift in school history made by George and Carol Bauer

Mary Goodman Circle of Donors grows by 23 new members in 2019–20

Sam and Ann Croll make $1 million gift to support development of Living Village

Clyde Tuggle and Mary Streett give $1 million in unrestricted funds

Two men talking at an outdoor table on the YDS campus

Scholarship Funding

Each year, donors endow new scholarships and add to existing scholarship funds in support of our students. Meeting student financial need is critical to strengthening the Divinity School’s capacity to train students for leadership in the church and world.

To learn more about scholarship funds, please email Barbara Sabia, Senior Director of Alumni Engagement and Development, or call (203) 432-4791.

Increasing the amount of aid available to students continues to be our top financial priority.
Recent Growth of the Endowment
Chart illustrating growth of the YDS endowment over three years from over $402 million in 2017-18 to over $416 million in 2019-20

Six scholarship recipients in their own words

Woman near a tree in the YDS community garden known as the Yale Divinity Farm

Public Affairs

Extraordinary times require extraordinary effort. YDS supporters, volunteers, students, and faculty showed their mettle in facing the crises affecting our world and campus in the 2019–20 academic year.

Man playing piano inside Marquand Chapel

From the Quad

To learn more about ways to support Berkeley, please email Pamela Wesley Gomez or call (203) 464-4659.
To learn more about ways to support Andover Newton, please email Ned Parker or call (203) 464-2287.


With the Covid-19 pandemic forcing cancellation of concerts, lectures, and other in-person gatherings, the ISM launched a series of Zoom events in spring semester. Titled “Reflections from Photo of woman walking up lobby stairs at the Institute of Sacred MusicQuarantine,” the series features video interviews with ISM and YDS faculty members including Teresa Berger, whose expertise in digital worship (including her 2018 book, @Worship: Liturgical Practices in Digital Worlds) has made her a widely consulted source on virtual worship during the pandemic. Other faculty members interviewed for the series include Abdul-Rehman Malik, Bryan Spinks, Markus Rathey, and Felicity Harley. The ISM plans to produce new interviews to add to the series throughout fall semester.

New faculty books 2019–20


Jerry Henry ’80 M.Div. is the twenty-sixth chair of the Yale Alumni Association (YAA), the first with a degree from the Divinity School. He is a past chair of the YDS Alumni Board, and currently serves on the Dean’s Advisory Council. Henry has served YDS as a class secretary and class agent. In addition to YAA, he is on the boards of the Yale Alumni Fund and Yale Alumni Magazine, and he has volunteered as a Yale Alumni Schools Committee interviewer. Henry is Managing Partner at Alexander Haas, a leading consulting firm for non-profit organizations.

Jerry Henry

Woman carrying bag across Sterling Divinity Quadrangle

Financial Summary

JULY 1, 2019 — JUNE 30, 2020
Pie chart showing 2019-20 revenues
2019-20 Revenues
Student tuition & fees $ 8,686,027
Endowment & investment income 22,442,204
Gifts for current operations 2,665,613
Grants 398,000
Other revenues 3,845,886
Total revenues $ 38,037,730
Pie chart showing 2019-20 expenses
2019-20 Expenses
General operations $ 17,529,184
Financial aid 6,995,915
Compensation & fringe benefits 12,732,434
Operating expenses subtotal $ 37,257,533
Prepaid expenses (gifts, grants) 780,197
Total expenses $ 38,037,730
Everything we do is possible because of our donors.
We are grateful to those who help us pursue our mission of teaching and forming students for service to church and world as we foster scholarly engagement in a global, multi-faith community.
Thank you!