For over 200 years Andover Newton has educated clergy and other religious leaders dedicated to serving the church. Its theological commitment to educating toward transformative involvement in society, rather than setting the church apart from society, has led Andover Newton to take bold stances in the past against slavery, in favor of women’s ordination, toward full inclusion of LGBTQIA+ candidates for ministry, and in the interest of promoting interfaith understanding.

Andover Newton Theological School, a historic seminary in the congregational traditions, had a visiting presence at Yale Divinity School in the 2016-17 academic year. During that visiting season, leaders from the two schools continued progress toward formal affiliation.

On July 20, 2017, those negotiations reached their fruition as the schools signed a historic agreement to formally affiliate. The pact put in place a structure by which Andover Newton—now known as Andover Newton Seminary—has relocated to Yale Divinity School.

As the visiting year ended and the formal affiliation was signed, Andover Newton commenced a Visioning Year. Thanks in part to an Innovations Grant from the Association of Theological Schools, members of the Andover Newton faculty and staff spent the Visioning Year creating an educational program in congregational ministry. The program design process included pilot initiatives that provided opportunities for Yale Divinity School students to become prepared to lead in locally-governed and theologically inclusive Christian faith communities.

In May 2018, the Yale Divinity School faculty approved an educational program through which YDS Master of Divinity candidates can earn Andover Newton diplomas concurrently with their degrees.  Andover Newton’s diploma program (see curriculum page), overlaid on the YDS MDiv, provides students with structure that helps them use that flexibility to meet specific professional preparation needs. 

January 20, 2023, marked the permanent affiliation between the two insitutions. A public signing of the affiliation to both formalize the partnership and mark the occasion included YDS Dean Gregory Sterling, Andover Newton Faounding Dean Sarah Drummond, Chair of Andover Newton’s then Board of Trustees - now Advisory Council - Hannah Kane, and Yale President Peter Salovey.

In an article published by Yale University, Timothy Cahill notes the following about the event:

In her remarks, Dean Drummond also emphasized the common roots that “launched the arrow that today found its target.” She continued, “The Big Bang that arguably put this partnership into motion was a quiet collision in the 18th-century between reason and faith,” referring to the advances of human knowledge sparked by the Enlightenment and the Great Awakening’s revival of America’s Christian zeal.
Leaders of that movement, notably Yale graduate and fire-and-brimstone preacher Jonathan Edwards, “had a sneaking suspicion that this modernity thing was going to present Christianity with some challenges. Those same thought leaders saw an intersection point between human achievement and faith that others, including our chilly neighbors to the north in Cambridge, had somehow missed,” Drummond archly observed.
That intersection, she said, “was beauty and awe and wonder and inspiration. We can love God through an appreciation of creation so passionate that we want to understand everything about it.”
Both Andover Newton and Yale foster “a capacity to live at that intersection of faith and reason rather than choosing between the academy or the church. Schools that care about wonder … need to stick together,” she declared.
“When it comes to religious expression in America, something is dying and something new is being born,” Drummond said. By joining forces, she concluded, ANS and YDS will educate “capable midwives ready to assist in the delivery of what God is bringing to life.”

Andover Newton Seminary at Yale Divinity School is a family to me and many students that are part of it. The kind of community that Andover Newton offers is one of welcome and hospitality. There is no doubt that it has brought its unique flavor – a flavor of welcoming, love, and joy.” ~Abner Cotto-Bonilla, MDiv ‘18

Open, Welcoming and Affirming Statement 

We declare ourselves to be an Open, Welcoming and Affirming seminary, welcoming into the full academic, business and community life of our school persons of every race, culture, age, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, ability, economic status, and faith tradition. We are committed to modeling Christian faith that works toward openness and understanding, offering justice, healing, and wholeness for all people. We believe that through our embrace of diversity and meaningful engagement of the other we can all grow in our self-understanding as children of God. From this place we believe we will be better able to practice our faith and fulfill our mission to empower church leaders as transformative witnesses of God’s abundant grace and love for a broken world.