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.
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