Strategic Plan and Core Values at-a-glance

Mission of Andover Newton Seminary at Yale Divinity School

Deeply rooted in Christian faith and radically open to what God is doing now, Andover Newton Seminary at Yale Divinity School educates inspiring leaders for faith communities.

Core Values

Leading with love, which binds all things together in harmony (Col 3:14), we affirm these core values: 
To be pastoral in our emphasis on the holistic care of souls in scholarship, pedagogy, and the culture we foster inside and beyond our campus (Jeremiah 3:15; Mark 10:42–45);
congregational in our commitment to the free church tradition and nurturing of egalitarian relationships under the Spirit’s leadership among members of our community (Exodus 19:6; Acts 2:46–47); 
contrite through an honest reckoning with our mixed history of Puritan privilege and missionary zeal without wavering—as our forebears intended, by their lights—to participate in the mending of creation (Psalm 51:10–13, 17; Isaiah 58:12; 2 Cor 5:18); and
aspirational in our commitments to the highest standards of integrity and excellence, the legacy of innovation that has distinguished our school for more than two centuries, and to the practice of biblically-centered justice and compassion (Micah 6:6–8; Matt 25:34–40). 

Strategic Foci and Objectives: 2023-2028 Strategic Plan 

Download a printable pdf of the Strategic Plan at-a-glance now.

I. ANS at YDS will further YDS’s strategic objectives, which we share and wholeheartedly support. ANS at YDS will:
  • Raise financial support for students, alleviating from now-and-future graduates the burden of theological educational debt
  • Through funds and awareness-raising, advance the creation of a Living Village student residence exemplifying best practices for green engineering and ecological community-building
  • Expand YDS’s capacities in diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging by extending ANS at YDS’s theological commitment to mutual hospitality into the whole of the Divinity School
  • Partner with the YDS faculty in redeveloping the Master of Divinity program for a new day
  • Creating new educational methodologies that enhance students’ global awareness

Why this matters: Andover Newton Seminary is the most newly embedded partner at Yale Divinity School, living out its mission through a creative partnership that has drawn the attention of seminaries, churches, and denominations nationwide seeking innovative institutional expressions. New partnerships require special attention. Embracing YDS’s goals, just as YDS embraces ANS’s mission and vision, is one way in which Andover Newton will continue to anchor its new institutional model. 

II. ANS at YDS will nuance the theological education YDS makes available to all its students. ANS at YDS will:
  • Use transparency as a teaching tool, building opportunities into all its programming for students to learn how to reimagine and develop ministries
  • Teach students how to participate in and facilitate tough conversations about topics where people have strong feelings and disagree with one another
  • Embrace its conviction that ministry is contextual, and rooted in relationships, by getting to know the city of New Haven more deeply, and forming partnerships that create ties that bind

Why this matters: Andover Newton educates students for ministry in locally governed faith traditions, whereas YDS is ecumenical and educates for a wide range of denominations. Flat hierarchies, shared leadership, and contextual analysis and sensitivity characterize the ministries ANS’s graduates serve.  

III. ANS at YDS will raise its profile beyond the campus, pushing learning resources out to the wider world. ANS at YDS will:

  • Create an outward-facing dimension to many of its programs, ranging from livestreaming events to publishing curricula
  • Partner with YDS’s Center for Continuing Education in creating programs for clergy and other interested learners in the wider public
  • Expand its publishing enterprises, copyrighting and disseminating new knowledge
  • Explore possibilities for extending travel seminar opportunities to alums and other learners from beyond the campus community

Why this matters: ANS touches the lives of its 45-55 students deeply, and it also influences the 275-300 students at YDS, but its products have relevance far beyond the campus. Ministry in congregationally organized faith communities is important to society, and therefore ANS must expand its reach in order to be of service to the church and world. 

IV. All of the initiatives above align with the fundraising objectives named in the ANS Capital Campaign. ANS at YDS will:
  • Raise monies that support students (see section I, above)
  • Fully fund a faculty chair in honor of George Washington Williams, attending to the theological education needs of faith communities historically marginalized by the theological academy
  • Steward both new and historic partnerships, revitalizing an educational partnership with Hancock Church in Lexington, MA – established in 1971 – and seeking out new strategic alliances
  • Create an endowment to support Emmaus Encounters: Building Community on the Road, a travel seminar program that teaches students to foster connections within and beyond communities

Why this matters: After stressful cycles of financial of ups and downs over its 216 year history, leaders in today’s ANS seek to learn from the past and plot out a better-funded future. Today, all new initiatives include a related plan for fundraising, avoiding the temptations presented by fascinating ideas that devolve into unfunded mandates whose financial pressures land on students. 

Our Vision

Committed as we are to faith communities and the formation of their leaders, we at ANS at YDS understand that, as relates to the church as we know it today, something is dying, and something new is being born. We do not resist the dying and rebirth; resurrection is at the heart of our theology. Rather, we seek to join God in dismantling that which has not been life-giving. We commit to rebuilding, repurposing, and reviving faith communities. Tomorrow’s church’s contours are not yet known to us, and we might not live to see them. But we can educate those who will build, and rebuild, it.” – Sarah B. Drummond, Founding Dean 

Download a printable pdf of the 2023-28 Strategic Plan now!