The Case for Giving

With the sale of the campus and the affiliation with Yale, there are some misconceptions about the status of the school’s finances.  In short, although we made these moves to achieve sustainability, we are not flush with cash.  We still depend on contributions.

We sold our Newton Centre campus for $31.9 million, although the school will be paid that amount over time.  The final payment will be made at the end of 2022.  At that time, the net yield to the school—after mortgages on the campus, commissions and other commitments have been paid—will be about $17 million.  The proceeds of the campus sale will be added to our endowment.  Currently, our endowment (including proceeds from the sale of the campus) is still less than our endowment was in 2007.

Income from our endowment is the primary source of support for Andover Newton Seminary, but giving from individuals and congregations represents 16% of our budget (up from 10% when we were a free-standing school).  So, your giving is more important than ever.

Yale does not financially support the work of Andover Newton Seminary. The good news is that money contributed to Andover Newton is used by Andover Newton for Andover Newton’s mission.

Ministry has not gotten any less challenging in the 210 years since Andover Newton was founded, and a strong case could be made that ministry is more challenging than ever.  And there is a lot at stake.  The world needs congregations of compassion and justice now more than ever, and congregations need inspiring leaders who are prepared for their work through excellent education.

Frequently Asked Questions from Donors about Andover Newton’s Move to Yale:

Q: Where is Andover Newton on the timeline of its transition to Yale Divinity School?

During the academic year 2016-17, Andover Newton completed a “Visiting Year” at Yale Divinity School (YDS). At the end of that year, Andover Newton and YDS signed an affiliation agreement that indicated the schools had moved into formal partnership. Currently, Andover Newton is living in a “Visioning Year.” During this academic year, with help from an Innovations Grant from the Association of Theological Schools, Andover Newton is conducting research focused on the work our alumni/ae are currently doing in the field. This research of lived vocation will help us develop our academic program.

In this year’s incoming class at YDS, seventeen students indicated a desire to pursue studies with Andover Newton. At the end of September, thirty students, along with Andover Newton faculty, staff, and affiliates, held a covenanting ceremony to formalize their intent. Additionally, during the most recent prospective students’ day, more than a dozen students attended the Andover Newton information session and worship service.

At the same time, the Newton campus remains open and active through graduation in May 2018. Students, faculty, and staff are living and learning together. There will be a handful of students who do not graduate this year and accommodations have been made to assure they will receive degrees from Andover Newton Theological School when they complete their studies.

Q: Why Yale?  Why not partner with another school?

Yale Divinity School and Andover Newton share history, mission, and ethos. All three are essential for an affiliation to be successful. We have explored affiliation with other institutions closer to home but, for a variety of reasons, none were the right match. Yale Divinity School has a longstanding track record of affiliating with other institutions.  They have demonstrated a commitment to supporting the unique mission and identity of partner schools.

Q: Will Andover Newton be swallowed up by Yale and simply disappear?

Yale is interested in affiliating with Andover Newton because of our distinctive strengths and historic commitments.  They want us to maintain our identity as a school that educates religious leaders who serve in congregationally-rooted traditions. YDS wants to better serve its students exploring ministry in locally-governed congregations, and that’s our bread-and-butter, so this is a mutually-beneficial arrangement.

We are encouraged by the experience of Berkeley Divinity School, an Episcopal seminary affiliated with YDS. 45 years into their affiliation, Berkeley has retained its own distinctive identity and mission, while at the same time benefiting from being associated with a world-class research university.

Q: In what ways will Andover Newton remain distinct from Yale?

Andover Newton at Yale is a school within a school with a particular focus on educating pastors and other religious leaders in free-church (locally governed) traditions—most particularly the United Church of Christ, American Baptist Churches (USA), and the Unitarian Universalist Association.

As Andover Newton at Yale, we offer our own educational programs beginning with a focus on pastoral ministry in locally-governed faith communities. We plan to have an Andover Newton “seal of approval” for coursework and community engagement. Whether this takes the form of a certificate or something more akin to a diploma has yet to be determined. Regardless, there will be a formalized recognition of a student’s focus on congregational ministry through Andover Newton-flavored classes and programs.

Q: In what ways is Andover Newton becoming part of Yale Divinity School?

Yale will be the degree-granting entity as far as accreditors are concerned. Our faculty are part of the Yale Divinity School faculty with clear affiliations, perhaps even named chairs, in Andover Newton at Yale.  The library, student services, and facilities used by our students are provided by YDS.

Q: What do our denominations think? Are they supportive?

Yes, denominational leaders have been very supportive and encouraging. Andover Newton remains a seminary of the United Church of Christ and the American Baptist Churches (USA).  We also will maintain close ties with the Unitarian Universalist Association. We are touched and encouraged by the support and affirmation we have received from our denominational partners, who recognize that the status quo was not in the best interest of the School, or the churches we serve.

Q: Can I start giving to Andover Newton in its new location?

Until May 2018, gifts and pledges can be made to both locations. If you would like to begin giving to Andover Newton Seminary, you can do so now. Either send your regular gift to Andover Newton Seminary at Yale Divinity School (409 Prospect St. New Haven CT, 06511), or visit the giving site online ( When you click “Give to Annual Fund,” you will see that Andover Newton is one of the first choices on the list of recipients.

Q: Am I giving to Yale or Andover Newton?

Andover Newton has, and will continue to have, our own budget, programs, and mission. the Andover Newton budget would be separate from Yale’s budget so that we can maintain financial independence, particularly in order to fulfill Andover Newton’s mission. Checks can be made out to Andover Newton.  Be assured that donations to Andover Newton remain with Andover Newton.  Also, checks can be made to YDS, and “For Andover Newton” written in the note line.

Q: How does my gift support the mission of Andover Newton?

Giving to Andover Newton is as important as ever. Giving allows us to fulfill our mission. It supports our program, faculty, and student aid.  It is true that Yale has a large endowment, but that endowment will not support the programs of Andover Newton. We receive no funds from Yale. We need to support our own mission.  The good news is that now, as always, gifts given to Andover Newton are used by Andover Newton for Andover Newton’s mission.