The New Evangelists: Yale Divinity School and the Future of Protestantism
A new article out of Yale locates the Yale Divinity School at the epicenter of mainline Christianity and at the forefront of a nascent liberal Protestant revival. Among graduates of the Yale school are the current heads of the Presbyterian Church in America, the United Church of Christ, the Disciples of Christ, and a number of prominent Episcopal bishops, including John Chane, Bishop of Washington, D.C.
Warren Goldstein, chair of the American Studies Department at the University of Hartford, writes for the Yale Alumni magazine that the school is at the head of a reviving mainline Christianity preaching radical inclusion and "extravagant welcome."
The article is online here.
NB: The report is provocative. It links some of the recent challenges at the Yale Divinity School and the Berkeley Episcopal Seminary, to the challenges facing mainline churches. The report sees in the Divinity School’s renewed confidence and strength of mission, the "beginnings of a revival of liberal Protestantism -- long after many political observers had declared it dead. Along with that goes a new embrace of evangelical fervor on behalf of the Gospel: what Sharon Watkins, head of the Disciples of Christ, calls ' a new way of being church.' "
The report notes that five years ago, Watkins' denomination, set a 20-year goal of growing itself by 1,000 churches. They have already added 400 new churches since then, almost half of the total target.