Berkeley Divinity School

Berkeley Divinity School, founded in 1854, is a seminary of the Episcopal Church, based in New Haven, Connecticut.

Berkeley Divinity School
Established1854 (1854)
FounderJohn Williams
Religious affiliation
Episcopal Church
Academic affiliation
Yale University
United States


The seminary was founded by John Williams, then coadjutor bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut, as a mediating alternative between the Anglo-Catholic–leaning General Theological Seminary in New York and the evangelical-leaning Virginia Theological Seminary. The name of the seminary alludes to the vision of philosopher and bishop George Berkeley who a century earlier had planned a seminary in the western hemisphere; this use of his name for an educational institution precedes its association with California by some decades.

Williams was also President of Trinity College in Hartford, and after a brief period where he oversaw instruction as part of the College, the school began independent life in Middletown, Connecticut, in 1854. Williams continued as Dean while succeeding as diocesan Bishop, until his death in 1899. Berkeley moved to New Haven in 1928, during the deanship of noted liturgical scholar William Palmer Ladd, to take advantage of the resources of Yale University.

In 1971, a new agreement between Yale and Berkeley resulted in a closer affiliation; since then all students of Berkeley Divinity School have been also students of Yale Divinity School and take a Yale degree. Approximately one third of Yale Divinity School's students undertaking the master's degree in divinity are members of Berkeley. Thus, Berkeley operates as a denominational seminary within an ecumenical divinity school. Students graduating from Berkeley Divinity School at Yale earn a Diploma in Anglican Studies from Berkeley as well as their Yale degree, certifying that they have received education specific to preparation for Holy Orders in the Episcopal Church.

Berkeley's offices and programs are centered with those of Yale Divinity School on the Sterling Divinity Quadrangle, although Berkeley also maintains a separate center for worship and some programs nearby. Its former New Haven campus is now the site of Pauli Murray College, one of the newer residential colleges of Yale University, named for an Episcopal priest and activist.


Notable alumniEdit


  1. ^ "Andrew McGowan Appointed Dean". Berkeley Divinity School. Yale University. April 7, 2014. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
  2. ^ Fox, Margalit (2012-11-06). "Robert W. Castle Jr., Outspoken Harlem Priest and Accidental Actor, Dies at 83". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-11-25.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 41°19′24″N 72°55′24″W / 41.3232°N 72.9233°W / 41.3232; -72.9233