George Todd Honored by Yale Divinity School

George Todd was one of five alumni of the Yale Divinity School, YDS, given Awards for Distinction at the Fall Convocation on October 9. Honored this year were Talitha Arnold ‘80, Earl Harrison ‘59, Stanley Hauerwas ‘65, G. Scott Morris ‘80, and Mr. Todd ‘51. Kenneth W. Clapp, president of the YDS Alumnal Board, introduced the award recipients, and YDS Dean Richard J. Wood made the presentations.

The Reverend Todd was honored for “Ordained Ministry within the Church.” He preached at the YDS Convocation worship service on October 8. An advocate for the poor throughout his 40-year career in the ministry, Mr. Todd began while still a student at YDS, with efforts of found the Oak Street Christian Parish in New Haven. His pioneering urban ministry at East Harlem Protestant Parish in New York City became the model for many other ministries across the United States. Mr. Todd taught social ethics and urban mission strategy at the Tainan Theological College in Taiwan and headed the Office of Urban Ministry for the United Presbyterian Church, USA, where he was instrumental in forming a coalition with other denominations to work for better housing, education, and racial integration in American cities. As director of the Office of Rural-Urban Mission of the World Council of Churches, he introduced strategies of community organization throughout developing countries. The vision that has guided his career is the urgency of stimulating churches to create innovative ways to serve people grappling with the change from agricultural to industrialized societies.

Yale Divinity School was established in 1822, though ministers have been trained by Yale since the founding of Yale College in 1701. Today, YDS instructs students of all the major Christian church bodies. Its mission states that it seeks to create “a communal environment which combines rigorous scholarly inquiry, public worship and spiritual nurture.” It offers three degrees, a Master of Divinity, M.Div., formerly known as a Bachelor of Divinity, B.D.; a Master of Arts in Religion, M.A.R.; and a Master of Sacred Theology, S.T.M..

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