Divinity School Alumni Honored

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

Talitha J. Arnold was cited for “Distinction Among Recent Graduates.” While studying for her M.Div. degree at Yale, she was coordinator of the Women’s Center. After graduation she taught courses in parish ministry and women in the ministry and was acting assistant university chaplain at Yale. She then served the First Church of Christ UCC of Middletown, Connecticut, where she organized a major interfaith resettlement of Cambodian refugees. Her current congregation, the United Church of Santa Fe, New Mexico, has more than doubled its membership under her leadership, and programs in children’s and youth ministry and adult education have flourished. Worship services are offered in Spanish as well as English and are signed for the hearing-impaired. The physical facilities have been revitalized, and the financial base, stabilized.

Ms. Arnold is recognized as an exceptional minister, having received YDS’s Downes Prize for Leadership in Worship and the Alfred P. Klausler Sermon Award from “Christian Ministry.” She is a leading figure in ecumenical exchange, participating in Jewish and Catholic services. She has headed the Santa Fe chapter of Habitat for Humanity, co-initiated the first Service of Healing and Reconciliation for the General Synod of the UCC, and directed retreats for women in prison. Her writing has been published in “Biblical Preaching Journal,” “The Albuquerque Journal,” “The United Church News,” “Ghost Ranch Journal,” and “Shibboleth.”

Earl G. Harrison, honored for “Lay Ministry within the Church,” has devoted his career to elementary and secondary education. After earning the B.D. degree from YDS, he completed his M.A. in social and philosophical foundations of education at Columbia University Teachers’ College. A member of the Religious Society of Friends, he has been an educator and administrator in several Friends’ schools, including the Brooklyn Friends School New York, NY , the William Penn Charter School Philadelphia, PA , and Westtown School Westtown, PA . He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws from Haverford College in 1991.

Mr. Harrison has been head of The Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C. since 1978, where his leadership, vision, innovation, and commitment to Christian values have caused the school to become known for community service as well as a rigorous academic program, strong athletics, and a multi-racial, ethnic, and religious student body.

Stanley M. Hauerwas was honored by YDS for “Theological Scholarship and Education.” The Gilbert T. Rowe Professor of Theological Ethics at Duke University’s Divinity School, he earned his Ph.D. from Yale in 1968. An authority in theological ethics, he has taught at Notre Dame, Georgetown, the University of Texas Medical School, the University of Chicago, Union Theological Seminary, and other institutions. He has delivered numerous invited talks, including the George Thomas lecture at Princeton, the Riddell Lectures at the University of Newcastle England , and the Sprunt Lectures at Union Theological Seminary. Among other honors, he was named a Rockefeller Doctoral Fellow, a Pew Evangelical Senior Scholar, and has won grants from the Lilly Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Mr. Hauerwas is author of “Naming the Silences: God, Medicine, and the Problem of Suffering”; “After Christendom”; “Unleashing the Scripture: Freeing the Bible from Captivity to America”; and, most recently, “In Good Company: The Church as Polis,” in 1995. He has received honorary doctoral degrees from DePaul University in 1988 and the University of Edinburgh in 1991.

G. Scott Morris, founding director of the Church Health Center in Memphis, Tennessee, was honored for “Distinction in Community Service.” This church-based clinic provides holistic medical care to those who have fallen through society’s safety net. After completing his M.Div. at Yale, Dr. Morris earned an M.D. from Emory University Medical School in 1983. Over the years, he has recruited hundreds of physicians, dentists, and other medical professionals to volunteer their time to the clinic. He is author of articles on ethics and the church’s role in health care, and editor of “Hope and Healing: Words from the Clergy of a Southern City.” Dr. Morris has received many honors, including the Thomas W. Briggs Foundation Community Service Award, the Memphis Civitan’s Clergy of the Year Award, the Daughters of the American Revolution Medal of Honor, and the Memphis Rotary Club Community Service Award. He was listed as one of the 10 Outstanding Young Americans of 1994 by the National Junior Chamber of Commerce.

George E. Todd was honored for “Ordained Ministry within the Church.” 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.

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Media Contact

Gila Reinstein: gila.reinstein@yale.edu, 203-432-1325