Berkeley Divinity School to Install Dean Franklin

The Berkeley Divinity School at Yale will officially install R. William Franklin as its 12th dean and president on Friday, Oct. 30, at 4 p.m. in Marquand Chapel, 409 Prospect St. A reception will follow in the Yale Divinity School Common Room.

Participating in the ceremony will be Presiding Bishop Frank T. Griswold III, head of the Episcopal Church in the United States; Richard C. Levin, president of Yale University; the Rev. Richard Wood, dean of the Yale Divinity School; and the Rev. Frederick J. Streets, University Chaplain and pastor of the Church of Christ in Yale. Also participating will be the Right Rev. Clarence Coleridge, Episcopal bishop for Connecticut; representatives of the 11 other Episcopal seminaries in the United States; and representatives of other denominations.

“We are delighted to celebrate the investiture of William Franklin as the Dean in Berkeley Divinity School,” said President Levin. “He is a distinguished scholar of Christian humanism and the modern ecumenical movement, a leader within the Episcopal Church and an outstanding educator. We are proud to have him at the head of the Episcopal seminary that flourishes within the Yale Divinity School.”

Franklin came to Yale from the General Theological Seminary in New York, where he was associate dean and a professor of history and world mission as well as modern Anglican studies. Prior to that, he was the Michael Blecker Professor of the Humanities at Saint John’s University in Minnesota. He has taught at Harvard and Duke as a visiting faculty member.

A distinguished lay leader in the Episcopal Church, Franklin was appointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury (England) to serve as a consultant to the 1998 Lambeth Conference, which meets in Canterbury every 10 years to determine the course of the Anglican (Episcopal) Church. Franklin is a governor of the Anglican Centre in Rome, chairman of the Board of Friends of Saint Benedict, a member of Anglican/Roman Catholic Consultation in the United States, and a member of the Standing Commission on Ministry Development for the Episcopal Church.

Franklin has written extensively on Christian humanism, the modern ecumenical movement, and liturgy. His book, “Nineteenth Century Churches: The History of a New Catholicism in Worttemberg, England and France” (1987), was a finalist for the 1989 Philip Schaff Prize of the American Society of Church History. He is also co-author of “The Case for Christian Humanism” (1991), “Virgil Michel: American Catholic” (1988), “Receiving the Vision: The Anglican-Roman Catholic Reality Today” (1995), and other books. His writings have been published in The New York Times, The Living Church, The Anglican, Worship and College Teaching.

Franklin earned his B.A. degree with highest distinction from Northwestern University, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He received both his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in history from Harvard University.

“Berkeley Divinity School, because of its affiliation with Yale, provides a unique bridge upon which theological excellence and formation for ministry continue to flow into the Episcopal Church,” said Dean Franklin. “I am proud to be part of this endeavor.”

Berkeley Divinity School was established in 1854 in Middletown and moved to New Haven in 1928. It became affiliated with the Yale Divinity School in 1971, but maintains its financial independence and oversight of Episcopal students. Berkeley is the only Episcopal seminary affiliated with a major research university.

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