Gregory E. Sterling reappointed dean of Yale Divinity School

Gregory E. Sterling
Gregory E. Sterling (Photo by Mara Lavitt)

Gregory E. Sterling, the Reverend Henry L. Slack Dean at the Yale Divinity School (YDS) and Lillian Claus Professor of New Testament, has been reappointed for a third term, President Peter Salovey announced today. His next five-year term will begin July 1, 2022.

The reappointment recognizes Sterling’s outstanding service over the past decade and the promise of continued exceptional leadership in the years ahead, Salovey said.

Since arriving at YDS in 2012, Dean Sterling has worked tirelessly to advance the Divinity School on several critical fronts,” Salovey said.

For instance, Sterling has raised a strong voice for the theological and moral imperative for addressing inequality and injustice in society. Amid an urgent national reckoning with racism, he and the Divinity School have tripled the number of faculty from underrepresented groups and doubled the number of staff and students. In addition, the school is putting in place curricular and operational infrastructure to ensure that everyone in the YDS community feels they belong and can thrive.

Sterling has also worked to provide increased support for students so that graduates can pursue careers and vocations based on their calling and not financial constraints, Salovey said. The school has raised $40 million for financial aid and is poised to reach its strategic goal to cover all tuition costs for students with demonstrated need by the 2022–2023 academic year. Thereafter, the school aims to raise funds to help cover students’ living costs.

Salovey also cited YDS’s innovative Living Village residential complex, a visionary project announced during Sterling’s second term that aims to become the world’s largest green-building residential complex and a model for the nation and the world. YDS has succeeded in earning the approval to move ahead with the first phase of this project, and a groundbreaking is tentatively planned for 2023, with the goal of moving students into the facility, at below-market rental rates, in 2024.

In addition, he recognized Sterling’s work in creating the historic merger of Yale Divinity School and Andover Newton Theological School.

A strategically astute response to the shifting landscape in theological education, this important partnership has secured a sustainable future for one of the country’s most venerable seminaries, Andover Newton, while enriching the campus experience and ministerial formation of YDS students,” Salovey said.

Salovey also thanked members of the YDS community for sharing comments and input during the reappointment review process. Many of them, he said, commended Sterling’s commitment to increasing the diversity of the YDS faculty, staff, and student body. And many remarked on Sterling’s “uncompromising support for excellence in scholarship and education” and his eagerness to build on these accomplishments.

Dean Sterling has served Yale Divinity School with exemplary skill and dedication in the past decade,” Salovey said. “I thank him for his contributions and look forward to working with him and all of you in the years to come.”

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Bess Connolly : elizabeth.connolly@yale.edu,