Michal Beth Dinkler named next Head of Timothy Dwight College

Michal Beth Dinkler, an associate professor of New Testament and early Christian literature, has been appointed the next head of Timothy Dwight College.
Michal Beth Dinkler

Michal Beth Dinkler (Photos by Dan Renzetti)

Michal Beth Dinkler, an associate professor of New Testament and early Christian literature at Yale Divinity School (YDS), has been appointed the next head of Timothy Dwight College (TD), Yale College Dean Pericles Lewis announced in a message to the community today.

Dinkler will succeed Mary Lui, a professor of American studies and history in Yale’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS), who has been Timothy Dwight’s head for nine years.

College heads serve as the chief administrative officer and presiding faculty member within the residential colleges, and help nurture the social, cultural, and educational life there, a role that has become a cherished Yale tradition.

Dinkler, who has been on the Yale faculty for 10 years, is an expert in the areas of religious studies and contemporary literary theory, and her scholarly work focuses on narratives and storytelling, particularly the ways they reflect and shape communities. She has published and edited numerous books, chapters, and articles, and she is an elected member of Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas, an international society of New Testament scholars, a research fellow at Universität Regensburg, and a research associate at the University of Pretoria. She is also an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA).

Mary Lui, outgoing head of Timothy Dwight College, presents a College sweater to Dinkler.
Mary Lui, outgoing head of Timothy Dwight College, presents a College sweater to Dinkler.

In her current and previous roles, Professor Dinkler has had years of experience supporting students from vastly diverse backgrounds as they have prepared for vastly diverse futures,” Lewis wrote. “She is equally at home mentoring high school students and advising PhD students as she is guiding YDS students for careers as religious and nonprofit leaders, social justice and climate activists, artists, entrepreneurs, lawyers, and more. In recent years, she has served on the YDS Dean’s inaugural Antiracism Task Force and overseen a grant implementing the first-ever antiracist pedagogy trainings for YDS Teaching Fellows.”

She will begin a five-year term on July 1.

I’m excited to partner with TD’s wonderful leadership team to foster a community of shared learning, marked by curiosity and courage, health and well-being, compassion, and connectedness,” Dinkler said. “I believe we all contain multitudes, and I want TD to be a place where everyone knows their many parts are welcome.

The experiences students have at Yale shape the stories they tell with their lives — not only what they know, but how they know it, not only where they’ve been, but where they’re going. What an honor to get to participate in those life stories,” she said.

Dinkler with her children, Daelen and Alethea.
Dinkler with her children, Daelen and Alethea.

Joining Dinkler as associate head is her husband, Dr. John Dinkler, and their two children, Alethea, 15, and Daelen, 12. John Dinkler, a cardiologist with a master's degree in public health and a Ph.D. in health policy, practices at Consulting Cardiologists, PC in Wallingford and is the director of outpatient quality at Hartford Healthcare's Heart and Vascular Institute. “The whole family loves snowboarding, swimming, reading novels, watching movies, riding bikes, and taking long walks with their puppy, Atticus, who will also be joining them,” Lewis wrote.

In announcing Dinkler’s appointment, Lewis thanked Mary Lui, the outgoing head of Timothy Dwight College, and Vincent Balbarin, the associate head, for their “nine years of exceptional leadership.”

They have been here for you during challenges like the opening years of the pandemic, and during the college's best moments like welcoming first-years at Sunnyside Farm and hosting Community Nights and Chubb events,” Lewis wrote to the Timothy Dwight community.

Lewis also thanked the members of the search advisory committee: Sunil Amrith, the Renu and Anand Dhawan Professor of History in FAS and chair of the committee; Sarbani Basu, the William K. Lanman, Jr. Professor of Astronomy; Phil Bernstein ’79, associate dean and professor adjunct at the Yale School of Architecture; Dara Norwood, associate director of undergraduate admissions; Barbara Riley ’73, residential college writing tutor and lecturer in English; and Timothy Dwight students Jai Chadha ’24; Kaleb Assefa ’24; Isaac Moskowitz ’25; Martine Dosa ’26; and Elsa Holahan ’27.

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