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Berkeley Divinity School records

Call Number: RG 216

Scope and Contents

The archives of the Berkeley Divinity School have been organized according to its governance structure and activities.

Series IV, Student records, can be viewed only with written permission from the Dean of Berkeley Divinity School.


  • 1854-2010


Language of Materials

In English.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research by permission of the Dean of Berkeley Divinity School.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright belongs to Berkeley Divinity School.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Deposited by Berkeley Divinity School


  1. I. Deans.
  2. II. Trustees.
  3. III. Faculty & Staff.
  4. IV. Students.
  5. V. Alumni.
  6. VI. Academics & School Life.
  7. VII. History.
  8. VIII. Publications.
  9. IX. Related Organizations.


80 Linear Feet (80 boxes)

Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


These are the official archives of Berkeley Divinity School, a seminary of the Episcopal Church, which affiliated with Yale Divinity School in 1971.

Biographical / Historical

Berkeley Divinity School's origins go back to the Anglo-Irish bishop and philosopher George Berkeley, who dreamed of building a seminary in the New World that would express the breadth of the Anglican tradition in new environs. While Berkeley's vision never materialized in his own lifetime, he left his farm in Newport, Rhode Island, and library of theological books to the youthful Yale College in 1733. These books, which formed a core of Yale's early collection, played a significant role in the growth of Anglicanism in America. Yale became one of the earliest accepted places for Anglican candidates for ministry in America to read theology, graduating such pioneers as Samuel Seabury, the first bishop of the Episcopal Church.

In 1854, Bishop John Williams of Connecticut saw the need for a new seminary to be a mediating influence during a time of theological division in the Episcopal Church. Williams founded the Berkeley Divinity School in Middletown, Connecticut, naming it after George Berkeley, as a place where students from the various streams of Anglicanism could learn, worship, live and minister alongside one another. Bishop Williams, who later became Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, served as Dean of the School himself until 1899. As indicated by the School's motto, in illa quae ultra sunt ("into the regions beyond"), the seminary has for over 150 years prepared clergy, educators and other leaders to serve throughout the church as part of its mission of "restoring all people to unity with God and each other in Christ."

In 1928, Dean William Palmer Ladd moved Berkeley Divinity School to New Haven, adjacent to the campus of Yale University, both to make advantage of the resources of the University and to immerse the students in the new social reality of the industrial city. A pioneer of the Liturgical Movement in the Episcopal Church, Dean Ladd envisioned a vibrant sacramental life nourishing an ongoing commitment to social justice that continues to shape Berkeley's mission to this day. Additional documentation regarding Dean Ladd is available in the William Palmer Ladd Papers, YDSL Record Group 136.

As a seminary of the Episcopal Church, Berkeley affiliated with Yale Divinity School in 1971, making it the only Episcopal seminary to be fully associated with a major research institution such as Yale University. While Berkeley retains its distinctive Anglican identity and retains an independent board of trustees and administration, its students are admitted by and fully enrolled as members of Yale Divinity School.

Guide to the Berkeley Divinity School Records
Berkeley Divinity School Staff
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Yale Divinity Library Repository

409 Prospect Street
New Haven CT 06511 US
(203) 432-5301

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