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Australian priest & scholar
to lead Berkeley Divinity School

Five years ago, if someone had mentioned the Berkeley Divinity School, I would have thought they were talking about the University of California. But now I'm a Yale Alumni Magazine smartypants, so I know that Berkeley was a freestanding divinity school that was absorbed into the Yale Divinity School in the early 1970s, essentially ceasing to exist.

Or so I thought until this morning, when my colleage Mark Branch ’86 told me that Berkeley has announced a new dean.

What? There is no more Berkeley Divinity School, I thought.

How wrong I was. It's the Episcopal seminary at Yale, affiliated with both the Divinity School and the Institute of Sacred Music. Graduates, who can be headed toward either ordination or lay careers, receive either a Diploma (M.Div.) or Certificate (M.A.R. and S.T.M.) in Anglican Studies.

But while that was all news to me, the real news is the new dean: Andrew McGowan, Anglican priest and current warden (head) of Trinity College at Australia's University of Melbourne. 

A theologian and historian with a PhD from Notre Dame, McGowan studies early Christian communities. One of his books is called Ascetic Eucharists: Food and Drink in Early Christian Ritual Meals. Nonetheless, his Twitter profile notes, "I cook."

McGowan will come to Berkeley and Yale (where he'll also bear the title of associate dean for Anglican Studies at YDS) on August 1. Meanwhile, if you're hungry for a far more knowledgeable post about Berkeley Divinity, read the aforementioned Mark Branch's "modest online eulogy," which we published two years ago after the demolition of the school's former campus on lower Prospect Street.


The Yale Alumni Magazine is published by Yale Alumni Publications Inc., an alumni-based nonprofit that is not run by Yale University. Its content does not necessarily reflect the views of the university administration.

Filed under Berkeley Divinity School, Yale Divinity School, Andrew McGowan
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