The Berkeley at Yale Community
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The Berkeley Divinity School experience includes the privilege of being a member of several communities at once. In the first instance, Berkeley students are part of Yale University, and are able to share in its extraordinarily rich artistic, intellectual, and social life. Many students take dance or other classes at the Payne Whitney Gymnasium, or attend the frequent current-events discussions at the World Fellows Program, or become part of various political or arts organizations on campus.
Students are also part of the smaller community of the Divinity School, where the sense of a common theological project shared by persons from many denominational and social backgrounds makes for a vibrant community atmosphere. On a daily basis, there is opportunity for conversation over morning coffee, or in the context of a book signing, or a reception for a guest lecturer. Many students participate in a musical group, whether the student-led a cappela men's and women's ensembles, or the chapel gospel choir, or the semi-professional choirs of the Institute of Sacred Music . Indeed, visitors to campus often comment on how distinctive the vibrancy of Yale Divinity School's community life is.
Then, in the third instance, Berkeley students are also a part of the Episcopal community that shares frequent social and special events that bind the school together into a shared community life. Berkeley Center becomes a place where students not only share coffee together every morning, but also a place where they encounter a great variety of guests and visitors to the school over formal dinners, at seasonal parties and receptions, and on regular quiet days.
Students also take the initiative to found groups reflecting their own special interests and concerns. The Episcopal Evangelism Network, for instance, is a grass-roots student organization that focuses on developing the skills of relational evangelism. A chapter of the Episcopal Peace Fellowship advocates for the causes of peace and justice. A right to life group bears witness to the sanctity of creation. The Evangelical Students Association draws faculty and students together from both Episcopal and other traditions committed to the evangelical character of the church, while the Coalition of LGBQT students supports full inclusion of all persons in the church's ministry. The Black Students Association provides fellowship and support for African American students on campus ... In short, no one mold fits the wide diversity of students and faculty in the Berkeley/Yale community.