Divinity school

School Notes: Yale Divinity School
November/December 2021

Gregory E. Sterling | http://divinity.yale.edu

New academic leadership role for professor

Joyce Ann Mercer ’84MDiv has a new role at the Divinity School in addition to her distinguished Horace Bushnell Professorship of Practical Theology and Pastoral Care. As the new associate dean for academic affairs, she is now the Divinity School’s chief academic officer. Mercer joined the faculty of her divinity alma mater in 2016, following a decade on the faculty of Virginia Theological Seminary and, before that, seminaries and graduate schools in California and the Philippines. Mercer was drawn to the new role because of her career-long interest in educational practices and the systems within which these practices are embedded. “Across my career I’ve contributed to the scholarship of teaching and learning, thinking critically about how educational structures and practices can promote transformational adult learning,” Mercer said. “I believe . . . we can construct liberatory systems of education as a practice of freedom, which put core values such as equity, justice, and access alongside academic rigor and professional identity formation.”

Professor retiring after 35 years championing religious studies

Harry “Skip” Stout, the Jonathan Edwards Professor of Religious History at Yale and longtime member of the Divinity School faculty, is retiring after a 35-year career at the university. Stout is credited with making a profound mark on the study of American religious history, publishing on wide-ranging topics including evangelicalism, Puritanism, the US Civil War, and capitalism. As general editor and director of Yale’s Jonathan Edwards Center, housed at YDS, he was instrumental in making the works of Edwards, the renowned eighteenth-century American revivalist preacher, philosopher, and theologian, accessible to scholars worldwide. Dean Gregory E. Sterling praised Stout for leading publication of the Edwards corpus “in an exemplary and efficient manner,” adding, “Skip is by any standard of measurement an extraordinary scholar.” 

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