In their own voice: interview videos introduce YDS faculty to prospective students

By Betsy Shirley '15 M.Div.

As part of a new effort to highlight the tremendous diversity of intellectual, spiritual, and ministerial talent that Yale Divinity professors offer, the YDS communications team is in the process of creating short video interviews with members of the YDS faculty.

Video screen capture"Outside of our admissions pages, faculty pages receive the most traffic on our website," explains YDS Communications Consultant Jared Gilbert '12 M.Div. "We wanted a way to introduce our faculty in their own voice."

The videos are intended to give prospective students and friends of the YDS community a sense of what YDS faculty members are like, both as scholars and as professors. Currently, interviews with Maggi Dawn, Peter Hawkins, Frederick Simmons, and Nora Tubbs Tisdale are available on their respective faculty profile pages, with more videos to follow in upcoming months.

"Each video is a bit different," admits Gilbert, who is producing the videos with student video editor Joel Iliff '15 M.Div. and Senior Editor for Reflections Ray Waddle, "some faculty discuss their teaching goals and their work in the classroom. Other faculty talk about research or other interests. Our goal is to simply provide a platform for our prospective student to learn about the issues that our faculty care about." 

So, while Associate Dean for Marquand Chapel Maggi Dawn wears a black leather jacket and sits at a piano talking about the meaning of ecumenical worship in the YDS community, Professor of Religion and Literature Peter Hawkins talks about Dante surrounded by shelves crowded with the poetry and fiction he's spent his lifetime reading.

Though Gilbert isn't sure if an original interview is required for each faculty member—at last count, YDS was home to 38 full-time faculty members, with an equally impressive host of lecturers, adjunct, and visiting scholars—he would like to see some kind of video on every faculty member's page, possibly including clips from a public engagement, a sermon, or a class lecture.

"Our goal is to simply provide a platform for our prospective student to learn about the issues that our faculty care about," states Gilbert.

And if the first few videos are any indication, YDS faculty care about everything from equipping students "be their best selves in the pulpit," as Clement-Muehl Professor of Homiletics Nora Tubbs Tisdale states in her video, to helping students "identify the polyphony of the Christian tradition," as Assistant Professor of Ethics Frederick Simmons explains in his.

Explore the YDS faculty pages here.  

Date Posted: Monday, February 4, 2013 - 10:31pm