"Best of Both Worlds": Why I Chose Yale - Jordan Trumble BDS M.Div '15

Greetings!  Every year we feature short essays from YDS students explaining why they chose to attend Yale.

Today’s comes from Jordan Trumble BDS MDiv '15, who came to us from the St. Hilda's House program here in New Haven.  Jordan has been an active and contributing member of our community from her first day of orientation, and she always has a smile and a pleasant greeting to anyone in the Common Room.  Thanks Jordan!

When I began looking at seminaries and divinity schools, I knew only one thing: I needed to attend a place that offered me ecumenical and interfaith opportunities as well as denomination-specific opportunities for study and formation.  As a lifelong Episcopalian in an increasingly pluralistic world, I knew that it was crucial for me to be exposed to traditions and worldviews other than my own, but yet I also recognized that as someone entering ministry in a particular tradition, I needed continued formation in Episcopal history and theology. 

While I had been afraid that I might have to sacrifice ecumenical and interfaith exposure or my own Episcopal formation when I chose a school, my choice ended up being quite simple: Yale Divinity School (through it’s partnership with Berkeley Divinity School, an Episcopal seminary integral to YDS, ended up being a place where I wouldn’t have to sacrifice either. 

During my three years at Yale Divinity School, my expectations for ecumenical and interfaith learning as well as my own ministerial formation have been fulfilled.  The diverse community of students and faculty found at YDS has shaped my learning both in and out of the classroom.  The ways that I personally have been shaped by my coursework and by the community at Yale Divinity School have exceeded even my greatest hopes.

When I enrolled at Yale Divinity School, I looked forward to working with professors who were renowned scholars in their fields, but these same professors who were helping form my mind inside the classroom took time to learn about my goals and aspirations outside of the classroom, often beginning meetings about papers and projects by checking in with me about how my personal life and vocational discernment were going. 

I looked forward to expanding my worldviews through my studies, but during my time at Yale Divinity School, I also found that my coursework quite literally helped me expand my worldview through opportunities to see new places and try new things.  The valuable and myriad resources (such as access to priceless manuscripts to international travel) available to Yale Divinity School students have been both astounding and enabled me to integrate my studies and real life.

Yet Yale Divinity School has been more than just a place where I earned a master’s degree.  As time goes by, I will surely forget many of the lectures I’ve heard and some of the books I’ve read, but I won’t forget the experiences I’ve had here: Of finding my voice as a preacher and proclaiming the Good News of Christ in Marquand Chapel; of joining an acapella group and learning how the simple act of listening closely to those around me can lead to great beauty; of bonding with friends while cheering on the Yale Bulldogs hockey team

When I chose Yale, I thought I was getting the best of both worlds because I was able to experience both an ecumenical school and a denominational seminary.  As I leave Yale, though, I realize that my experience here has been the best of both worlds in a different way: Yale has been the best of both worlds because I have earned a world-class education and but yet also had the opportunity to build relationships and experience community in a way that has fed my soul abundantly.   Yale has been the best of both worlds because it has formed both my head and my heart.