From Trinity to Yale

Today both Trinity and Yale will be announcing my resignation as Warden from the end of July to take up a new appointment as Dean and President of the Berkeley Divinity School at Yale and Professor of Anglican Studies at Yale Divinity School. It's a day of mixed emotions (with more to come); the two formal announcements follow.

From Trinity:

A message from the Chairman of the Board of Trinity College

I wish to inform you that late last week Professor Andrew McGowan tendered his resignation as Warden of Trinity College, in order to take up the role of Dean and President of the Berkeley Divinity School—an Episcopal (Anglican) seminary founded in 1854 and affiliated with Yale since 1971—and an appointment as Professor of Anglican Studies at the Yale Divinity School. Whilst obviously disappointing for Trinity, this is an exciting opportunity for Andrew, and he will leave us with the College in a very strong position from which to manage the transition to a new Warden.

Yale has requested that Andrew commence at the beginning of August 2014, to coincide with their academic year, and the Trinity Board has agreed to this timing. An international search for the eighth Warden of Trinity College will now commence, and a subcommittee of the Board has been appointed to oversee the process. Mr Campbell Bairstow, the Dean and Deputy Warden, will be acting Warden in the interim, a role he has filled previously, while Andrew was on leave for a semester in 2012. I have every confidence that that the College will be in good hands during this time of transition.

Over the next few months, we will have a number of opportunities to acknowledge and celebrate Andrew’s very significant contribution to the life of this College, both as Warden over the past seven years, and earlier as Director of the Theological School. Andrew and his senior colleagues have led Trinity to a position of financial security and strong demand for its educational offerings. This positive base has enabled the Board to set more ambitious targets for the College, and pursue its goal of providing a world-class, transformative education to as many able and talented students as possible.

Under Andrew’s leadership, Trinity’s achievements have included the creation of the Centre for Advanced Studies and the Careers and Further Studies Office, the restructuring of the Theological School with the ambition of direct affiliation to the University of Divinity, the renovation of the Dining Hall and a number of residential buildings, and the securing of a formal agreement between the University of Melbourne and the College regarding our Pathways programs, the first such agreement since Foundation Studies began almost twenty-five years ago.

I know you will join me in wishing Andrew the very best for this next chapter in his career as a senior academic and leading educator, and in extending those same wishes to Andrew’s wife, Dr Felicity Harley McGowan. Andrew and Felicity have served the College very well indeed, and we shall miss them.

Mr Jim Craig Chairman of the Board
And from Yale:
Contact: Jared.Gilbert@yale.edu
For Immediate Release: April 7, 2014
Yale appoints Andrew McGowan as Dean of Berkeley Divinity School

New Haven, CT— Andrew McGowan has been appointed President and Dean of the Berkeley Divinity School and Associate Dean for Anglican Studies at Yale Divinity School. McGowan is currently Warden of Trinity College at The University of Melbourne, and will join the Berkeley administration on August 1, 2014.

An Anglican priest and historian, McGowan studied Classics and Ancient History at the University of Western Australia, Theology at Trinity College, the University of Melbourne, and Christianity and Judaism in Antiquity at the University of Notre Dame, where he received his Ph.D. He was a lecturer at the University of Notre Dame Australia, and was Associate Professor of Early Christian History at the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, MA. In 2003 he became Director of Trinity College Theological School, in which he is also Joan Munro Professor of Historical Theology. He has been Warden of Trinity since 2007, and is currently a Canon of St Paul's Cathedral, Melbourne.

“I am thrilled that Andrew will be joining us. He is a talented scholar, a capable and experienced administrator, and a dedicated priest,” said YDS Dean Gregory E. Sterling. “He and his wife Felicity will enrich our community and help to build bridges to the Episcopal Church in the US and the Anglican Communion worldwide.”

McGowan’s scholarly work focuses on the social and intellectual life of early Christian communities. His most recent books include Ascetic Eucharists: Food and Drink in Early Christian Ritual Meals (Oxford: Clarendon, 1999) and God in Early Christian Thought (Leiden: Brill, 2009), as well as the forthcoming Ancient Christian Worship (Baker Academic, 2014).

Berkeley trustee Stephen Carlsen, who chaired the search committee, stated, “Andrew brings together first class scholarship, practice and service in the global setting of the Anglican Communion. In our interviews we found a personable, articulate leader to advance the vision of Berkeley Divinity School.”

The search committee began its work in September 2013 led by Carlsen, with close support of Dean Sterling. A draft vision statement of the BDS Board of Trustees, which prioritizes vibrant community, ecumenical learning, and innovative models for ministry, guided the committee.

David R. Wilson, the incoming chair of the Berkeley Board of Trustees, explained, “Andrew is a visionary with the skills and drive to take the vision of Berkeley Divinity School, refine it, and then turn it into action that can be transformative within Berkeley, the Episcopal Church, and the Anglican Communion.”

McGowan will join the divinity school at a time of great challenge and opportunity for the global church, and theological institutions are called upon as leaders in navigating these changes.

“McGowan recognizes that the integration of Berkeley with YDS and Yale makes this place a remarkable resource for the institutional Church as it faces major change,” commented Carolyn Sharp, Professor of Hebrew Scriptures.

McGowan succeeds outgoing dean Joseph H. Britton, who served 11 years in that capacity.

Founded in 1854 as a seminary of the Episcopal Church, Berkeley affiliated with Yale Divinity School in 1971, and is the only Episcopal seminary to be fully associated with a major research university. For more information about BDS or YDS, please visit: berkeleydivinity.yale.edu and divinity.yale.edu.

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