“Bethesda House, a ministry of Bethesda Lutheran Church,
seeks to form community, vocation, and faith
through shared intentional living.”
—From the Bethesda House Charter Statement
The congregation of Bethesda Lutheran Church began this ministry for Yale Divinity School students in the fall of 2013, seeking to be a bridge between student and congregational life.
Bethesda House is located in a historic residence that once belonged to the Malley family, founders and owners of a prestigious New Haven department store of the same name (1852-1982). In summer 2013, Bethesda Lutheran Church renovated two apartments in the upper floors of the Malley mansion, and offered them to students for a donation that represents a reasonable cost of living.
The residents of Bethesda House meet regularly to worship, study, eat, work, relax, and serve. This year’s residents often find themselves studying together in the living room, sharing a meal, walking to class together, and enjoying the occasional movie night.
Bethesda House practices the ministry of hospitality by inviting the Divinity School community to share their space for class meetings, study sessions, and casual get-togethers. It also engages with the many ministries of Bethesda Lutheran Church, helping to staff Abraham’s Tent and preparing and serving a shelter meal at the Emergency Services Shelter.
Bethesda House residents participate in the worship life of Bethesda, assisting with worship leadership on the occasional Sunday and offering a special prayer service called Prayer Around the Cross, open to the YDS community as well as Bethesda Lutheran Church.