Yale Divinity School: It’s right up the hill– Pastor Keyl has been appointed Director of the Lutheran Studies Program

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It’s right up the hill


I have an announcement to make: I have been appointed to serve as Director of the Lutheran Studies Program at Yale Divinity School by Dean Greg Sterling.


Since interviewing to be pastor at Bethesda around this time four years ago, I asked, “what relationship Bethesda does have with Yale Divinity School?”

The first answer was, “it’s right up the hill!”,” as in, we can see the Divinity School across the street and up the hill from our Parish House.

It’s right up the hill was the answer a second and third time, and then, AHA, oh, yeah.

YDS (Yale Divinity School) is in our neighborhood. It’s in our parish. I view it as one area of mission and ministry among others, and as we have discovered through interns, parish assistants, student friends, and Bethesda House residents.  We have discovered that relationship is a mutually beneficial one.

With Paul Stuehrenberg announcing his retirement as Divinity Librarian and Director of the Lutheran Studies Program at the end of the 2013-2014 school year, Dean Sterling and I have been in conversation. The dean thinks that connecting the Lutheran Studies Program with a neighboring congregation makes a lot of sense, and invited me to take leadership beginning this fall.

I am committed to building the student community and strengthening the Lutheran Studies Program. I will be working with student leaders, coordinating the visiting Lutheran faculty, and assisting students in their vocational formation. There will be interaction with Bethesda, and Bethesda House, for sure, along with other Lutheran ministries in our region.

Last year’s initial year with Bethesda House enabled the student community to know that our space is welcoming. There may be study sessions, a coffeehouse, or a meal event in our wonderful building. Who knows what else is in store?

While I have already been intentional about being a “friendly pastor down the hill,” now I have a stated role “up the hill.”

This will be part-time and additional to my ministry with Bethesda. The Congregation Council leadership and I have also been in conversation about my new role since it was being explored some months ago, and I appreciate their support. I ask you all for your prayers in this new endeavor.

“What relationship does Bethesda have with Yale Divinity School?”

“It goes up–and down–the hill!”

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