Joseph H. Britton will serve a second five-year term as dean of Berkeley Divinity School (BDS), the Episcopal Church affiliate of Yale Divinity School (YDS), beginning at the end of his current term in 2008.
In agreeing to another term, Britton called the Yale/Berkeley collaboration an "extraordinary environment for theological education." In a recent statement to the Yale and Berkeley communities, YDS Dean Harold Attridge and George Fowlkes, chair of the BDS Board of Trustees, said they were delighted that Britton will stay on for a second term.
"We warmly welcome the reappointment of Rev. Joseph Britton as Dean of Berkeley Divinity School," said Attridge. "During the last four years Rev. Britton has successfully brought BDS into a closer working relationship with Yale Divinity School; stabilized the BDS budget; developed new programmatic emphases for the Anglican Colloquy, the centerpiece of Berkeley's educational program; supported the important Annand program of spiritual formation; and laid the foundation for Berkeley's participation in our current capital campaign."
For his part, Britton said, "Over the last four years, I have become more and more aware of how uniquely positioned Berkeley Divinity School is as an Episcopal seminary. As our collaboration with Yale steadily deepens, our students have ever greater opportunities to develop their own capacity for pastoral leadership. I look forward to being part of this extraordinary environment for theological education at a time which is clearly so positive for both Berkeley and Yale Divinity Schools."
Attridge added: "During a time of controversy in the Anglican Communion, [Britton] has worked diligently to keep lines of communication open between elements of the church. He has sought to position Berkeley Divinity School to take full advantage of its position in relationship with YDS and with the wider Yale University community. With his wife, Karla, he has overseen the restoration of the Berkeley Center on St. Ronan Street and developed now forms of use of the space for the service of the Berkeley community."
Berkeley -- one of the 11 seminaries of the Episcopal Church -- and Yale instituted their collaboration in 1971. Under the arrangement, YDS/Berkeley students receive a degree from Yale Divinity School and a diploma in Anglican studies from Berkeley recognizing specialized training in the Anglican tradition.
Britton has extensive experience in parishes of the Episcopal Church in the United States and Europe. He served as canon missioner of the Convocation of American Churches in Europe and was the founding director of the Institute of Christian Studies. With wide involvement in ecumenical relationships, he has a particular academic interest in piety as the synthesis of religious faith and practice in the lives of believing men and women. As an Episcopal Church Foundation Fellow, he completed a dissertation on "Piety as Participation in the Divine Concern: The Mystical Realism of A. J. Heschel."
Britton is associate editor of The Anglican Theological Review and previously served as a member of the Standing Commission on Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations of the Episcopal Church. He has published articles in The Anglican Theological Review, Sewanee Theological Review, and Anglican and Episcopal History.
He holds an A.B. from Harvard University, an M.Div. from the General Theological Seminary, and a Th.D. from the Institut Catholique de Paris.