Origins of Yale Bible Study
Yale Bible Study is associated with The Center for Continuing Education at Yale Divinity School. We support bible studies across the world with courses, resources, videos, podcasts and sermons. We hope this curriculum will help you and your community deepen your life of faith through small group study.
In 2007, Rev. Harold “Skip” Masback, III, led his congregation on a quest to discover something old and ended up inventing something new. The members of The Congregational Church of New Canaan were looking for ways to connect more deeply with God and with one another. Rev. Masback was a firm believer in the power of small-group dynamics, a communal model as old as the apostolic age. He and his leadership team gathered laypeople willing to trust each other and talk together about life-and-faith issues. Not least, they found a way to present biblical expertise in a compelling, practical format.
Working with YDS Dean Harold Attridge and YDS professor emeritus David Bartlett, and funded by generous donors, Rev. Masback created a series of Bible conversations, capturing Attridge and Bartlett’s give-and-take discussions, usually in 15-minute video segments, and created accompanying study guides and thought-provoking discussion questions. The church then distributed the materials to the small study groups (up to a dozen people each), which committed to meeting regularly for eight weeks. The result was the Yale Bible Study Series, beginning with the Gospel of John and Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians.
The series has grown to include studies from the Hebrew Bible, New Testament and themed studies, with additional studies being created each year. It is our hope that participants will find the series informative, challenging, and inspiring.