Rev. Dr. Sarah Drummond: Connection, dialogue and mutual understanding are vital for intergenerational faith

Rev. Dr. Sarah Drummond, Andover Newton Divinity School at Yale

Rev. Dr. Sarah Drummond is a keynote speaker at Space for Grace & Spiritual Caregivers Conference 2024 in April.
© Photo by Mara Lavitt, 2021

Faith is not a private matter. God works within us and among us, and connecting with each other is essential for building a full and meaningful life. In a season in our culture where we have forgotten how to listen to each other, faith suffers. The theme of Space for Grace & Spiritual Caregivers Conference 2024 emphasizes intergenerational listening and learning, which gets to the heart of the challenge faith communities face: how can they align their work so as foster connection, dialogue and mutual understanding? The future of the Christian faith depends on them—on us—doing so.

Faith makes life more rich, meaningful, grounded, connected, accountable—the list could go on. Secular voices in the wider culture seem quick to comment on what is wrong with faith, and to argue with them might seem futile or petty. In the absence of intergenerational transmission of faith’s relevance, in an era of “nones” and switching among religions, certain assumed virtues of the Christian life have not been passed down. Only rarely do religious leaders make a case for why grace and faith and God matter, so my keynote will get down to the bare, essential question of “why” and explore the importance of such essential reflection for ministerial leadership.

I especially look forward to hearing the words of Andover Newton Seminary at Yale Divinity School friends: Abner Cotto-Bonilla and Matthew Rivera were and are students I know and love. I could not be prouder to have the chance to attend this event and to offer words of what I hope will be thought-provoking and encouraging.

The Reverend Dr. Sarah Birmingham Drummond is the founding dean of Andover Newton Seminary at Yale Divinity School. She graduated from Harvard Divinity School with a Master of Divinity and from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee with a doctorate in urban education. She is ordained in the United Church of Christ. Drummond has served Andover Newton since 2005 in numerous roles, all focused on administrative leadership: its study, teaching, and execution. She currently oversees the educational program students’ experience, monitoring its relevance to ministry today. She teaches leadership and change, United Church of Christ polity, and various colloquia meant to foster mentored and peer-based learning. She has written five books, the most recent being “Intentional Leadership In Between Seasons” (Pilgrim Press, 2022). Her blog, ( explores what happens when one injects a faith perspective into daily work and living.