John Vannorsdall

Fourth University Chaplain and Pastor of the Church of Christ in Yale (1976-1985)

  • Harvard University, 1945
  • Lutheran Theological Seminary, 1948
  • Episcopal Theological Seminary in Cambridge, postgraduate study in social ethics
Life Before Yale Chaplaincy:
  • Pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church, New Haven, 1951-1957
  • University Pastor at Cornell University, 1957-1962
  • Chaplain at Gettysburg College, 1962-1976
Key Contributions:
  • Hired the first female associate chaplains and associate pastors at Yale
  • Known for his prayers that conveyed deep messages with simple language
Fun Facts:
  • Vannorsdall was the first chaplain to serve in the role without a Yale degree
  • He was also the first Lutheran to serve in the position
Life After Yale Chaplaincy:
  • President, Lutheran Theological Seminary, 1986-1990