William Sloane Coffin (1924-2006)

Third University Chaplain and Pastor of the Church of Christ in Yale (1958-1975)

  • Yale College, 1949
  • Union Theological Seminary
  • Yale Divinity School, 1956
Life Before Yale Chaplaincy:
  • Army Officer during WWII
  • Worked in the CIA from 1950-1954
  • Chaplain at Phillips Andover Academy, 1956-1957
  • Chaplain at Williams College, 1957-1958
Key Contributions:
  • Known for his leadership in opposition of the Vietnam War and contribution to the Civil Rights movement particularly with the Freedom Riders. 
  • Brought Chaplaincy at Yale into the national spotlight with his preaching
  • Organized the Yale Religious Ministry, a group of campus ministers at Yale that still meets today
Fun Facts:
  • As an undergraduate, Coffin was the president of the Yale Glee Club
  • A member of Skull & Bones, alongside George H. W. Bush
Life After Yale Chaplaincy:
  • In 1977, Coffin took a position as senior minister at Riverside Church in New York City