Yale Program for Medicine, Spirituality, & Religion

The Yale Program for Medicine, Spirituality, & Religion is founded upon the belief that holistic healing concerns both the wellness of the body and the spirit. We seek to understand the implications of religious practice, communal support, and intrinsic belief on health and wellness. We are scholarly in focus, seeking evidence to discern how the interplay between these worlds impact each other. We are collaborative in spirit, reaching across Yale University and other institutions to foster dialogue and research.

As scholars and practitioners, we recognize the deep influence that religious and spiritual commitments have in biomedicine and understanding illness. Religious and spiritual beliefs influence ethical choices, attitudes concerning death and grieving, belief in complementary therapies, and commitments towards justice and fairness. We seek diverse perspectives, and collaborate with colleagues from divinity, chaplaincy, public health, legal, and medical communities.

Thus, the purpose of YPMSR is to:

  1. Foster dialogue about the interplay between religion, spirituality, and medicine among students and faculty at Yale University and beyond.
  2. Collaborate across departments and schools in the research of religion, spirituality, and medicine.
  3. Translate and disseminate the fruits of research in order to foster mutual understanding, to reimagine medicine, and to improve patient care.

If interested in further information, please contact our co-directors:

YPMSR Organizational Structure

Research Group Graph

Research Groups:

Goal: to meet collaboratively to foster research and scholarship at the intersection of medicine, religion, and spirituality
Members: Fellows and others interested to meet
Meetings: Ad-hoc, with an aim to form around focused questions or projects

Fellows Graph


Goal: to lead the mission of the Program through focused scholarship and presentations
Members: those who have presented at the Program and others who engage in focused scholarship
Meetings: regular attendance at monthly meetings

Affiliates Graph


Goal: to meet monthly to foster overall goals of Program
Members: all those interested in the program
Meetings: monthly for input on scholarly research, reflection, support for the mission of the Program

Steering Committee Graph

Steering Committee:

Goal: foster overall direction and mission of the Program
Members: Co-directors and interested others, with goal to include representation from hospital, medical school, divinity school
Meetings: Twice a year, and ad hoc as needed

YPMSR Co-Directors

Benjamin Doolittle, MD, MA Div

Associate Professor of Medicine (General Medicine) and of Pediatrics

Lydia Dugdale, MD, MAR

Associate Professor Term

YPMSR Fellows

Jane Abbottsmith

Yale Divinity School