What is Saint Hilda's?

St. Hilda's House is a ten-month residential young adult discernment program devoted to spiritual formation and urban ministry while living in community.  It is sponsored by Christ Church New Haven in partnership with Berkeley Divinity School at Yale University.  Interns live at either the former rectory at Christ Church, in the heart of Yale University and New Haven - a unique setting that gives interns access to a diverse range of service, educational, and spiritual resources.

"St. Hilda's House is a program that encourages interns to put their faith into action; it encourages both intellectual study and service to the community." - Caleb Bennetch ('11)

Christ Church also has a mission parish - Church of the Ascension - in 'The Hill' neighborhood of New Haven.  Interns will also be involved in this parish, the intentional community at Ascension House, and the surrounding neighborhood.


Our 2012-2013 Interns

This year Saint Hilda's has 16 interns from all over the country (and abroad).  To learn more about them and who they are, click here!


Our Past Interns on Saint Hilda's

"St. Hilda's House offers interns the opportunity to explore their vocational call, while fulfilling all baptized Christians' call to serving their fellow humanity." - Paul Tunnell ('11)

"St. Hilda's House dedicates itself to serving God's people without ignoring the spiritual growth and development of its interns, supplemented by a life full of common worship." - Jeremy Vogt ('11)

Liz and Jordan"By offering young adults a unique opportunity to serve God by serving others in the context of an intentional, prayerful community, St. Hilda's House stands out as a powerful witness to Christian hope in our Church and in the world."  - Kristin Saylor ('11)

"The experience of St. Hilda's House follows God's call for the interns, like all people, to be taken, blessed, broken and shared for the world just as we celebrate in the Eucharistic feast through worship and service to others." - Steven King ('11)

Deed, Sarah R, and Liz"Saint Hilda's House embodies the Episcopal Church's commitment to and hope for it's younger generation by offering a place for young adults to explore and answer their callings through worship and service as a part of an intentional community." - Jordan Trumble ('11)



Christ Church and Ascension House

Interns serving with Saint Hilda's House for the year will be a part of two distinct communities.  The first is the parish community of Christ Church and the second is the evolving community at Ascension House.  You can learn more about how these communities work together for individual and community transformation at intothecity.org.

Church of the Ascension 

Church of the Ascension has for the last several years been in the care of a priest-in-charge in the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut who was also rector of St. James’ Episcopal Church in the Fair Haven neighborhood of New Haven.  Ascension has not been a functioning parish of the diocese for several years now.

The church and its attached rectory are attractive but show signs of deferred maintenance. The church hosts or houses various religious and religiously affiliated groups, activities and programs, such as Teen Challenge and independent congregations and is situated in the sometimes challenging Hill neighborhood of New Haven.

Our mission at Ascension continues the historic commitment of Christ Church to witness to those parts of the city most in need.

The Hill neighborhood of New Haven has a rich and varied history.  It is racially and ethnically mixed with a history of waves of demographic transition and immigration flux.  It is rich with a variety of social services, due in part to perceived and actual neighborhood need and also the availability cheap property.  The Hill boasts some beautiful Victorian architecture that in many cases has suffered from deferred maintenance and/or neglect. 

Those living at Ascension will be part of a unique opportunity to craft worship as part of an ongoing reimagination of that church and its relationship to the community as we develop a unique post-M.Div. training program for new clergy called Ascension House.  Ascension is also developing a new Eucharistic community which gathers on Saturday evenings.  This community explores new modes of worship while drawing on our tradition and gains an understanding of both planting a new worshipping community and serving in more traditional ones.

Saint Hilda's interns help with the Hill neighborhood tree lightingSaint Hilda's interns who live at Ascension will have the unique opportunity to be part of not only new worship at Ascension but forging a new relationship with our neighbors there through community action, engagement, and relationships.

The New Haven Register recently did a story on Ascension which can be read here.

And check out photos of the house and church on our Facebook page!

Christ Church New Haven

Christ Church is an Anglican-Catholic parish of the Episcopal Church, founded in response to the Oxford Movement’s call to renew the true catholicity of the Church Universal, Christ's body in the world.   We seek to remain true to that legacy, drawing upon two millennia of liturgical tradition in our worship, while also striving to keep ourselves open to the further unfolding of the Church’s catholicity in our time.

The Dean of the Cathedral in Atlanta recently preached about his time at Christ Church and said, "The truth is that Christ Church really did clothe the naked and feed the hungry and welcome the stranger. It was a beautiful thing. As much as our liturgy might have seemed serenely removed from the troubling and messy life of the world, the work of the people really did include an aggressive ministry with the poor. Ephesians 1:22-23 was written on the church literature, “the church, which is his body;” but the daily parish life lived out Matthew 25: “I was poor and you gave me something to eat, something to drink, something to wear; I was a stranger and you welcomed me, in prison and you visited me.”

As an urban parish of the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut, Christ Church draws worshipers from our immediate neighborhood, in downtown New Haven, along with many others who come from nearby towns or further afield.  Our proximity to Yale University ensures that there are always a number of students and scholars among us (including seminarians and others from the Berkeley Divinity School, the Episcopal seminary affiliated with the Yale Divinity School.) Yet our parishioners are of all ages, and all walks of life.

In the mid-nineteenth century many new parishes were born in the Episcopal Church with a mission to  make practical the renewed High Church theology and fervor found  in English and American seminaries. The connections of Christ Church to the Catholic, sacramental theology of the Tractarians (the Oxford Movement) and also to New Haven’s poor and dispossessed have been hallmarks of the parish from its founding, and today are strong in our consciousness.