Rev. Skip Masback headshot

Skip Masback

Yale Divinity School

Skip Masback is the Founding Director of the Yale Youth Ministry Institute and the former Associate Director of the Yale Center for Faith and Culture. He came to Yale after serving for 19 years at The Congregational Church of New Canaan. Skip retired from Yale in December 2018 and currently serves as Chair of the Advisory Board for the Center for Continuing Education at Yale Divinity School.

In addition to the customary responsibilities of preaching, teaching and pastoral care, Skip’s ministry has always included substantial emphasis on deepening and broadening youth ministries both in the church and beyond. He has lectured and consulted on youth ministry issues in denominational settings and at Yale Divinity School, where he serves on the school’s Dean’s Advisory Council and the school’s Ministerial Studies Committee Working with Dean Harry Attridge, Skip developed the Yale Divinity School Bible Study program for local churches. He has contributed essays on preaching texts from Paul’s Letter to the Romans for publication in Feasting on the Word, Volume XI.

Skip came to the ministry after practicing law for fourteen years. He graduated from Williams College and Columbia Law School before joining the Washington law firm of Hogan & Hartson in 1976. His national litigation practice included representing major corporate clients and public interest clients such as the National Wildlife Federation, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and the Democratic National Committee. Skip helped start the National Endowment for Democracy in 1983 and was the founding general counsel for the Commission on Presidential Debates. Skip founded the Legal Services Board for the Whitman Walker Clinic and started a legal services clinic there for people living with HIV/AIDS. After resigning from Hogan & Hartson in 1983, Skip and colleagues founded the firm of Ross, Dixon & Masback, a firm which grew to include 115 lawyers in four cities across the country.

Skip left the practice of law in 1991 to enter Yale Divinity School, graduating with a Masters of Divinity degree in 1994. While at Yale, he was the founding chair and president of “I Have a Dream,” New Haven, Inc., an after school enrichment program. Skip and his wife, Amy, have three children, Owen, Katrina and Elisabeth.

Group of teens framing a wall on a construction site Leading Transformative Service Days and Mission Trips

Leading theologians and pastors present a model for mission trips and offer practical advice on how to lead service days and mission trips that are truly transformative.

Four girls circled in prayer with their arms around each other Cultivating Student Leadership

This course explores the benefits and importance of providing leadership opportunities to students and empowering young people to take ownership of their youth programs.

Team building exercise on a high ropes course Envisioning, Building and Sustaining Thriving Youth Ministries

Leading theologians and pastors explore the importance of youth ministry and how developing a mission and vision statement can help to grow a thriving youth group in accordance with that mission.

Three teens sitting with arms around each other Developing Trusted Relationships and Nurturing Communities

Leading theologians and pastors explore the importance of creating an environment where youth can develop trusted relationships with peers and adults, and the value of nurturing communities.

Integrating Youth Ministry into the Wider Congregation

This course explores the place of youth ministry within the congregation and how the church can better thrive when youth ministry is woven into its greater mission. Theologians and pastors offer advice on how to bring together different generations through worship, service, and preaching in ways that are beneficial for youth and adults alike.

People sitting at a table with note pads Promulgating and Implementing Church Safety Guidelines

Theologians, philosophers, and pastors discuss the importance of maintaining boundaries, creating church safety guidelines, and instituting a system of regular and ongoing training of volunteers and workers.

Yale Youth Ministry Institute