In a Thursday morning email to the Divinity School community, University President Richard Levin announced that Gregory Sterling will be the school’s next dean.

Sterling, who will take office August 1, has served as dean of the Graduate School of the University of Notre Dame since 2008. Levin wrote that applications to Notre Dame’s graduate school increased dramatically during Sterling’s tenure, adding that Sterling oversaw the formation of a professional development program at the school. Sterling’s academic work focuses on the maintenance of Jewish and Christian identity within the larger Greco-Roman culture, and he specializes in Hellenistic Judaism, according to Levin’s email.

The email thanked Harold Attridge, the current dean, for the 10 years he spent leading the Divinity School, adding that Attridge’s tenure brought the school to new prominence “both in its field and within the University.”

“He has been a steady hand at the tiller, a complete master of the school’s finances, and a leader in shaping and recruiting its exceptional faculty,” Levin wrote. “Harry and Jan [Attridge’s wife] have been a constant and welcoming presence on the campus, and we look forward to their return after they enjoy a well-deserved leave of absence next year.”

Levin and Attridge will make a formal announcement at 2 p.m. today in the Divinity School common room.