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“Divinity” is a traditional Anglican term for “theology”—and in some ways perhaps a better one. Education in divinity means cultivating both intellectual knowledge and personal involvement with God.
Education in divinity aims to further personal growth in faith and to prepare the student for leadership in the church, whether lay or ordained, professional or personal. As a contemporary school of divinity, CDSP is seeking to preserve the best of our tradition and also to find ways of living and understanding Christian faith that will make sense in the context of our age.
To achieve this end, CDSP has made a commitment to academic excellence. All courses are taught at the graduate level. They require the student both to learn relevant information and to practice skills of analysis and synthesis. CDSP has long had a reputation for demanding much of its students in the classroom and for preparing them well in the major theological disciplines. We hope to maintain and deserve that reputation.
At the same time, CDSP has a commitment to the formation of the individual and the community in faith. We seek the best ways to pursue this goal in a world of rapid and manifold change. The population of the United States—and of the Episcopal Church—is becoming steadily more diverse. We are becoming more aware of the ties that bind us to people of other countries--particularly, given CDSP’s location, the countries of the Pacific Rim.
We recognize that the church has many challenges ahead in learning to celebrate the full diversity of its own membership. As we seek ways to accommodate and delight in this diversity, we do so in awareness that only the good news of Jesus, which brought us together in the first place, can truly form our common life and our individual lives as people of faith.
All Saints Chapel at CDSP plays an important role in the process of formation, since it provides the focal point for the community’s worship. While ensuring that it continues to preserve and enlarge upon our received Anglican traditions, we are engaged in an ongoing effort to let this worship become genuinely reflective of the diversity of the community.
As a divinity school, then, CDSP is a place for intellectual and spiritual growth—two processes that can never and should never be disentangled from each other, but rather intertwine in often unexpected ways. Both coursework and chapel contribute to these interconnected processes. Increasing knowledge of the scriptures and traditions of the church, of the disciplines of theology, ethics, homiletics, liturgics, and church music, of the methods and concerns appropriate to pastoral theology and Christian education— all these, if pursued rightly, will affect the whole person in relation to God and to other people.
The practice of prayer, participation in public worship, the hearing and preaching of sermons, and the cultivation of spirituality and piety in the more personal sense of those terms—all these have an effect not only on our inner disposition and sense of connection with God, but on our intellectual understanding of God, self, and the world. It is the business of an education in divinity to help the student integrate these elements.