Continuing Education


CALL Online Winter 2018


Proceeding canonically, The Pentateuch is a survey course in which students examine the first five books of the canon of the ancient Israelites; the Hebrew Bible. Students will attend to the patriarchs, the earliest covenants, the exodus traditions, laws, codes and ritual of the agrarian society represented in the biblical world of the Torah. Students will explore a) the socio-historical context out of which the biblical text most probably emerged, b) select methods and tools of biblical scholarship, and c) the engagement of modern users with the biblical text.

January 15 - March 5, 2018

Instructor: Dr. Kimberly Russaw

Dr. Russaw’s research lies at the intersection of narrative criticism, ideological criticism, and feminist criticism, focusing especially on women in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament.

Dr. Russaw has presented her academic work at national and local conferences, published scholarly articles and essays such as “Wisdom in the Garden: The Woman of Genesis 3 and Alice Walker’s Sophia” (2015), “Zipporah and Circumcision as a Form of Preparation: Cutting Away at the Comfort Zone” (Spring 2003/Fall 2004), and “Obadiah” in The Wisdom Bible Commentary Series (forthcoming). A sought after lecturer, Russaw writes on the Bible and popular culture in online spaces such as OnScripture, Huffington Post Religion, and The African American Lectionary. Dr. Russaw’s book, Daughters in the Hebrew Bible (forthcoming Fortress Press) employs the tools of narrative criticism, feminist criticism, and social scientific theory to examine how biblical daughters navigate systems of power.

Named one of “Six Black Women at the Center of Gravity in Theological Education” by, Russaw is an ordained clergywoman in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and holds membership in many professional organizations including the Society of Biblical Literature and the American Academy of Religion.



Rooted in prayer and best practices, the tools you'll receive in this class will re-invigorate your spirituality and bring you closer to being the preacher you hope to be.

In this class you will:

• receive expert guidance from your instructors
• discover new insights about the Scripture and your preaching
• learn preaching strategies you'll be able to apply this week and every week
• experience your sermon prep as respite
• enjoy the camaraderie of colleagues during coaching sessions and on our private Facebook page
• learn how to finish your sermon by Friday!

January 15 - March 5, 2018

Instructors: The Rev. Lisa Cressman and and the Rev. Cathie Caimano

Lisa Cressman is an Episcopal priest, preacher, and spiritual director, the Founder and Steward of Backstory Preaching®. ( She is the author of Backstory Preaching: Integrating Life, Spirituality, and Craft (Liturgical Press: Collegeville, 2018), and Craft an Effective Sermon by Friday, (, a preaching instructor and speaker, and Assisting Priest at the Episcopal Church of the Epiphany in Houston, Texas. Lisa is a trained spiritual director and Certified Daring Way® Facilitator, holds a BS in Nursing from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, an M.Div. from the Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley, CA., and a D.Min. in Practical Theology from Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, IN.

Cathie Caimano ('Father Cathie') is an Episcopal priest who has served parishes in New York City, Durham, NC, and Wichita, KS, as well as on the staff of Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry while he was Bishop of North Carolina. She has offered over 800 sermons and considers preaching to be central to her ministry. Today she is a Free Range Priest who explores 21st century ministry within and beyond the congregation, including at Backstory Preaching.



This course will be offered to enhance the capacity of participants (spiritual directors, lay or ordained, of any denomination or none) to discuss issues of faith and sexuality. The course will draw upon the rich resources of Christian contemplative tradition to influence one’s interior life and spiritual practice as a key aspect to personally connect to a conversation from a place of openness through “holy listening.” Tools will be provided for participants to engage in healthy discussion around sex, sexuality, and spirituality. The course will not attempt to convince participants to adopt any particular view but rather offer an opportunity to share knowledge and information and learn how to facilitate open and honest discussion.

January 15 - March 5, 2018

Instructors: Dr. Westina Matthews and Rev. Dr. Tommie L. Watkins Jr.

Dr. Westina Matthews, Adjunct Professor, General Theological Seminary, is an author, public speaker, retreat leader, and spiritual director. A contemplative spiritual director whose practice reflects contemplative living through "holy listening," Westina is a graduate of the spiritual guidance program at Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation. She earned her doctorate in education from the University of Chicago; and has completed postdoctoral fellowships at Northwestern University, the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University.  The author of three books in the Have A Little Faith series, Westina also has contributed to several Forward Movement anthologies. 

 The Rev. Dr. Tommie Lee Watkins, Jr., is the Associate Rector and Assistant Chaplain at Canterbury Chapel, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Alabama School of Social Work. Rev. Watkins also is a spiritual director, behavioral scientist, social worker, former mathematics professor and commercial pilot. He earned his MSW from the University of Alabama, his PhD in the School of Health, University of Alabama, and his M.Div. from The General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church. Because of the gaps in resources and research among Black “non-heterosexual” identified males, Rev. Watkins was driven to complete a Ph.D. degree to become a researcher primarily concerned with the role that religion and spirituality plays in health outcomes among Black gay/bi-sexual males. He is the author of Living Out Loud in which he shares his struggle of self- acceptance as an openly gay clergy.



The aim of this course is to facilitate the empowerment of social ministry in the congregation. Topics include leadership dynamics, working with volunteers, a consideration of our contemporary American society, discussion of social ministry as compassionate service and advocacy, a look at the history of social ministry in the Episcopal Church, and discussion of the underlying ethical, scriptural, theological and spiritual foundations of social ministry. In addition to online readings and videos, the main assignment for the course is an analysis of the participant’s congregation involving a study of the identity and history of the congregation, the social context and openness to diversity, the past and present social ministry of the congregation--all leading to suggestions for future development of social ministry. This work of analysis will require observation of the congregation and the surrounding neighborhood, reading of literature (websites, parish history, census data), and interviews with parishioners and neighbors.

January 15 - March 5, 2018

Instructor: Sr. Pamela Clare Magers

Sr. Pamela Clare, CSF, is a member of The Community of St. Francis, a religious order for women in the Episcopal Church. She has a Ph.D. in Anthropology and an M.A. in Creation Spirituality. She has many years of experience in Hispanic Ministry and is on the faculty of The Episcopal School for Deacons in Berkeley, where she teaches Social Ministry. She is a certified massage therapist who works with poor and homeless people at various social service agencies in San Francisco.



This course draws on a rich history of discourse as we strive to engage with our faith, living it out in an imperfect world and Church. Whether we are struggling to justify sacramental liturgy and church hierarchy in the face of Puritan attack, or determining church policy on inclusion of women and LGBT people, Anglicans have drawn on a wide array of ethical approaches ranging from teleological virtue ethics to relational theory (both pre-feminist and contemporary). Ethical dilemmas continue to challenge lay and ordained leaders across the wide diversity of our church—frequently in our own parishes, where each of us engages our faith to face the challenges that surround us. In this course we'll explore how thinkers as diverse as Plato (ancient Greece) and Marcella Althaus Reid (contemporary social justice and post-colonial liberation theorist) have helped people of faith make hard choices and live faithfully with the results. We'll spend some time conversing with history (ancient Greece, Bible, Reformation), then dive into some of our "best" Anglican dilemmas both old and new.

January 15 - March 5, 2018

Instructor: The Rev. Dr. Austin Leininger

The Rev. Dr. Austin Leininger has been an Episcopal priest in the Diocese of Northern California since 2006, and completed his PhD in Ethics and Social Theory at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. He has been teaching in Anglican studies and Ethics for the past four years and teaches concurrently at CDSP and Iliff School of Theology's Anglican Studies program in Denver, CO. He is husband to Jane, and papa to their three children.



The course introduces the New Testament (NT) from a historical, literary, social and theological perspective. It focuses on the distinct nature of each document, the authorship, the times in which they were written, the key themes and issues the authors addressed, and the theological teachings they offered. Due attention is given to the social contexts and historical events that impacted the formation of the texts. Various methods such as historical criticism, literary criticism, social science criticism, and contextual approaches will be used in interpreting the NT texts.

January 15 - March 5, 2018

Instructor: Dr. Peter Ajer

Peter Claver Ajer holds a PhD in Biblical Studies from Graduate Theological Union, with an allied field in Political Science (Peace and Conflict Studies). Dr. Ajer has taught as guest lecturer in Peace and Conflict Studies at University of California, Berkeley, and in New Testament at Holy Names University. He has been visiting lecturer at University of the Pacific, adjunct faculty at Saint Mary’s College of California and is currently part of the adjunct faculty in the department of Theology and Religious Studies at University of San Francisco. He is the author of The Death of Jesus and the Politics of Place in the Gospel of John, Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications, 2016.



This course will explore the history of Christianity by focusing on snapshots of it in different times and places, by attending to its diversity over time, by encountering contrasting historical figures in its history, by asking what “salvation” meant and what “mission” consisted of in each of these times and places, and by pondering how these historical forms of Christianity may inform our faith and praxis today.

Over the seven weeks you will get to know the early Jesus movement, Constantine’s imperial church, missionaries among Germanic “barbarians,” the culture-dominating Christianity of the Middle Ages with its mysticism and monasticism, the marriage of church and state in Henrician and Elizabethan England, the political tensions within Christianity during industrialization, the hot and cold wars from 1800 to today, and whether this history is our “heritage” or just so much “baggage.”

This course is suitable as an introduction or a refresher from a distinct line of inquiry. In addition to the basic reading, reflecting and writing, suggestions for further personal reading, on-line viewing, and travel will be recommended.

January 15 - March 5, 2018

Instructor: Dr. Bradley Peterson

Brad Peterson is a historian of Christianity with a special interest in the reformations and renewals of the Western church in the Early Modern Era. His doctoral research at the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, California, focused on the vision of monastic life that survived among Protestants of the 16th Century. He has a growing interest in the history of the diaconate. He teaches for the Episcopal School for Deacons at Berkeley as well as for CALL. He has led workshops for the Episcopal Church in Minnesota, the Sierra Pacific Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and various local churches. He contributed the article on Luther and monasticism in Luther – A Christian between Reforms and Modernity (1517-2017), a project of the Foundation for Religious Sciences John XXIII, Bologna, Italy. Brad also serves on the Commission on Ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of California and on the board of the Association of Episcopal Deacons. He identifies himself as a “vocational layman.”