Associate Professor of Ministry Development, and Director, Doctor of Ministry Program
B.A., M.A., Cambridge University
M.Div., Church Divinity School of the Pacific
Ph.D., Boston College
Susanna Singer is a native of England, and has lived happily in the USA for 35 years. She studied English Literature at the University of Cambridge, worked as a business administrator in London, and earned her M.Div. at CDSP following her call to the priesthood in the Episcopal Church. After ordination she served as canon liturgist and educator at Grace Cathedral, and diocesan education coordinator for the Diocese of California, then earned a PhD in theology and education at Boston College. She has served as associate clergy in small and medium-sized congregations in a variety of cultural contexts. She has taught at CDSP since Fall 2005.
Why I Teach:
I believe that some of the most critical issues faced by people of faith today concern the development of robust Christian identity, strong roots in vibrant communities of faith, and the capacity to act reflectively and effectively in the world in the service of God's mission. All these things happen in a context of immense cultural and religious diversity, where everything – including religious commitment – is a choice. The extremes of closed-minded rigidity or laissez-faire openness are not valid options in this context. Instead, people of faith need to cultivate deeply grounded Christian commitment coupled with openness to diversity – a daunting task. I bring theoretical frameworks and effective techniques from the fields of practical theology, transformative learning, cognitive-developmental theory, critically reflective teaching, and imagination in order to help students meet this exciting challenge.
The second focus of my teaching and scholarship (deeply connected with the first) is ministry development. The baptismal theology of the Episcopal Church compels me to enable students to empower the ministries of all, and to imagine new ecclesial structures that enable the church to turn towards the world, offering the Gospel to a changing world in fresh, inviting ways. The best current thinking in organizational development, leadership, systems theory, and change management, as well as emerging ecclesiology, informs my teaching in this area.
My teaching style is participatory, experiential and student-centered. All my classes include active learning – role-playing, group projects and practical design exercises – in order to ground students' learning in the world of ministry. My goal is that students will become empowered, critically reflective, collaborative theological practitioners.
- Postmodern Christian Education
- Issues in Ministry
- Introduction to Practical Theology
- Leadership in Ministry
- 21st Century Evangelism
- Book review: Church for Every Context: An Introduction to Theology and Practice. By Michael Moynagh with Philip Harrold (London: SCM Press, 2012) for Anglican Theological Review, forthcoming.
- Book review: Opening the Field of Practical Theology: An Introduction. Edited by Kathleen A. Cahalan and Gordon S. Mikoski. (Maryland, Plymouth UK: Rowman & Littlefield, 2014) for Anglican Theological Review, forthcoming.
- “Supervisory Practice in a Distance Learning Program of Formation for Ministry.” Reflective Practice: Formation and Supervision in Ministry, Volume 31, 2011 (online journal, Berkeley, CA).
- Book review, The Church in Anglican Theology: A Historical, Theological and Ecumenical Exploration. By Kenneth A. Locke. (Farnham, Surrey, England: Ashgate 2009) for Anglican and Episcopal History, March 2010.
- “Educating for Commitment: Insights from Postmodernity,” Religious Education
- “Numbers and Stories” Theological Address to the Gathering of Leaders’ Conference on Vitality and Effectiveness in the Missionary Church, April 2015.
- Two webinars on Leadership in Ministry for the Diocese of Michigan, Spring 2014.
- "The World is Charged With the Grandeur of God: The Parables of Jesus, the Poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins, and the Life of Faith" Retreat for the Associates of the Order of the Transfiguration, September 2013.
- GTU Colloquium on Best Practices in Online Teaching, August 2013.
- "Signs for the World: Engaging Sacramental Theology and Practice" Lay Leadership Day and Week-Long Clergy Conference, Anglican Parishes of the Central Interior, June 2013.