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In this season of Easter, we are preparing leaders for a new Pentecost.

April 20, 2017 

Dear Friends,

Happy Easter! In the past few months, we have all been reminded that Christians are called to carry our faith into the broader culture, engaging in the unavoidable public debates that are shaping the society in which we live and minister. CDSP is committed to training clergy and lay leaders to respond to this call, and I invite  you to  support our efforts.

We’ve thought hard in recent years about the skills our students will need to lead Christian communities in our deeply polarized country, and concluded that there is no substitute for a firm grounding in the core competencies of mission, discipleship and evangelism. We’ve also instituted a mandatory course in community organizing that is sparking intense conversations among our students about how challenging it is to be both a pastor and an advocate, a healing presence and a strong leader.

I feel humbled to lead a seminary in which these deep, rich and profoundly hopeful conversations are taking place, and I am grateful to you for making them possible. Your generosity allows us to make scholarship offers that draw many new top-notch students to CDSP. It encourages us to be bold in offering courses that prepare our students to enter confidently into communities. And it knits together our community, as alumni and friends support today’s students, staff and faculty in carrying on the always changing work of preparing Christians for ministry.

Reflecting on community organizing, one of our students wrote: “I believe we need to learn to lead people out of our buildings, creating effective partnerships with our local area institutions that also care about the issues of justice that we are called to consider:  feeding the hungry, welcoming the stranger, clothing the naked, visiting the prisoner, caring for widows and orphans, healing the hurting and relieving the oppressed.”

This is work we are all called to do. At CDSP, our mission is to educate and empower those who will lead us in doing it. We can only do that with your help.

Easter blessings, and thank you for your generosity.

The Very Rev. W. Mark Richardson, Ph.D.
Dean and President

P.S. To learn more about our new curriculum and its focus on mission, discipleship and evangelism, read “Fresh Polish on Ancient Touchstones” from a recent issue of Crossings, the CDSP Magazine at