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baptism All Saints

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When students can't come to the seminary, we bring the seminary to them.

June 9, 2017 

Dear Friends,

If you’ve spent any time on our campus in the Berkeley hills, you know what a beautiful and inspiring place it is. But did you know that CDSP is also at work in Nevada, Minnesota, Washington, D. C. and elsewhere through innovative diocesan partnerships?

These partnerships are one of the ways that CDSP is responding to the needs of the contemporary church, and we are counting on you to support our efforts to make sure that everyone who is called to lead a Christian community receives a top-notch theological education.

As someone with an interest in the life of the church, you may be aware that many dioceses are unable to send all their candidates for the priesthood or the diaconate to a residential seminary. Our low residency degree and certificate programs have allowed us to reach 41 new students who have jobs or families they cannot leave.

But some Christian leaders can’t come to us at all. So we go to them.

Through our Center for Anglican Learning and Leadership (CALL) we are providing excellent online courses, many of them tailored to the specific needs of our diocesan partners, and all of them taught by experienced online instructors, to complement local formation efforts in dioceses across the church. The response has been gratifying.

“CDSP has demonstrated a willingness to think outside the box and innovate new programs, trusting that the Holy Spirit is guiding these changes,” says the Rev. Susan Daughtry, missioner for formation for the Episcopal Church in Minnesota.

Forward-looking initiatives such as CALL and our diocesan partnerships require the support of forward-looking donors like you. Innovation grounded in tradition is essential to the future of what Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, who was this year’s commencement speaker, refers to as “the Jesus movement.”

Blessings,

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

P.S. You can watch the presiding bishop’s rousing CDSP commencement address here. Will you support the Jesus movement by making a generous contribution to the CDSP annual fund?

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What does the beating heart of a seminary look like?

May 25, 2017 

Dear Friends,

CDSP is proud of the leading role it has long played in the liturgical life of the Episcopal Church, and I am especially excited by the renewed sense of energy and purpose emanating from All Saints Chapel this year. Students are learning to create and celebrate liturgies that are vital, inspiring and firmly grounded in the fundamental teachings of our faith. But the chapel is more than just the place where postulants learn the liturgical arts. It is also the place where students, faculty and staff are most aware of the people who came before them, and those who sustain them in their vocations both spiritually and financially.

CDSP has been teaching students to celebrate the rites of the Episcopal Church since 1893, but despite the passage of time, alumni and friends of any generation could visit the chapel and feel a deep and immediate connection to the students of today. All Saints is where we come together to worship. It is where we hold one another up to God in prayer. And, semester after semester, it is where we undertake the great challenge of articulating a living faith through ancient rites to the Christians, seekers and skeptics we meet every day.

Liturgy, we often say, is “the work of the people.” So too is the work of preparing students to lead their communities in prayer. And it is a source of comfort and strength to know that, due to your support, we are not alone in this work. We rely on both the wisdom and the generosity of those who came before us and those who accompany us now.

With your generous support today All Saints Chapel will continue to be a sacred place where seminarians learn the liturgical arts and where our community comes together to form leaders for the church of the future.

Blessings,

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

P.S. To keep up with life at the chapel and read student sermons, follow the chapel on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/allsaintsCDSP/

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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 cdsp.edu/news/new-curriculum/