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CDSP News

Dear Friends:

Grau Marion II thumbBefore you all take a well-deserved break next week, I want to let you know that Professor Marion Grau has accepted the positions of professor of systematic theology and missiology at the Norwegian School of Theology and editor of the Norwegian Journal of Missiology beginning this fall.

Marion’s impressive research, which includes three books and numerous journal articles, has made substantial contributions to her field and the wider church’s understanding of systematic and constructive theology. You may know that, for the last several years, Marion has been conducting research on pilgrimage sponsored by the Norwegian Research Foundation’s Ritual and Democracy Project. Her new position will make it possible both to return to Europe full-time and to extend this important new academic work and the relationships that have developed from it. While I will be sorry to say goodbye to Marion, who has been at CDSP for fourteen years, I hope you will all join me in congratulating her on this prestigious new position.

Between now and the end of the spring semester in May, we will find opportunities to celebrate Marion’s time with us. Most immediately, I hope that you will plan to attend, in person or online, the forum on her new book, “Refiguring Theological Hermeneutics:  Hermes, Trickster, Fool,” tomorrow evening at 7:45 pm. More information is available on the website.

MacDougall headshot thumbI am glad to announce that Scott MacDougall will join us for the 2015-2016 academic year as visiting assistant professor of theology. Scott, whose MA thesis I directed at General Theological Seminary in 2007, holds a PhD in theology from Fordham University and has taught there as a teaching fellow since 2010. In addition to his first-rate academic career, Scott is also an experienced grants manager who has worked for the Rockefeller Foundation, the Open Society Foundations, and other New York-based non-profit organizations. While Scott joins us in Berkeley, his husband, Michael Angelo, will remain in New York, where he is the founder and creative director of the prestigious salon Wonderland, and will visit us during the year.

Faithfully,

The Very Rev. W. Mark Richardson
Dean and President

Iain Stanford is the new Giving Tuesday Scholar at Church Divinity School of the Pacific, Dean and President W. Mark Richardson announced on Tuesday.

Stanford, a postulant to the priesthood from the Diocese of Oregon, earned a master of divinity from the University of Notre Dame, a master of theology from Harvard Divinity School and has completed coursework for doctorate of theology at Harvard. At CDSP, Stanford is enrolled in the Certificate of Anglican Studies program and will work on his dissertation.

The new Giving Tuesday scholarship, one of several new scholarships that CDSP offers for 2015-2016, was made possible by CDSP donors who participated in Giving Tuesday, an initiative that encourages people to give online on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. In 2014, CDSP’s Giving Tuesday raised more than $10,000.

“When we initiated Giving Tuesday at CDSP, an idea originating with [CDSP’s development director] Patrick Delahunt, we had no idea what to expect,” said Richardson. “It is exciting to know that the generosity of those who responded will have this kind of impact on a student's life. We’re delighted to welcome Iain to CDSP, and grateful for the generosity of the donors who made our new Giving Tuesday scholarship possible. This is just one of several new scholarships now available from CDSP, thanks to the extraordinary generosity of alumni and donors who have contributed to funds through estate plans and endowed gifts.”

Other new CDSP scholarship opportunities include the full-tuition Bishop’s Scholarships, which are given on the nomination of students’ diocesan bishops; the Presidential Scholarship, which includes tuition, room and board, meal plan and books for an exceptional leader age 35 or under; and Excellence in Ministry scholarships that include full tuition and a stipend.

For his part, Stanford is thrilled to be in Berkeley. “One of the opportunities of being a student at CDSP is I get to go and experience different communities in the area. It’s a chance for me to get to know what’s available on the West Coast.  I have an ability and opportunity just to experience the breadth of what the Episcopal Church can be.”

To learn more about scholarship and financial aid opportunities at CDSP, contact the Rev. Andrew Hybl ’12 at 510-204-0715 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

February 25, 2015—The Rev. Bob Rybicki has joined Church Divinity School of the Pacific as director of operations and personnel management, a new position.

Rybicki is the former vice president for programs and services of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and has served as CEO of several large Bay Area nonprofits. Formerly a Roman Catholic priest who served urban congregations, Rybicki was recently received into the Episcopal Church as a priest. He holds a bachelor of arts from Loyola University in Chicago, a master of divinity from St. Mary of the Lake Seminary, and a master of arts from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

“In the midst of transitions that are strengthening CDSP and our capacity to fulfill our mission, the board of trustees and I determined the need to separate leadership of operations and personnel management from leadership over finance,” said CDSP President Mark Richardson. “Bob brings great talent and a richness of executive-level experience to this new role. Those who know him well consistently say the same things:  He is humble, he is a relationship-builder, and he is keenly focused on the goals set before him.”

Rybicki said, “It is an honor for me to be part of such a prestigious seminary. I am very excited by the new directions that CDSP is undertaking as it prepares the future leaders of the Episcopal Church to assume their place in the community. The Spirit is clearly influencing this process at CDSP and I believe our students will be effective heralds as they go out to proclaim and give witness to the Kingdom.

Rybicki, who works Mondays-Thursdays, can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 510-204-0725.

James Carroll, an author whose works include “Christ Actually” and “Constantine’s Sword”, will be the principal speaker at CDSP’s commencement on Friday, May 22.

Carroll, who has written eleven novels and eight works of non-fiction, is a distinguished scholar in residence at Suffolk University and a columnist for The Boston Globe. He has won the National Book Award for “An American Requiem” and the Pen Galbraith Award for “House of War”.

“All of my work has been preoccupied with trying to reconcile the relationship between the Christian religion and ... grotesque outbreaks of violence, especially anti-Semitism,” says Carroll, who has been a Shorenstein Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a Fellow at the Center for the Study of Values in Public Life at the Harvard Divinity School.  

In “Christ Actually”, Carroll argues that the Holocaust and the bombing of Hiroshima are evidence that humankind is capable of self-extinction. “I am recruiting a new understanding of Jesus as one mode of securing that future,” he says. “If we go on thinking of Jesus the way we have, it makes our suicide more likely.”

The Very Rev. W. Mark Richardson, CDSP’s dean and president, met Carroll when the author spoke on two occasions at the Trinity Institute at Trinity Wall Street in New York City, when Richardson served as moderator of the institute’s conferences and senior theological advisor to the church.

“Each time, the seriousness with which he reflected on the topics at hand, the creativity and the depth of his reflection left a mark on all who participated,” Richardson said. “The seriousness of his faith commitment is so clear, as well as his willingness to let go when we uncover falsehood and insincerity.

“His most recent writing on Christ for our day is a demonstration of his commitment to truth seeking as a high Christian virtue. How do Christians face the aftermath of the Holocaust? What conversions and reexaminations are necessary in light of world conditions, and how is Christ good news in these conditions? James is not afraid of humble self-examination and cultural examination in the face of these questions.”

Carroll most recent novel is “Warburg in Rome,” a historical thriller set in post -war Rome.

More details about CDSP’s commencement will be available at www.cdsp.edu this spring.

This spring, CDSP will convene several gatherings of alums and friends across California. At these gatherings, you'll have a chance to meet other CDSP alums, hear more about what's happening on campus, and learn from Dean Richardson and other Episcopal Church leaders more about how CDSP is preparing students to lead Christ-centered communities in our changing world. To learn more and make plans to join us, please talk with the Rev. Laurel Johnston, director of alumni affairs & major gift officer This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at 510-204-0740.

Sacramento,  March 5:  The Very Rev. Mark Richardson & the Rt. Rev. Barry Beisner, bishop, Diocese of Northern California and CDSP trustee

Los Angeles, March 19:  The Very Rev. Mark Richardson & the Rev. Ed Bacon, Rector, All Saints Pasadena

Santa Barbara, March 20:  The Very Rev. Mark Richardson

San Jose, April 30: The Very Rev. Mark Richardson & the Rt. Rev. Mary Gray-Reeves, bishop, Diocese of El Camino Real and CDSP trustee

Join us at CDSP on Saturday, March 14 for the third annual CDSP/Diocese of California Youth Ministry Day. This year, our theme is "Walking Among Stones of Fire:  Crisis, Inclusion and Healing with Youth and their Families."

The day will include presentations, workshops, and conversations dedicated to developing the skills to support young people and their families in the community of faith, particularly those on the autism spectrum and those struggling with emotional and spiritual crises of health and wholeness. Parents, youth ministers, clergy, teachers and anyone who works with or cares about young people are invited to take part.

Learn more

You are the anointed cherub that covers; and I have set you so: you were on the holy mountain of God; you have walked up and down in the middle of the stones of fire.--Ezekiel 28:14

The cost of $25 includes lunch. Register online.
 
Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you will need childcare for a toddler or preschooler during the event.

 

Diocese of California’s interns will live on CDSP’s campus, participate in community’s life

BERKELEY, December 18, 2014—Beginning in August, up to eight interns with the Diocese of California’s Episcopal Service Corps program will live on the campus of the Church Divinity School of the Pacific (CDSP) and participate in the life of the seminary.

Living on the seminary’s campus will provide richer educational and social opportunities for the interns and immerse them in the life of a Christian community dedicated to study, prayer and fellowship, said leaders of the diocese and seminary. The seminary will benefit from the diverse perspectives and experiences of the interns who will be working at churches and non-profit organizations in the Bay Area while living on campus.

“This partnership is an excellent example of vitality practices we seek to employ in the Diocese of California,” the Rt. Rev. Marc Handley Andrus, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of California said. “This partnership demonstrates collaboration between CDSP and the Diocese of California, offers chances for embeddedness in a variety of communities for interns, and the Bay Area is teaming with diversity — to which the interns have continually contributed with their presence.”

“We are looking forward to inviting the Episcopal Service Corps interns into the rhythms of our daily life,” said the Rev. Dr. W. Mark Richardson, dean and president of CDSP. “CDSP trains students to respond to the challenges of contemporary society with the Good News of Jesus Christ. The work these interns will do will help them to develop their own particular insights about those challenges. That can’t help but enrich the conversation on our campus and deepen the experience of seminarians and interns alike.”

The diocese’s intern program offers young adults a chance to explore their faith while working for justice and living with other interns in a Christian community. The interns gain real life experience by working 32 hours each week, engage in communal theological reflection and consider together the work they may want to pursue when the internship ends.

Tom Poynor, the program’s director, said, “I am excited about this opportunity to strengthen the work we do in forming leaders, both lay and ordained, for the larger church. The cooperation with CDSP creates a stronger locus for our commitment to intentional Christian community while immersing interns in vibrant traditional and cutting-edge theological conversation.” 

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The Episcopal Diocese of California serves a diverse community of faith encompassing the greater San Francisco Bay Area. Approximately 27,000 people form 80 congregations in six counties. More information about the Diocese of California can be found at www.diocal.org. If you’d like more information about this topic or to schedule and interview with Joseph Peters-Mathews, please call him at 415.869.7820 or email him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Church Divinity School of the Pacific, a seminary of the Episcopal Church and a member of the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California, educates students in an ecumenical and interreligious context to develop leaders who can proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ to the world through traditional and emerging ministries. Learn more at www.cdsp.edu.