News and Info



Dr. Jenny Te Paa-Daniel, Anglican Communion leader and Maori lay woman, to give commencement address

Berkeley, CA, May 14, 2014—Church Divinity School of the Pacific (CDSP), a seminary of the Episcopal Church and a member of the Graduate Theological Union, will hold its 120th commencement on Friday, May 23.

The ceremony will take place in the St. Margaret's Courtyard on CDSP's campus at 2451 Ridge Road in Berkeley, California and is open to the public. The event will be streamed live over the Internet at beginning at 10:30 am Pacific.

Dr. Jenny Te Paa-Daniel, an Anglican Communion leader and former principal of Te Rau Kahikatea, a constituent of the College of St. John the Evangelist in Auckland, will give the commencement address and receive a Doctor of Humane Letters honoris causa.

At the Crossroads: Interpreting the Sacred at the GTU

May 8, 2014

President Potterveld, Chairman Leach, Dean Holder, Dean Kook, Presidents and Deans of the Consortial Schools.

Dear colleagues, family and friends, distinguished graduates, and graduating student speaker, Dr. Courtney Bruntz: it is an honor and privilege to share this time with you and I congratulate you for your achievements.

Welcome especially to former graduates, friends and family! We are so grateful for your support and encouragement of these our graduates during their time here. Scholarship and learning is a communal effort, and it shows in your support of these accomplished graduates.

$20,000 for mission at home and around the world

On April 10, the Society of the Celtic Cross at CDSP awarded $20,000 in grants to nineteen organizations involved in mission at home and around the world. Members of the student-run organization raise the funds by parking cars for fans attending games at the University of California at Berkeley's Memorial Stadium and selling sodas to fellow students.

"Who knew a few empty parking spaces, some canned soft drinks, and other offerings could turn into $20,000 in Good News for organizations around the world?" said Deacon Twila Smith, a third-year MDiv student who serves as Celtic Cross missioner. In addition to raising funds, Celtic Cross students raise awareness of community needs and conduct the annual grants process.

Students take ancient liturgy into Berkeley during Lent

Earlier this year, two first-year CDSP students—Maggie Foster from the Diocese of Southern Ohio and Spencer Hatcher from the Diocese of Maryland—got to talking about initiatives to bring people into local churches with programs like yoga, community meals, and other non-liturgical events.

"Then we wondered, 'What would it look like to do the opposite?' What if we took BCP [the Episcopal Church's Book of Common Prayer] worship—the core of what we do as Episcopalians—outside?" Foster said.

Dr. Jenny Te Paa-Daniel, GTU '01, will give the address at CDSP's 120th Commencement on May 23, 2014 at 10:30 am in the St. Margaret's Courtyard. The event is open to the public and will be broadcast live online at

Te Paa-Daniel, who will be awarded an honorary doctorate, will also be a visiting professor in CDSP's new Women in Religion program during the Fall 2014 semester.

"She is personally engaging and a passionate communicator," said the Very Rev. W. Mark Richardson, dean and president, said in announcing the news. "She is an advocate of a strong Anglican Communion that recognizes the gifts of all regions and cultures. She presses toward full inclusion of women in the church, and she is a strong advocate of theological education for all."

Retired Sewanee dean, VTS professor to teach at CDSP

The Rev. Dr. William Stafford will be visiting professor of church history at CDSP during the 2014-2015 academic year, Academic Dean Ruth Meyers announced today.

Stafford, who taught a course in the English Reformation at CDSP during the fall of 2013, was a professor of church history at Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS) from 1976-2004, and also served as associate dean for academic affairs there from 1997-2004. He was dean of the School of Theology at University of the South (Sewanee) from 2004 until 2012.

"I am just thrilled to have a chance to be back in the classroom in a concentrated way," said Stafford. "My first calling, my first vocation as a Christian and as a priest is to be a teacher and a learner. As I prepare new classes for students at CDSP, I'm getting a chance to learn and relearn a lot of things. I've missed that badly."

During the fall semester, Stafford will teach a course on the history of the Western church from the second through the fifteenth centuries. In the spring semester, he will teach western church history from the Reformation through the 20th century and a course he developed at VTS and Sewanee called "Classics of the Christian Journey." Students will read Christian spiritual classics by authors including Perpetua, Origen, Augustine, Bernard of Clairvaux and Julian of Norwich.

Stafford's time in Berkeley will also allow him to participate in CDSP's Thursday evening Community Night, which includes Eucharist, supper and, periodically, visiting speakers.

"What I really missed when I taught just one course last year was the Eucharistic community," said Stafford. "As a visiting professor, I can spend more time on campus and be more fully engaged in the formation of students and the life they are sharing."

"Having Bill at CDSP next year will be a tremendous boon to our entire community," said Meyers. "We are all eager to welcome him to campus and learn from his deep learning and rich experience in the church."

Stafford, who holds a bachelor's degree from Stanford and an M.A., M.Phil and Ph.D. from Yale, anticipates yet another benefit to his time on Holy Hill.

"As a Stanford graduate, I am delighted for the opportunity to be a missionary to Berkeley."

Students interested in studying with Professor Stafford who are not already enrolled in a CDSP degree or certificate program can talk with Dianne Smith, director of enrollment services, via email or at 510-204-0715.

With the Oscar season just behind us, it is striking that two major films of the year "12 Years a Slave" and "Philomena"—challenge us to face the past with spiritual courage so that our histories may be redeemed, rather than forgotten. In a separate story in this issue of our electronic news, Church Divinity School of the Pacific trustee and alumnus, the Rev. Dr. P. Donald White Jr., writes of a familial connection to "12 Years A Slave." I reflect here on "Philomena," in which the lead role, played by Judy Dench, offers a study in contrasting spiritualties. This leaves us with food for thought for the CDSP community, including those of us in leadership who are charged with the seminary's mission of responding to contemporary society with the good news of Jesus Christ.