CDSP Announces Enrollment Increases and Plans for Fiscal Stability and Growth

BERKELEY, Calif., Oct. 14, 2011 – The Very Rev. W. Mark Richardson, Ph.D., president and dean of Church Divinity School of the Pacific, today announced a new strategy for the health and growth of the 108-year-old Episcopal graduate theological seminary.

Richardson also reported enrollment increases in major degree programs and its online courses.

His statement released today followed decisions by CDSP’s Board of Trustees that adopted recommendations from a task force with trustee, faculty, and student representation that pledged a balanced budget in five years through a combination of spending cuts, continued enrollment growth, and growth in annual contributions. (Click here for a complete text of the Board of Trustees resolution, and a summary of the task force report.)

Richardson, who was installed as president a year ago, said CDSP’s growth must be based on a firm financial foundation, to fulfill its longstanding mission serving the Episcopal Church. He said he will announce reductions in the number of faculty positions at the end of this school year. He said there will be no cuts in course offerings, curriculum, degrees or certificates.

He said CDSP would be adding two courses, in multicultural and inter-religious studies. “Our students will continue to get the courses they need to fulfill their rigorous academic requirements,” he said.

“These times require renewed commitment to our mission as a community of faith, to respond to the challenges of contemporary society with the Good News of Jesus Christ,” Richardson said.

Richardson also announced that CDSP had received “a substantial six-figure gift,” which would be announced in detail later this month.

The number of new students enrolled in degree and certificate programs at CDSP this fall is 60 percent higher than in September 2010. Richardson reported there were more new students in Master of Divinity, Master of Arts, Doctor of Divinity, and graduate certificate programs.

Enrollments in CDSP’s new “hybrid” Certificate of Anglican Studies program, allowing students to study summers in Berkeley and the rest of the year online, met first-year targets, he said. Enrollments in CDSP’s online continuing education course offerings by the Center for Anglican Learning and Leadership [CALL] are up by more than 28 percent over last year.

Richardson said it was gratifying to hear from CDSP alumni that nearly all of last May’s CDSP degree recipients have secured positions in parishes (or, in one case, a college) across the U.S.

He said CDSP will be seeking agreements to share faculty on a part-time basis with its partner schools in the Graduate Theological Union, a Berkeley-based consortium that has a combined theological library and offers Ph.D. and other degrees for nine member seminaries. CDSP was one of the founding members of the GTU.

© 2012 Church Divinity School of the Pacific