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.