The Rt. Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, former presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, has been named the third St. Margaret’s Visiting Professor of Women in Ministry at Church Divinity School of the Pacific (CDSP), the Very Rev. W. Mark Richardson, the seminary’s dean and president announced today. Jefferts Schori, who has a doctorate in oceanography, will teach a course in the fall semester on the role of religious leaders in public conversation on issues including scientific discovery, technological development, artistic creativity and public policy.
“We’ll consider how to encourage constructive and elevated public dialogue that is at once civil and earnest, evangelical and thoughtfully critical, and energetically focused on a vision of the beloved community – God’s peaceable kindom of all creation,” she said.
Jefferts Schori received her Master of Divinity from CDSP in 1994, and an honorary Doctor of Divinity in 2001. She served as bishop of Nevada until 2006 when she became the first woman elected as presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church. Her term ended last November.
“We are delighted to welcome Bishop Jefferts Schori back to her alma mater,” Richardson said. “Her courage as a leader has been an inspiration to the church, but that is only one facet of her ministry. We’re eager to have her among us as a scientist, a teacher, a public intellectual, and a neighbor.”
Jefferts Schori will be on residence on CDSP’s campus regularly during the fall. “I am very much looking forward to teaching at CDSP and rediscovering the remarkable creativity to be found in a classroom of passionate and curious people!” she said. “I expect that the resources and opportunities in Berkeley and the Bay Area will be constructive partners in our mutual exploration. And I look forward to being in residence in a community focused on loving God and neighbor with all we are and all we have.”
The St. Margaret’s professorship was inaugurated in 2014, on the 40th anniversary of the ordination of the first women to the priesthood of the Episcopal Church. The professorship was made possible by generous support from women who taught or studied at the seminary. The chair is named in honor of St. Margaret’s House, a Berkeley-based institution that trained deaconesses and laywomen for ministry in the Episcopal Church from 1909-66.