“Your Only Tool for Ministry Is Yourself:” May 18 Commencement

(l-r) 2018 honorary degree recipient Bishop Barry Beisner of Northern California and his presenter Bishop Marc Andrus of California; President Richardson; honorary degree recipient Sally Mancini and her presenter Professor Susanna Singer; the Rev. Fran Toy, who presented honorary degree recipient Canon Peter Ng. photo credit: Richard Wheeler

On May 18, CDSP welcomed the Rev. Dr. William Lupfer, 18th rector of Trinity Church Wall Street in New York City, as the preacher at CDSP’s 124th commencement. A video of the ceremony is available online; Lupfer’s address begins at 20:20.  

“Number one: I hope that you will remember through your entire ministry that your only tool for ministry is yourself. …So the important thing is to focus on self, not others,” said Lupfer. “When people ask me ‘What should we look for in a priest to come lead our community?’ I say, ‘Above anything else, make sure that they are self-regulating.'”  

Bishop Barry Beisner of Northern California, Christian educator Sally Mancini, a longtime Godly Play teacher and trainer, and Canon Peter Ng, the Episcopal Church’s former partnership officer for Asia and the Pacific, received honorary degrees at the ceremony. President Richardson read a letter praising Ng’s service from Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, mentioning that he had been “unable to attend because he is off doing a favor for the Royal Family.”  

Thirteen students were awarded the Master of Divinity degree, and six students were granted the Certificate of Anglican Studies or the Certificate of Theological Studies. Dr. Riess Potterveld, retiring president of the Graduate Theological Union, conferred the Ph.D. on Holly Mitchem and Stephen Shaver, who have both been affiliated with CDSP during their studies.  

Graduating senior Peter Homeyer ’18 of the Diocese of Western Michigan was awarded The Right Rev. Richard Millard Prize for Excellence in Preaching. Michael Sells ’18 of the Episcopal Church in Navajoland was awarded The Fran Toy Prize for Multicultural Ministry at a Field Education Site.  

The Lawrence Kristin Mikkelsen Preaching Scholarship, an award established by St. John’s Episcopal Church in Aptos, California, was awarded to Kathleen Moore ’19 of the Diocese of Vermont. The award is given to a CDSP student who has demonstrated outstanding promise as a preacher and a commitment to social justice and human dignity.