The Rev. Gay Clark Jennings, president of the Episcopal Church’s House of Deputies, will serve as the St. Margaret’s Visiting Professor of Women in Ministry during the January intensive term. During her time on campus, she will participate in classes including Organizing for Public Ministry, Gospel of the Masses and both field education courses, help lead chapel services, and be available for informal conversations with students, faculty and staff.
Jennings was elected president of the House of Deputies in 2012 and was unopposed for reelection in 2015 and 2018. She is the first ordained woman to hold the position. A ten-time deputy from the Diocese of Ohio, she previously served for 17 years as canon to the ordinary in the Diocese of Ohio and for nine years as associate director of CREDO Institute Inc., a church wellness program.
In 2018, Jennings appointed the youngest and most diverse group of legislative committee officers ever to serve at General Convention. Forty-five percent of the group was under the age of 50, 18 percent were people of color, and at least 15 percent identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.
Jennings also appointed and chaired the House of Deputies Special Committee on Sexual Harassment and Exploitation to draft legislation for General Convention. The Rev. Dr. Ruth Meyers, CDSP’s academic dean, was the committee’s vice-chair, and students Kathleen Moore and Nikky Wood were among its members.
The previous St. Margaret’s Visiting Professors were Dr. Jenny Te Paa Daniel, the Rev. Suzanne Guthrie, the Most Rev. Dr. Katharine Jefferts Schori, and the Rev. Winnie Varghese.
The St. Margaret’s Visiting 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 faculty, alumna and local laywomen. 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.