Bishop Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows to Give Commencement Address

Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows
The Rt. Rev. Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows

The Rt. Rev. Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows, bishop of Indianapolis, will give the address at the 125th Commencement of Church Divinity School of the Pacific on May 24 at 10:30 am in the St. Margaret’s Courtyard at CDSP. The event is open to the public and will be broadcast live online at

In 2016, Baskerville-Burrows became the first black woman to be elected a diocesan bishop in the Episcopal Church. She received an M.Div. degree from CDSP in 1997 and was CDSP’s director of alumni/ae and church relations from 2002-2004. She also holds an M.A. in historic preservation planning from Cornell University and a bachelor’s degree in architecture with a minor in urban studies from Smith College. Before being elected bishop, she served in the Dioceses of Newark, Central New York and Chicago.

Last year at General Convention, CDSP President and Dean W. Mark Richardson announced that the seminary has established the Bishop Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows Scholarship Fund to benefit black and Native American students. Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and House of Deputies President Gay Clark Jennings made lead gifts to the scholarship fund.

“Jennifer is an illustrious alumna whose gracious manner, probing intelligence, deep spirituality and easy, good humor have inspired Episcopalians throughout the church,” Richardson said. “She is both patient and bold, an excellent listener and a decisive leader. It is our honor to honor her, and we look forward to welcoming her back to campus in May.”

At commencement, CDSP will award the Master of Divinity degree as well as degrees or certificates to students who have completed the Certificate of Anglican Studies, the Certificate of Theological Studies, the Certificate of Advanced Ministry Studies, and the Master of Arts degree in cooperation with the Graduate Theological Union.

During the ceremony, CDSP will also grant honorary degrees to Baskerville-Burrows; West/Southwest Industrial Areas Foundation co-chair and executive director Ernesto Cortes, Jr.; and President Gay Clark Jennings.