Author Marilyn McEntyre Appointed St. Margaret’s Professor in Spring 2020

Marilyn McEntyre, an author, writing teacher, and retreat leader, will be the St. Margaret’s Visiting Professor of Women in Ministry during the 2020 spring semester. During her time at CDSP, McEntyre, the author of many books of poetry and meditations, will teach a course titled “Stewards of the Word: Caring for Words in a Culture of Lies.”

“All of us who speak and write, love words, and understand how powerful they can be are likely concerned about the state of public discourse,” McEntyre said. “Because I love Episcopal liturgy and the Book of Common Prayer, I look forward with particular pleasure to reflecting with folks at CDSP on the gift of words, on questions like ‘Why read a poem at a time like this?’ and on what it might mean now to be faithful to our calling to word work.”

McEntyre, who holds a doctorate in comparative literature from Princeton University, is also an adjunct professor in the joint medical program of the Universities of California, Berkeley (UCB) and San Francisco and a fellow in the Program for the Medical Humanities at UCB.

“Marilyn McEntyre is a gifted writer who has thought deeply about the power of words,” said the Rev. Dr. Ruth Meyers, CDSP’s academic dean. “She brings great wisdom as a teacher and retreat leader. We look forward to her presence in the classroom and the community this spring.”

McEntyre’s course will explore ways that people in ministry “might be more effective stewards of the gift of language.” The class will meet on Tuesdays from 6:30-9:30 p.m. It is open for credit or audit to participants from the wider Bay Area community.

“As public discourse continues to be inflated and depleted by propaganda, hyperbole, and oversimplification, the call to clarity, to speaking peace, to caring for words as instruments of grace and compassion, becomes more urgent,” reads the course description. Students will read McEntyre’s book, “Caring for Words in a Culture of Lies,” and learn what she calls “strategies of stewardship.”

To enroll in McEntyre’s course, please email Registrar Mary McChesney-Young.

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 CDSP 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.