Church Divinity School of the Pacific has been awarded a 2019 Becoming Beloved Community grant by the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church. The $3,500 award will support the faculty’s continuing work to build intercultural competence and dismantle racism.
“The faculty began working to deepen our intercultural competence in 2017,” said Academic Dean Ruth Meyers. “Thanks to work made possible by grants from both the Wabash Center and the Association of Theological Schools, we have been certified as Qualified Administrators of the Intercultural Development Inventory and have developed our own intercultural development plans. Now our work is shifting to addressing explicitly the challenges of systemic racism in our predominantly white institutional context.”
In May and August, consultants from the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion will facilitate workshops to help faculty incorporate diverse perspectives and culturally inflected learning styles in their teaching and syllabi, says Meyers. They will also learn strategies for intervening in instances of classroom racism and microaggressions.
During the year, faculty will also continue reading contemporary texts about race and racism, said Meyers. “Our goal is to perceive more accurately and assess critically the ways that our history as a predominantly white institution in a historically white church shapes our practices and creates stumbling blocks for students of color,” she said.
“At CDSP, we are committed to drawing ever closer to Beloved Community,” she said. “As faculty, we want to keep working to foster welcoming spaces where all God’s people can learn and grow.”
photo: CDSP faculty at an Intercultural Development Inventory workshop in 2018