The Board of Trustees of the Church Divinity School of the Pacific (CDSP) announced on March 31 that the Rt. Rev. Kirk Stevan Smith, PhD, retired Bishop of the Diocese of Arizona, will serve as interim president and dean of the seminary, effective June 6, 2022.
Bishop Smith’s appointment follows the announcement in January that the Very Rev. W. Mark Richardson would retire as president and dean of CDSP at the end of the current academic year.
“We are delighted that Bishop Smith has agreed to serve the students, faculty, and staff of CDSP during this period of transition for the seminary, supporting its work to form and prepare leaders for the Episcopal Church,” said the Rev. Phillip A. Jackson, chairperson of the board and rector of Trinity Church Wall Street. “Bishop Smith’s experience in teaching at various seminaries, his deep knowledge of church history, his long experience as a parish priest as well as a bishop, and his lifelong love of learning will serve CDSP well.”
“I look forward to working with the faculty, staff, and students at CDSP, the Board of Trustees and other staff at Trinity, bishops around the country, and others who are invested in Episcopal formation as we navigate this exciting time,” said Bishop Smith.
Before and after his retirement in 2019, Bishop Smith taught church history courses at the Episcopal Theological School at Claremont, General Theological Seminary, Berkeley Divinity School at Yale, and Virginia Theological Seminary. He served as Bishop in Residence at Berkeley Divinity School at Yale for the Spring term 2021.
Prior to serving as bishop for the Diocese of Arizona from 2004-2019, Bishop Smith led parishes in Connecticut and California, including St James’, Wilshire Boulevard, a large urban multi-cultural and multi-racial congregation which also operates a day school, nursery school, senior housing project and food program.
Bishop Smith received his bachelor’s degree from Lewis and Clark College, M.Div. from the Berkeley Divinity School at Yale, and Ph.D. from Cornell University.
Bishop Smith will serve as interim president and dean of CDSP until a new president and dean is selected. The Board of Trustees of CDSP expect to launch a search in April.
Trinity Church Wall Street and CDSP entered into a partnership in 2019.
About Church Divinity School of the Pacific
The only Episcopal seminary on the West Coast, CDSP forms leaders called to find new ways to create Christian communities and share God’s love. Through our partnership with Trinity Church Wall Street and an ongoing dialog with bishops and grassroots leaders, we have focused our degree programs on Christian mission, discipleship, and evangelism and on core leadership skills of contextual awareness, critical reflection, and public conversation; established a popular low-residency degree option for students balancing family obligations or professional responsibilities, and launched partnerships that allow us to create distance learning curricula for individual dioceses.