The Rt. Rev. Dr. Susan Brown Snook ‘03, bishop of San Diego, will speak at the 127th commencement of Church Divinity School of the Pacific on Saturday, May 21, at 10:30 a.m. Pacific Time in the St. Margaret’s Courtyard at CDSP.
Snook is a leader in the areas of evangelism, church growth, church planting, and new mission development.
From 2006 to 2017, she served as the church planter, vicar, and then rector of the Episcopal Church of the Nativity in Scottsdale, AZ, leading it through a process of growth to a program-sized parish. From 2017 to 2019, she served as the canon for church growth and development in the Diocese of Oklahoma. In 2019 she was elected and consecrated as the fifth bishop of San Diego.
Snook authored God Gave the Growth: Church Planting in the Episcopal Church (Church Publishing, 2015) and co-edited Acts to Action: The New Testament’s Guide to Evangelism and Mission (Forward Movement, 2018).
At the ceremony, CDSP will award thirteen new Master of Divinity and two Master of Theological Studies degrees and also grant four Certificates of Anglican Studies. Finally, three Master of Arts degrees and one Doctor of Philosophy degree will be awarded in cooperation with the Graduate Theological Union.
This year’s commencement exercises will be somewhat unusual, in that graduates from 2020 and 2021 have been invited to participate. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Class of 2020 participated in an online celebration of graduates but did not have a formal commencement, and the Class of 2021 participated in an online commencement ceremony.
CDSP will also grant honorary degrees to Snook, Floyd P. Lalet, and the Rev. Dr. Kwasi Thornell.
Floyd P. Lalwet, an Igorot from Besao, Mountain Province, in the the Philippines, grew up in an Indigenous community which was also a mission area of the Episcopal Church. He graduated from a public elementary school and from high school at St. James Episcopal School.
Lalwet has served the Episcopal Church in the Philippines (ECP) as social concerns officer, national development officer, and provincial secretary. He is currently the chancellor and legal counsel for ECP and teaches canon law and community development at St. Andrew’s Theological Seminary in Quezon City.
Lalwet has successfully represented ECP in several critical legal cases, played a major role in concluding the Episcopal Church’s annual financial subsidy to the ECP three years ahead of schedule, and has had a significant role in helping move local churches toward self-sustainability.
The Rev. Dr. Kwasi Thornell has been an Episcopal priest since 1972 and has served churches in urban centers across the nation. He has served as canon missioner for Washington National Cathedral and interfaith-ecumenical officer for the Diocese of Washington.
Early in his career he was vice president and then president of the Union of Black Episcopalians and has remained active in UBE. During his time at CDSP, he taught pastoral theology and was instrumental in starting the Seminarians of Color Union.
In 2007, Thornell helped found the Bishop Walker School for Boys, a tuition-free Episcopal School for children from underserved communities in Washington, DC. He has served on non-profit boards including the United Way, Urban League, and various church councils and community organizations.
Currently he is serving as the bishop’s deputy for special ministries in the Diocese of Southeast Florida, and was recently appointed executive director of the Howard Thurman Center for Empowerment and Learning.
Church Divinity School of the Pacific is a graduate theological seminary and center of theological study of the Episcopal Church, and is a founding member of the ecumenical Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. Responding to the challenges of contemporary society with the good news of Jesus Christ, CDSP is rooted in our Anglican identity and tradition, and provides quality theological education that integrates scholarship, reflection, worship, spirituality, and the practice of ministry.