CDSP Holds First Onsite Commencement Since 2019

On Saturday, May 21, Church Divinity School of the Pacific held its 127th Annual Commencement Exercises in St. Margaret’s Courtyard on campus. The ceremony was the culmination of the seminary’s first in-person graduation festivities since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Very Rev. W. Mark Richardson, PhD, addressing the gathering for the final time as president and dean, began the service on a note of welcome and encouragement to departing students.

“Graduates, we pray that you will find courage day by day to follow both aspects of [the path before you]: nurturing the soul of your communities, and walking the way of justice and peace,” he said.

The Rt. Rev. Dr. Susan Brown Snook ’03, bishop of the Diocese of San Diego, offered the commencement address.

“You too are witnesses,” Snook said, referencing the ceremony’s reading from the Acts of the Apostles. “And your work, like theirs, is beginning anew.”

She challenged graduates to be passionate about their faith, to help the Episcopal Church address its history of racism and collusion with power, and to trust in its potential for renewal and growth.

“I believe that the narrative of decline is absolutely true. But it is also false,” she said. “It is a lie, because it is only true if we allow it to be true … We have too many churches for the number of Episcopalians, but too few for the number of people longing for God’s love.”

The ceremony continued with the awarding of student prizes, conferring of honorary degrees, and conferring or recognizing degrees and certificates for the Class of 2022 as well as members of the Class of 2020 and Class of 2021 who chose to return to campus to participate. It was livestreamed by a media team from Trinity Church Wall Street and is available for replay viewing below or at

CDSP Student Award Winners

  • The Right Rev. Richard Millard Prize for Excellence in Preaching: Amanda Taylor-Montoya
  • The Fran Toy Prize for Multicultural Ministry at a Field Education Site: Ryan Macias
  • Episcopal Preaching Foundation Award: Amy Newell-Large
  • Lawrence Kristin Mikkelsen Preaching Scholarship: Angela Furlong (Class of 2023) 
  • Kellor Smith Scholarship for Youth Ministry: Mees Tielens (Class of 2023) 

Honorary Degree Recipients

Summaries of recipient bios available here

  • Floyd P. Lalwet, Esq.
  • The Rt. Rev. Dr. Susan Brown Snook ’03
  • The Rev. Dr. Kwasi Thornell

Class of 2020 Participants

Public presentation of diplomas and hoods

  • Andrea Lee Thornton Arsene
  • Jed J. Dearing
  • Anthony Edward Jones

Class of 2021 Participants

Public recognition of previously conferred diplomas and hoods

  • William Smith Bryant
  • Laura J. Osborne
  • Patricia Marie Rose

Class of 2022 Graduates

  • Heather Aileen Lawrence (Certificate of Anglican Studies)
  • Joél Muñoz (Certificate of Anglican Studies)
  • Brian William Petersen (Certificate of Anglican Studies)
  • Damon Williams (Certificate of Anglican Studies)
  • Nora Banister Conley Boerner (Master of Divinity)
  • Daniel Stephen Carlson (Master of Divinity)
  • Jennifer Anna Crompton (Master of Divinity)
  • Aldon Hynes (Master of Divinity)
  • Brett Randall Johnson (Master of Divinity)
  • Ryan Michael Macias (Master of Divinity)
  • Catherine Manhardt (Master of Divinity)
  • Amy Newell-Large (Master of Divinity)
  • Perry Michael Pauley (Master of Divinity)
  • Ryan Columba Salamony (Master of Divinity)
  • Andrew Faber Schule (Master of Divinity)
  • Amanda Taylor-Montoya (Master of Divinity)
  • Sara Elizabeth Yoe (Master of Divinity)
  • Erin Kathleen Cox Oney (Master of Theological Studies)
  • Wanika K. Stephens (Master of Theological Studies)
  • Eric William Eldridge (GTU Master of Arts)
  • Daniel Garner Tate (GTU Master of Arts)
  • Pamela J. Stevens (GTU Doctor of Philosophy)

Ceremony Replay