Church Divinity School of the Pacific (CDSP) has hired two new faculty members. Dr. Katrina (“Kat”) Olson will serve as visiting assistant professor of homiletics and pastoral theology, and Dent Davidson will serve as chapel musician and lecturer in church music.
A recent graduate of Vanderbilt University’s Graduate Department of Religion, Olson’s dissertation is entitled Worship Wider, Worship Deeper: Coorienting Relationship in the Christian Imagination.
“Christian worship creates a formative space which takes shape through the participation of individuals and shapes individuals in return,” Olson writes. “My research in homiletics and liturgics empowers leaders to create intentional social activity that invites worshippers into deeper and wider relationships”
She joins the CDSP faculty after a year of teaching homiletics and worship at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. She holds a PhD and MA from Vanderbilt University, a ThM and MDiv from Calvin Theological Seminary, and a Bachelor of Music from the University of Western Ontario. Olson is a minister of the word in the reformed tradition.
Davidson is an influential national leader in Episcopal music and liturgy. For more than a decade, he served as associate for arts and liturgy in the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago, where he served as a resource to congregations, coordinated diocesan worship, and pursued the mission of creating “a singing diocese.” He also serves as chaplain to the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church.
“I think of myself as an Animateur: one who leads, inspires, encourages and equips the gathered,” Davidson writes. “Singing in community is one of the most intimate acts we can do. Pastorally I think it’s important to come alongside reluctant singers and help them find their voice. I am also passionate about the Good News, and we should learn to sing about it!”
He joins the CDSP faculty having recently served in liturgical music leadership positions for congregations in New York City, Santa Barbara, and Chicago. He holds a Bachelor of Music from Cornish College of the Arts and is a published composer and recording artist. He co-wrote Gathered for God: Church’s Teaching Series for a Changing World with the Rt. Rev. Jeffrey D. Lee.
Davidson’s position is a dual appointment with All Souls Parish in Berkeley, where he will serve as associate for music. The two institutions collaborated in the search process and in creating two complementary positions that together comprise one full-time appointment.