Church Divinity School of the Pacific has announced that the Rev. Ruth Meyers, PhD, dean of academic affairs and Hodges-Haynes professor of liturgics, will step down from her duties as academic dean effective June 1, 2023, and return to full-time teaching.
Meyers has served in her dual positions for eleven years (since 2012), having first joined the faculty in 2009 in the Hodges-Haynes chair. Previously she taught for fourteen years at Seabury-Western Theological Seminary (now a part of Bexley Seabury Seminary), where she also served as academic dean. She holds a PhD and MA in liturgical history from the University of Notre Dame and an MDiv from Seabury-Western.
“It has been a momentous decade for CDSP, and I know Dr. Meyers has played an invaluable role in seeing the seminary through its significant transformation,” said the Rt. Rev. Kirk Smith, interim president and dean.
“She holds a comprehensive understanding of the major issues in theological education and a keen eye for the vital logistical details of seminary administration. We owe her a tremendous debt of gratitude.”
During her time in the role of academic dean, the seminary has successfully navigated the launch of its popular and influential low-residence hybrid MDiv program, two accreditation visits by the Association of Theological Schools, a comprehensive curriculum revision process, the early years of the school’s strategic alliance with Trinity Church Wall Street, and the rapid transition into and measured transition out of the extraordinary challenges of teaching and administration during the acute phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Meyers has balanced her institutional leadership at CDSP with a remarkable portfolio of scholarly research activities and churchwide service. In the last decade, she has published more than a dozen journal articles and book chapters, given numerous conference presentations and workshops, authored the book Missional Worship, Worshipful Mission: Gathering as God’s People, Going Out in God’s Name, and revised the book Praying Shapes Believing, Leonel Mitchell’s 1985 theological study of the 1979 Book of Common Prayer.
She has been a member of the Diocese of California’s deputation to General Convention three times, co-chairing the deputation in 2022. She chaired the influential Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music from 2009 until 2015 and served on the Task Force on the Study of Marriage during the 2015-2018 triennium and the Task Force on Liturgical and Prayer Book Revision during the 2018–21 triennium.
Meyers will be succeeded in the academic dean post by the Rev. Mark Chung Hearn, PhD, associate dean of academic affairs and associate professor of contextual education. During the 2022–23 academic year, Hearn was responsible for oversight of faculty life and student academic needs.