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 a recently announced 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
- concentrated online CEU offerings on core courses in ministry, theology and scripture
- established partnerships that allow us to create distance learning curricula for individual dioceses
- instituted a required course in community organizing for all MDiv students.
A student’s experience at CDSP integrates scholarship, reflection, worship, spirituality, and the practice of ministry. Our pedagogical approach is grounded in the realization that after seminary, clergy and lay leaders will be immersed in the shifting realities of the American religious landscape and will constantly be learning new things—whether they want to or not.
“Our students must articulate and embody the good news of God in Christ not only within the church but especially in our pluralistic world,” says the Rev. Dr. Ruth Meyers, academic dean and Hodges Hayes Professor of Liturgics.
Students come to CDSP’s historic campus, poised on the Pacific Rim in Berkeley, California, or attend classes online from urban and rural settings, small towns, and parishes of all sizes around the world. Their geographic and demographic diversity enriches an academic community that thrives in the unique ecumenical and inter-religious setting of the Graduate Theological Union.
CDSP embraces diversity as a gift of the Holy Spirit. We understand social justice as a core expression of the Gospel and train the widest possible variety of effective lay and ordained ministers. Our seminary calls the church to re-imagine its mission and ministry in light of conflicting cultural values and cooperates and collaborates with the GTU and other partners worldwide.
The church’s response to our efforts has been gratifying. “They are working hard to meet the needs of 21st century church,” says Bishop Sean Rowe of the Dioceses of Northwestern Pennsylvania and Western New York. “Formation needs are different than they were even 10 years ago. They are working hard on that. I see it as a place that is trying to listen and make things happen.”
Get in touch to find out if CDSP has something for you.
2451 Ridge Road
Berkeley, CA 94709-1211
Enrollment Fall 2020: 71 (plus 5 affiliated PhD students and 5 affiliated MA students)
Teaching Faculty: 11
Accreditation: Association of Theological Schools
Founding member of the Graduate Theological Union
Interim President and Dean: The Rt. Rev. Kirk Stevan Smith, PhD
Academic Dean: The Rev. Ruth Meyers, Ph.D.
Dean of Students: The Rev. Judith Lyons ’20
Trinity Church Wall Street Leadership
Priest-in-charge: The Rev. Phillip A. Jackson ’94
Senior Warden, Vestry & Board of Trustees: John G. Talty
Junior Warden, Vestry & Board of Trustees: Peter D. Barbey
- Master of Divinity
- Master of Theological Studies
- Concurrent Master of Divinity/Master of Arts
- Master of Arts (with Graduate Theological Union)
- Enrollment 2020-21: 71 (plus 5 affiliated PhD students and 5 affiliated MA students)
- Receiving financial aid: 79% (CDSP scholarships included)
- Living in CDSP Housing: 36%
- Gender: 56% women, 41% men, 3% other
- Average age of student body: 45
- Average age of entering MDiv class: 44
- Dioceses of origin (Episcopal Church): Arizona, Atlanta, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Eastern Michigan, El Camino Real, Indianapolis, Iowa, Los Angeles, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New York, Newark, North Carolina, Northern California, Olympia, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rio Grande, San Diego, San Joaquin, Southern Ohio, Southwest Florida, Texas, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, Western New York, Western North Carolina.
- Dioceses of origin (other Anglican churches): Japan, The Philippines
We understand diversity as a broad and transformative concept. Our goal is to honor the value of difference in all levels of our organization and all aspects of our seminary community, and to work to reflect our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in racial and ethnic representation, class, culture, gender identity and expression, sex, immigration status, sexual orientation, age, abilities, and theological leanings. We commit to an intentional and ongoing process of evaluation and reflection that facilitates open conversations to identify, lament, and repent from the structures and practices which undermine our commitments to diversity in all its forms. Through community building, policy enactments and ongoing conversation we look to transform these structures and practices in an effort to provide a community where all find meaningful belonging.
Responding to God’s love for creation, CDSP teaches and inspires diverse Christian leaders for discipleship that engages congregations, neighborhoods, and the wider world to follow Jesus Christ in the mission of justice, reconciliation, and mercy. We accomplish this by…
- Forming Christian leaders for service grounded in resurrection hope.
- Communicating the Christian tradition in today’s contexts through community engagement.
- Welcoming and embracing Gospel diversity.
- Equipping students to lead and form vibrant faith communities.
- Employing cutting-edge technology and modes of teaching to create a transformative learning environment that empowers new forms of ministry, while building on our tradition of groundbreaking teaching and formation.
- Strengthening our mission through partnership with Trinity Church, Wall Street.
- Collaborating with seminaries, universities, organizations, and other entities in the Episcopal Church and Anglican Communion.
Preparing Christian leaders who will be transformative in connecting the Church, their neighborhoods, and society. In service of this vision, we will:
- Define clearly what ‘leadership’ means in the context of the Church’s mission and demonstrate this within the CDSP educational culture.
- Build on CDSP’s history and culture of forming diverse and innovative leaders who connect congregations with their surroundings.
- Demonstrate an appreciation for the richness of diversity and pursue reconciliation, healing, and inclusion in all sectors of the School’s life and ministry.
- Be a welcoming place for convening conversations and building relationships with local institutions and partners inside the Church and beyond.
- Promote an attitude of adaptation in practices, transformational expectations, and a readiness to meet new contexts that expand perspectives on a Gospel-shaped life.
- Stay current on trends and realities associated with theological education, the Church, local communities and society
- Build on the innovative and experimental spirit of West Coast culture that is reflective of CDSP’s history and culture.
Church Divinity School of the Pacific is accredited by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada. The following degree programs are approved: MDiv, MTS.
CDSP also is approved for a Comprehensive Distance Education Program
The Commission contact information is:
The Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada
10 Summit Park Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15275
Statement of Educational Effectiveness
Church Divinity School of the Pacific engages in regular assessment to ensure that we are meeting our mission of equipping students to be effective lay and ordained leaders in the church and in the world. Faculty assess the effectiveness of the curriculum and courses through an annual process that examines courses, assignments, and student work in the Master of Divinity (MDiv) and Master of Theological Studies (MTS) programs. In this annual assessment, faculty review courses in terms of syllabus, assignment designs, and an anonymized selection of student work for a holistic view of support of curricular goals. The course offerings overall are also evaluated to ensure that each outcome identified in the curriculum is fully supported by the courses required for each program. The assessment process includes student evaluations as well as faculty evaluations of each course, and the faculty take this opportunity to refine their own pedagogical and curricular strategy year over year.
The curricular outcomes evaluated for the MDiv Program are:
- Mission I: Students will articulate a coherent theological understanding of God’s mission, grounded in Scripture and our Christian heritage in its Anglican distinctiveness.
- Mission II: Students will become skilled in contextual analysis that informs and shapes the church’s commitment to the common good in particular ministry settings.
- Discipleship: Through participation in a community of worship, prayer, and service, students will cultivate the spiritual practices that enable them to gather and form Christian community, and engage Christian disciples in joining God’s mission of justice, reconciliation, and mercy.
- Evangelism: Students will articulate the good news of God in Christ in coherent and compelling ways, both orally and in writing, in a manner that communicates the transforming power of the Gospel both within the Church and in our pluralistic world.
The assessment process since 2016, when the new MDiv curriculum was introduced, has tracked both low residence and residential students through the entire cycle of the program. It has demonstrated that CDSP course offerings effectively support these learning outcomes for students, in both residential and low-residence pedagogical formats.
For the MTS program, in addition to reviewing courses the faculty also review a selection of each year’s thesis proposals, since the thesis is a major part of the program. The curricular outcomes evaluated for the MTS Program are:
- Mission I: Students will articulate a coherent theological understanding of God’s mission, grounded in Scripture and in Christian heritage, particularly in its Anglican distinctiveness as well as its ecumenical comprehensiveness.
- Mission II: Students will demonstrate skill in contextual analysis that informs and deepens the church’s commitment to the common good in particular ministry settings.
- Discipleship: Students will cultivate spiritual practices that will sustain them in their vocations, and skills that enable them to engage communities in the work of reconciliation, justice, and mercy.
- Evangelism: Students will articulate and embody the good news of God in Jesus Christ in coherent and compelling ways, orally, in writing, and through action, communicating the transforming power of the Gospel both within the church and in our pluralistic world.
The assessment process since 2017, when the new MTS curriculum was introduced, has demonstrated that CDSP course offerings effectively support these learning outcomes for students, in both residential and online pedagogical formats.
In addition to annual assessment of student work, CDSP monitors graduation rates and completion times for the MDiv and MTS degrees. The normal time of completion for a full-time student in the residential MDiv program is 3 years; for the low-residence program, the normal time of completion is 4 years.In