As we enter the Easter season this week, the lectionary takes us on our yearly pilgrimage through scripture’s accounts of the resurrection. As I reread them this year, I noticed how many times Jesus begins the conversation with a question about his disciples’ faith and well-being: Why are you frightened? Whom are you looking for? Why are your hearts filled with doubts?
Before Jesus commissions his disciples, he attends to their health and courage.
This pattern resonates with an insight I heard repeatedly from bishops in listening sessions last fall: Just as Jesus cared for the wellbeing of those first ambassadors, we need to see our students’ strength and maturity as part of our commitment to their formation. They will be leading the people they serve beyond the comfort of the familiar into deeper mission and encounter with their neighbors. Support from friends like you allows CDSP to continue developing our programs to form healthy, courageous disciples and leaders.
Our spiritual formation program challenges students to deepen their maturity in the practices of faith, emotional awareness, moral responsibility, and sound relationships. This focus is even more important during a time of intense social and institutional change, as we all reckon with the isolation of the pandemic, the brutal legacy of systemic racism, and the growing crisis of political polarization.
Our ministerial leadership program is responding to emerging needs with plans to accelerate students’ exposure to proven approaches in executive leadership practices like community convening, change management, strategic planning, disaster preparedness, mission-driven budgeting, and more. These additions complement our expanding attention to a wide range of ministry contexts, a priority given that more and more of our students will serve in nontraditional communities and roles.
We need your help to strengthen this work and the many other ways we are living out our mission. Your gift to the Easter Appeal will support our ability to recruit promising, creative students and distinguished, innovative faculty.
We are entering a season of resurrection—in more ways than one. Please help us prepare leaders to heed the call of the Risen Christ ever deeper into the Church’s mission of reconciliation.
The Very Rev. W. Mark Richardson, Ph.D.
President and Dean, Church Divinity School of the Pacific
CDSP is registered nonprofit, eligible for tax-deductible donations as allowed by law (tax ID number 94-1156508).