News and Info



Tim Vivian copy

CDSP awarded an honorary degree to the Rev. Dr. Tim Vivian '88 at its annual alumni convocation on October 11.

Vivian, a retired Episcopal priest and professor emeritus of religious studies at California State University Bakersfield, holds bachelor, master’s, and Ph.D. degrees from the University of California, Santa Barbara, as well as a master’s degree from Cal Poly and an M.Div. from CDSP.

In 2007, after a substantial majority of the clergy and laity of the Diocese of San Joaquin left the Episcopal Church in opposition to its inclusion of LGBT people, Vivian helped maintain the Episcopal Church’s presence in the diocese and was appointed vicar of a new congregation, Grace Episcopal Church in Bakersfield, by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori. When he retired at the end of 2017, the church had 200 members.

In presenting the degree, the Rev. Gary Commins ’80 ‘01, cited Vivian’s “courage in standing up for peace and human equality in a hostile social and ecclesiastical environment,” and “his determination to build up an inclusive church ex nihilo in a spiritually arid place.”

In his academic life, Vivian has published numerous books, articles, and book reviews on early Christianity, especially Egyptian monasticism.

The degree was awarded at CDSP’s convocation Eucharist in All Saints Chapel. The Rev. Canon Andrea McMillin, a CDSP trustee, preached, and the Rt. Rev. Tom Breidenthal ’81, also a trustee, presided.

Just before CDSP’s academic year for residential students began on September 4, Academic Dean Ruth Meyers paused to reflect on last June’s summer intensive and what the year ahead will bring.

This year marked the eighth summer intensive at CDSP. How did it go?

This summer was the first time that we had a full complement of low-res MDiv program students on campus together. Our low-residence MDiv is a four-year program that requires four summers, so our first major cohort was here for their fourth summer along with students in their first, second and third summers.

We’re finding that the summer program also brings in some of our residential students and students from across the GTU (Graduate Theological Union). All together this summer, we had 59 students on campus. Chapel and the refectory felt wonderfully full and full of enthusiasm--it’s wonderful to have all of those students together.

This first large cohort of low-residence MDiv students will graduate in May, and the program continues to attract both MDiv and Certificate of Anglican Studies students from across the church who want a seminary education but cannot relocate for three years.

For the first time this summer, the low-residence students adopted a long-standing CDSP tradition by putting on the Follies [an evening of comedy presented by residential students each spring]. Despite all of the press of work during summer intensive, they organized a fun evening of skits. It suggested to me a wonderful sense of ownership of the CDSP experience and an equal status with residential students. The faculty contributed a song based on the hymn “Come Labor On.” We called it “Come Labor More,” and included a number of creative ideas about how to make students work even harder!

This year, the August faculty retreat continued the work with the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) that you began in January. How did it go?

Thanks to a grant from the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion, we’re able to continue working with the IDI, which is a way for people to develop themselves as intercultural people and interact effectively across cultural difference.

We see the IDI as a key tool for clergy and lay leaders today given the changing demographics of the United States and as a component of addressing systemic racism. We’ve been using the IDI to help individuals understand their own level of intercultural competence and then develop a plan to build it. This year, we’re also working on integrating this focus on intercultural competence into the curriculum and offering students the opportunity to develop their own plans.

Last year, we piloted this approach with the senior Issues in Ministry class, and this year, first-year students will use it in their Foundations for Ministry course, and others will use it in the Leadership for Ministry course and possibly also field education. From there, we think intercultural competence will bubble through the curriculum.

What else is new this academic year?

Rabbi Daniel Lehmann is the new president of the Graduate Theological Union (GTU), and he’s bringing in some creative thinking about how we interact with other GTU schools programmatically. CDSP Dean of Students Andrew Hybl is working with other deans of students to develop a GTU-wide social committee to encourage interaction among GTU students. In late August, CDSP hosted the GTU Welcome BBQ in St. Margaret’s Courtyard.

The first residential class to go all the way through the new MDiv curriculum will graduate this year, so they are the first group of students to take the new two-semester Leadership in Ministry class, and the first to have a second year of field placement. Low-residence MDiv students on the accelerated track will also be part of the Leadership in Ministry class alongside their residential peers.

These curricular changes are built on the action-reflection model of learning. Students learn in the classroom, then they work in a congregation, then they bring back what they’ve learned to the classroom again. It’s an iterative process, and it allows contextual learning to take place. 

Professor Julián Andrés González Holguín is on sabbatical this fall. He has a Conant Grant to support his writing of a book chapter for “The Cambridge Companion on the Hebrew Bible and Ethics.” The chapter is about the connection between Christian ethics and the Hebrew Bible and will inform his research on human rights and migration as hermeneutical frameworks to interpret the biblical text.

I will be on sabbatical during the spring semester, and I also have a Conant Grant. I will be studying worship in culturally diverse and multiracial congregations in the Episcopal Church, and will travel to culturally diverse congregations, worship with them at their principal Sunday services, and interview their lay and ordained leaders and members.

Sacred music professor to discuss Christian worship for the 21st century

The 2018 Associated Parishes for Liturgy and Mission (APLM) Colloquium will take place on September 27 at 7:45 pm on the campus of Church Divinity School of the Pacific. The presenter will be Dr. Lim Swee Hong, the Deer Park Associate Professor of Sacred Music and the director of the Master of Sacred Music Program at Emmanuel College of Victoria University in the University of Toronto, Canada. His presentation is titled “Lex Orandi, Lex Vivendi et Via Media: Christian Worship for the 21st Century.” During his presentation, Lim will address cultural, historical and contextual issues inherent in revitalizing liturgical practice.

Following Lim's presentation, Dr. Jamie Apgar, chapel musician at CDSP and associate for music at All Souls Episcopal Parish in Berkeley, will give the response. The event is free and open to the public and will be broadcast online at

Before joining Emmanuel College in 2012, Lim served as assistant professor of church music at Baylor University. He has also been a lecturer of worship, liturgy and music at Trinity Theological College in Singapore. He is the director of research for the Hymn Society in the United States and Canada and has served as co-moderator of the worship committee for the 10th General Assembly of the World Council of Churches and as a member of the worship planning committee for the 2011 Ecumenical Peace Convocation sponsored by the World Council held in Jamaica. From 2006 - 2011, he chaired the worship and liturgy committee for the World Methodist Council, which designed and supervised the worship services of the 20th World Methodist Conference in Durban, South Africa.

Lim holds a PhD in Liturgical Studies from Drew University, where his dissertation won the Helen LePage and William Hale Chamberlain Prize for Outstanding Dissertation. He also holds a Master of Arts in Sacred Music from Perkins School of Theology. He completed his undergraduate work in church music at the Asian Institute for Liturgy and Music in the Philippines.

Since 2008, the Associated Parishes for Liturgy and Mission has held its annual colloquium at CDSP. Recordings of past year’s presentations are available on the APLM website. To learn more about this year’s colloquium, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. at CDSP.


A recording of the presentation will be posted later.

To the CDSP community,

unnamed 1I am pleased to share with you the news that the Rev. Spencer Hatcher ’16 has accepted the position of director of diocesan relations and recruitment at CDSP. In her new position, which she will begin on September 1, Spencer will work with Dean of Students Andrew Hybl to build strong relationships with dioceses around the church, recruit students for all of our degree and certificate programs and expand CDSP’s network across the wider church.

Spencer currently serves as both priest-in-charge at Grace Church in Brunswick, Maryland, and as director of summer programs at the Claggett Center in the Diocese of Maryland. She was previously associate rector and director of formation at Epiphany Episcopal Church in Baltimore, Maryland. All of us who knew Spencer when she was an MDiv student here on campus are delighted that she will soon return. Her creativity and enthusiasm for ministry are contagious, and as one leader in Maryland wrote when announcing her departure, “Spencer has radiated compassion, inclusion, grace, wisdom, and joy.” I look forward to providing opportunities for you to get to know her when she arrives on campus in the fall.

Spencer’s arrival on campus will make possible a second piece of good news: Jamie Nelson MTS ‘15, who has served as admissions manager for the past year, has agreed to accept the position of executive assistant to the president and vice president. In his new role, Jamie will provide support to President Richardson, COO John Dwyer, and the Board of Trustees and manage special events hosted by the president’s office. Jamie joined CDSP in 2015, and we continue to be grateful for his keen organizational skills, efficiency, and warm collegiality.

I hope that you are all enjoying a peaceful and productive summer, and I look forward to welcoming you back in September as we begin another academic year.


The Very Rev. W. Mark Richardson, Ph.D., President and Dean

Baskerville Burrows Bishop croppedBishop Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows (MDiv 1997), the first black woman to be elected diocesan bishop in the Episcopal Church, was CDSP’s director of alumni/ae and church relations from 2002-2004 before serving in the Dioceses of Central New York and Chicago. She had previously served in the Diocese of Newark.

The scholarship in her honor will benefit black and Native American students at CDSP. Contribute to the scholarship fund using the form below. 


June 25, 2018

Dear CDSP community:

On Friday, we concluded this year’s summer intensive program, during which 56 of our students came to campus for two weeks of classes, worship, and formation. This summer session anchors our low-residence MDiv and Certificate of Anglican Studies programs, where students build relationships and spiritual disciplines that they continue all year via online learning and formation.

This year, summer intensive took place as news about the separation of children and parents on our southern border unfolded. This moral crisis in our nation brought fresh urgency to our prayer, liturgy, and theological discussions. Here at CDSP, we find our story as people of faith in the scriptures that tell us of God’s people who were strangers in a strange land. These scriptures command us not only to love and care for those who come among us from outside our borders, but also to repent of our government’s willingness to “sacrifice thousands to an uncertain fate in our self-made altar of protection and safety,” as MDiv student Daniel Pinell ’19 put it in a recent sermon in All Saints Chapel.

Daniel was once himself undocumented. Today he leads prayer vigils at an immigrant detention facility nearby. In his sermon, he went on to say, “Now, to those of us privileged enough to be sitting here without fear of deportation or living in the shadows, it is not my purpose to instill guilt in your hearts. But are we asking the question, Why me, Lord? Why am I so privileged? I hope you look back at history straight in the eye and ask of it the reason of why we stand in privilege while others stand in misery.”

Here in the East Bay, we are every day aware of the blessings that accrue to our communities and our nation from a rich diversity of immigrant communities and congregations. Now is the time for those of us who have the privilege of documented citizenship to acknowledge our privilege and act on behalf of our neighbors, friends, and fellow children of God who find themselves in peril. Here are some actions I hope you will consider:

  • The Rev. Winnie Varghese, director of justice and reconciliation at Trinity Church Wall Street in New York City, joined us for intersession as the St. Margaret’s Visiting Professor of Women in Ministry. For those who want to join my office in making financial contributions to support work with immigrants at the border, she recommends RAICES, which provides legal services to immigrants in Texas, and Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley
  • If you are traveling to the Episcopal Church’s General Convention, which takes place from July 5-13 in Austin, Texas, I hope you will consider joining CDSP students and staff at a prayer vigil at the Hutto Detention Center in Taylor, Texas, on Sunday, July 8 at noon. You can learn more online.

Thank you for making CDSP a community that stands with the immigrants and refugees whom Christ has commanded us to love.


The Rev. Dr. W. Mark Richardson
President and Dean

A reception for the first black woman to be elected a diocesan bishop in the Episcopal Church, the announcement of a scholarship in her honor, the premiere of two new videos and a lively booth in the Exhibit Hall will highlight CDSP’s participation in the 79th General Convention of the Episcopal Church to be held in Austin, Texas, July 5-13.

The reception honoring Bishop Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows of Indianapolis ’97, will be held on Sunday, July 8, 7-9 p.m., in Crail Hall at St. David’s Episcopal Church at 301 East Eight Street, less than half a mile from the Austin Convention Center.

Baskerville-Burrows was CDSP’s director of alumni/ae and church relations from 2002-2004 before serving in the Dioceses of Central New York and Chicago. She had previously served in the Diocese of Newark. The scholarship that bears her name will benefit black and Native American students.

The Rev. Andrew Hybl CAS ’12, CDSP’s dean of students and a group of staff and student volunteers will be on hand to greet visitors at the seminary’s booth in General Convention’s vast Exhibit Hall. Drop by Booth 911 to say hello, watch new videos about CDSP and learn more about the only Episcopal seminary on the West Coast.

The Very Rev. W. Mark Richardson, CDSP’s president and dean, will attend convention to meet with Episcopal Church leaders and offer testimony on legislative resolutions that address theological education and the role of seminaries.

The Rev. Dr. Ruth Meyers, an alternate deputy from the Diocese of California, is serving as vice chair of the Special Committee on Sexual Harassment and Exploitation, created in February by the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings, president of the House of Deputies. Since 2015, Meyers has served on the Task Force on the Study of Marriage, a group appointed by the presiding officers. It has proposed several resolutions to the convention.

During the triennium, the Rev. Dr. Susanna Singer served as chair of the Task Force on Clergy Leadership in Small Congregations, which has proposed several resolutions that will be considered at the convention.