News and Info



The Rt. Rev. Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows, bishop of Indianapolis, will give the address at the 125th Commencement of Church Divinity School of the Pacific on May 24 at 10:30 am in the St. Margaret’s Courtyard at CDSP. The event is open to the public and will be broadcast live online at

In 2016, Baskerville-Burrows became the first black woman to be elected a diocesan bishop in the Episcopal Church. She received an M.Div. degree from CDSP in 1997 and was CDSP’s director of alumni/ae and church relations from 2002-2004. She also holds an M.A. in historic preservation planning from Cornell University and a bachelor’s degree in architecture with a minor in urban studies from Smith College. Before being elected bishop, she served in the Dioceses of Newark, Central New York and Chicago.

Last year at General Convention, CDSP President and Dean W. Mark Richardson announced that the seminary has established the Bishop Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows Scholarship Fund to benefit black and Native American students. Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and House of Deputies President Gay Clark Jennings made lead gifts to the scholarship fund.

“Jennifer is an illustrious alumna whose gracious manner, probing intelligence, deep spirituality and easy, good humor have inspired Episcopalians throughout the church,” Richardson said. “She is both patient and bold, an excellent listener and a decisive leader. It is our honor to honor her, and we look forward to welcoming her back to campus in May.”

At commencement, CDSP will award the Master of Divinity degree as well as degrees or certificates to students who have completed the Certificate of Anglican Studies, the Certificate of Theological Studies, the Certificate of Advanced Ministry Studies, and the Master of Arts degree in cooperation with the Graduate Theological Union.

During the ceremony, CDSP will also grant honorary degrees to Baskerville-Burrows; West/Southwest Industrial Areas Foundation co-chair and executive director Ernesto Cortes, Jr.; and Jennings.

The Rev. Gay Clark Jennings, president of the Episcopal Church’s House of Deputies, will serve as the St. Margaret’s Visiting Professor of Women in Ministry during the January intensive term. During her time on campus, she will participate in classes including Organizing for Public Ministry, Gospel of the Masses and both field education courses, help lead chapel services, and be available for informal conversations with students, faculty and staff.

Jennings was elected president of the House of Deputies in 2012 and was unopposed for reelection in 2015 and 2018. She is the first ordained woman to hold the position. A ten-time deputy from the Diocese of Ohio, she previously served for 17 years as canon to the ordinary in the Diocese of Ohio and for nine years as associate director of CREDO Institute Inc., a church wellness program. 

In 2018, Jennings appointed the youngest and most diverse group of legislative committee officers ever to serve at General Convention. Forty-five percent of the group was under the age of 50, 18 percent were people of color, and at least 15 percent identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. 

Jennings also appointed and chaired the House of Deputies Special Committee on Sexual Harassment and Exploitation to draft legislation for General Convention. The Rev. Dr. Ruth Meyers, CDSP’s academic dean, was the committee’s vice-chair, and students Kathleen Moore and Nikky Wood were among its members. 

The previous St. Margaret’s Visiting Professors were Dr. Jenny Te Paa Daniel, the Rev. Suzanne Guthrie, the Most Rev. Dr. Katharine Jefferts Schori, and the Rev. Winnie Varghese.

The St. Margaret’s Visiting Professorship was inaugurated in 2014, on the 40th anniversary of the ordination of the first women to the priesthood of the Episcopal Church. The professorship was made possible by generous support from faculty, alumna and local laywomen. The chair is named in honor of St. Margaret's House, a Berkeley-based institution that trained deaconesses and laywomen for ministry in the Episcopal Church from 1909-66.

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.