CDSP Dean and President Mark Richardson
Church Divinity School of the Pacific honored 27 graduating students on Saturday, May 23. The school, which since March 2019 has been part of the Trinity Church Wall Street family, held an online celebration for its 126th graduating class because CDSP intends to invite the 2020 class to return for a traditional commencement ceremony in May 2021.
CDSP closed its dormitories in mid-March and switched to online classes only to halt the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19.
"There's no way to replace in the short term the experience of Baccalaureate and Commencement," said the Very Rev. W. Mark Richardson, PhD, President and Dean. "But the occasion nevertheless demands that we gather to celebrate.
“The story of the CDSP Class of 2020 is about so much more than the fact that a pandemic happened in their final semester.”
The Rev. Phillip Jackson is a 1994 graduate of Church Divinity School of the Pacific.
The Rev. Phillip Jackson, Priest-in-charge and Vicar at Trinity, spoke online to the graduates.
“Your journey is not about you. It’s about Jesus and where Jesus needs you to be. If a call is simultaneously exciting and scary, go for it,” Jackson said.
“And remember that Trinity is your parish too. If you ever need advice on what it means to be a priest, give me a call.”
Several of the graduates received special honors.
The 2020 Richard Millard Prize for Excellence in Preaching was awarded to Courtney Tan.
The Fran Toy Prize for Multicultural Ministry at a Field Education Site went to Anthony Jones.
Laura Rezac received the 2020 Episcopal Preaching Foundation Award.
The following list includes the names of the students who participated in the online celebration, according to their program:
Certificate of Theological Studies
Michael Angel Molina
Certificate of Anglican Studies
Andrew Armond, Laura Eberly, Liz Milner, Nicholas VanHorn
Master of Theological Studies
Edwin Greenlee, Marlene Laurendow, Kathryn Robertson-DeMers, Stephen Siptroth
Master of Divinity
Andrea Arsene, Ryan Baker-Fones, Chris Boehm Carlson, Nicola Bowler, Everett Charters, Hannah Cornthwaite, Jed Dearing, Grace Flint, Portia Hopkins, Anthony Jones, Annie Jones, Jennifer Latham, Alison Lee, Ethan Lowery, Jude Lyons, Laura Rezac, Courtney Tan
The Rev. Susanna Singer is a 1989 graduate of CDSP.
“We're celebrating years of prayer and study in the vocational journeys of these faithful, creative leaders. We want them to know that they are loved as siblings in Christ, and admired as colleagues in ministry," said Dr. Richardson.
The event ended with prayer offered by the Rev. Susanna Singer, Associate Professor of Ministry Development and Associate Academic Dean, who referenced the unusual context surrounding the final semester of the class of 2020.
“While we can’t break bread together in a celebration of the Eucharist during this time of separation, we can continue to live eucharistically—that is, thankfully offering ourselves into God’s hands to be taken, blessed, broken, and shared.”