The Rev. Dr. William Lupfer, rector of Trinity Church Wall Street, and the Very Rev. W. Mark Richardson, PhD, president and dean of the Church Divinity School of the Pacific (CDSP), an Episcopal seminary in Berkeley, CA, today announced an agreement to foster CDSP’s growth, deepen its impact, and promote the development of future leaders of the church.
Under the agreement, Trinity will provide support to help build on CDSP’s historic strength as a seminary, and its Vestry will become the members of CDSP’s governing body. CDSP will continue to be dedicated to rigorous academic and spiritual preparation for people who will lead the global church. Over time, Trinity and CDSP expect to enhance CDSP’s curriculum and student life with substantial content and perspectives from other disciplines, including practical, managerial, and business skills that will help prepare ordained and lay people to lead and resource the church in a changing world.
“We’re excited to welcome CDSP to the Trinity family,” said Dr. Lupfer. “CDSP’s curriculum, which focuses on mission, discipleship, and evangelism, along with community organizing and core leadership skills, shows a clear understanding that the church needs to prepare leaders in a substantially different manner than we have in the past.
“Trinity is committed to a strategic focus on leadership development and to growing our global partnerships – commitments that align with CDSP’s mission,” he said. “Together, we look forward to building on CDSP’s historic success as a seminary and as a site for Anglican formation. We are also eager to become a part of the Berkeley community.”
Dean Richardson said, “After more than a year of extensive conversations, CDSP and Trinity have come to a deep appreciation of each other’s strengths and an admiration of each other’s values and mission priorities. Today’s announcement reflects our confidence that through this new relationship, CDSP students will be even better prepared to become forward-thinking, expansive leaders in our faith communities.”
The Rev. Phillip A. Jackson, vicar of Trinity Church Wall Street, said: “As an alumnus of CDSP, I’m excited by the possibilities created by bringing together these two bodies. CDSP’s history of progressive seminary education and Trinity’s vision for leadership development are a powerful combination that will serve future leaders well.”
Trinity and CDSP expect to maintain the current management, faculty, and staff at CDSP for the near future. In subsequent years, Trinity will work with CDSP and Trinity’s global partners to discuss options to expand CDSP’s offerings, student body, scholarships, and other opportunities for growth, including international outreach. The current curriculum also will be maintained in the near term. Based on dialogue with stakeholders, Trinity and the CDSP faculty may seek to expand and revise the curriculum in future years.
The Association of Theological Schools has affirmed the continuation of CDSP’s accreditation status under the new governance structure.
About Trinity Church Wall Street
Trinity Church Wall Street has been an integral part New York City for more than 300 years. Throughout its history, Trinity has supported local and global ministries, ranging from the founding of a Charity School in 1709, to support for Desmond Tutu in Apartheid-era South Africa, to myriad programs built to meet the spiritual and material needs of a changing world. Today, Trinity is a growing and inclusive Episcopal parish of more than 1,200 members that seeks to serve and heal the world by building neighborhoods that live Gospel truths, generations of faithful leaders, and sustainable communities. The parish is guided by its core values: faith, integrity, inclusiveness, compassion, social justice, and stewardship. Members come from the five boroughs of New York City and surrounding areas to form a racially, ethnically, and economically diverse congregation. More than 20 worship services are offered every week at its historic sanctuaries, Trinity Church and St. Paul’s Chapel, the cornerstones of the parish’s community life, worship, and mission, and online at trinitywallstreet.org. The parish welcomes approximately 2.5 million visitors per year.
About Church Divinity School of the Pacific
Church Divinity School of the Pacific is a graduate theological seminary and center of theological study of the Episcopal Church, and is a founding member of the ecumenical Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. Responding to the challenges of contemporary society with the good news of Jesus Christ, CDSP is rooted in our Anglican identity and tradition, and provides quality theological education that integrates scholarship, reflection, worship, spirituality, and the practice of ministry.