Church Divinity School of the Pacific

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Church Divinity School of the Pacific
Church Divinity School of the Pacific logo.png
TypeGraduate theological seminary
Established1893; 128 years ago (1893)
Religious affiliation
Episcopal Church in the United States of America
Endowment$16.2 million (2019)[1]
PresidentW. Mark Richardson
Presiding BishopMichael Curry
United States
NicknameHoly Hill
AffiliationsGraduate Theological Union

Church Divinity School of the Pacific (CDSP) is one of the nine seminaries of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America. It is located in Berkeley, California, and is a member of the Graduate Theological Union. The only Episcopal seminary located in the Far West, CDSP has, since 1911, been designated the official seminary of the Episcopal Church's Eighth Province, the Province west of the Rocky Mountains.

The Church Divinity School of the Pacific, or CDSP, and Trinity Church Wall Street announced March 4 that the New York parish had acquired the seminary. The Very Rev. W. Mark Richardson, CDSP president and dean, told Episcopal News Service in an interview that the deal will put the school on a solid financial footing and position it for growth. CDSP and its assets now belong to Trinity, he said, and the value of those assets “will be a fund, among other resources they have, that supports the program at the school and operation.”[2]

CDSP is accredited by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada and offers a variety of degree and certificate programs aimed at training clergy and lay leaders for ministries in the Anglican Communion.


Church Divinity School of the Pacific was founded in 1893 in San Mateo, California, by the second Episcopal Bishop of California, William Ford Nichols, after the gift of 4 acres (16,000 m2) of land, funds for construction of the first building, and an endowment from George and Augusta Gibbs. Several of the seminary buildings were destroyed in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, and the seminary relocated to San Francisco in 1911 to a new building on the grounds of Grace Cathedral.

In 1914, CDSP was declared to be the official seminary of what is now known as Province VIII of the Episcopal Church, which comprises seventeen dioceses of the western United States and Taiwan. A move to Berkeley in 1930 facilitated cooperation with other seminaries in the East Bay, as well as with the University of California, Berkeley. CDSP was one of the founders of the Graduate Theological Union (GTU), established in 1962, and is now one of nine member schools and eight affiliated centers in this ecumenical consortium.

Degree Programs[edit]

CDSP offers students a variety of degree programs and courses of study. In order to keep up with changes and advances in the Church and in theological education, faculty members continually review curricula and make changes as appropriate. Currently, CDSP offers several degree programs:

  • Certificate of Anglican Studies, geared towards students with M.Div. degrees from non-Anglican schools who are seeking ordination in the Episcopal Church.
  • Master of Divinity (M.Div.) [on campus and low residence in January and July]
  • Master of Divinity in cooperation with Bloy House, an Anglican house of study in Claremont, California.
  • Master of Theological Studies (M.T.S.) [on campus and online]

Jointly with the Graduate Theological Union, CDSP also offers three advanced academic degree programs:

Students may enroll in the M.Div. and M.A. programs concurrently. A separate admission process for each program is necessary, as is the completion of all requirements for each degree. Concurrent M.Div./M.A. programs can be completed in no less than four years.

St. Margaret's Visiting Professorship[edit]

The St. Margaret's Visiting Professorship of Women in Ministry is named in honor of St. Margaret's House, a school that trained deaconesses and lay women for ministry in the Episcopal Church when deaconesses were separate orders from deacons. The school itself was named after Saint Margaret of Scotland. In the early 20th century, students from St. Margaret's House were able to take classes with CDSP students. By 1966, with the gradual dismantling of separate orders of ministry for men and women, the House was merged into CDSP.

The first St. Margaret's Visiting Professor of Women in Ministry is Dr. Jenny Te Paa Daniel, who was a theology graduate of the Graduate Theological Union and the first Maori woman to earn a doctorate in systematic theology. She was followed by Dr. Suzanne Guthrie, who has served as parish priest and chaplain at Vassar College and Cornell University. The third St. Margaret's Visiting Professor will be the 26th Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori who is a CDSP alumna (1994) and was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Divinity in 2001 when she was elected bishop of Nevada.

Certificate Programs[edit]

Certificates of one, two, or three years of study may be given to non-degree students who have successfully completed the appropriate full academic years. These certificate programs include:

  • Certificate of Anglican Studies (C.A.S) [on campus and low-residence in July]
  • Certificate of Theological Studies (C.T.S) [on campus and online]

The Center for Anglican Learning & Leadership (CALL) offers online courses that address a wide range of subjects including history, theology, spirituality, leadership, pastoral care, liturgy & worship, scripture, and Anglican studies. Courses are suitable for both lay people and clergy. CALL’s instructors come from across the United States, and all courses are reviewed by faculty at CDSP. In 2007, CALL's online courses were featured in an article on Episcopal Life Online.[3]

Affiliated schools[edit]

The Episcopal School for Deacons is on the grounds of the CDSP. This school trains deacons for the Diocese of California.

Notable alumni[edit]

Notable faculty[edit]

  • L. William Countryman (born 1941), faculty member, biblical scholar
  • Sherman E. Johnson, Dean, faculty member, biblical scholar
  • Massey H. Shepherd (1913-1990), faculty member, liturgical scholar


Specific references:

  1. ^ As of June 30, 2019. "U.S. and Canadian 2019 NTSE Participating Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2019 Endowment Market Value, and Percentage Change in Market Value from FY18 to FY19 (Revised)". National Association of College and University Business Officers and TIAA. Retrieved September 14, 2020.
  2. ^ ENS Episcopal New Service, March 4, 2019
  3. ^ "Teaching: CALL offers online courses to clergy and congregations" Archived 2009-01-17 at the Wayback Machine January 16, 2007. Accessed April 7, 2008

General references:

  • Robinson, Mary Judith (2001). From Gold Rush to Millennium:150 Years of the Episcopal Diocese of California. San Francisco:Episcopal Diocese of California.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°52′33.78″N 122°15′40.07″W / 37.8760500°N 122.2611306°W / 37.8760500; -122.2611306