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Episcopal seminaries prepare for new academic year

[Episcopal News Service]  Ready to start a new academic year, the 11 accredited seminaries of the Episcopal Church continue their mission of preparing women and men for lay and ordained ministry. Following is an overview of these institutions and their program highlights.

Berkeley Divinity School at Yale

Founded in 1854 to be a "mediating seminary" during a time of theological division in the Episcopal Church, Berkeley Divinity School at Yale, based in New Haven, Connecticut, historically has been open to the spectrum of worship practices and theological perspectives within Anglicanism.

While Berkeley Divinity School retains an independent board of trustees and administration, its students are fully enrolled in Yale University Divinity School. Upon graduation, students can receive, in addition to their Yale degree, a Diploma in Anglican Studies from Berkeley.

Led by the Very Rev. Joseph H. Britton (Dean), Berkeley Divinity School at Yale offers the academic rigors of a word-class university combined with the spiritual formation needed to prepare future leaders in the Episcopal Church. This opportunity provides a balance of both mind and soul valued within Anglicanism, and also gives students the tools they need to be successful as priests, teachers and pastors.

Berkeley programs reflect the roots of Anglican theological study in the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, England.

Berkeley Divinity School at Yale, 409 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT. 203.432.9285.

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Bexley Hall Episcopal Seminary

Bexley Hall is based both in Columbus, Ohio, and Rochester, New York. In a typical class at Bexley, most provinces of the Episcopal Church are represented, and it is common for students to study with people from other areas of the Anglican Communion.

As constituents of a small seminary, Bexley students, faculty, staff, and their families tend to develop close relationships with each other and within the larger Divinity School community.

Bexley Hall is led by the Very Rev. Dr. John R. Kevern, dean.

Bexley Hall in Columbus:

Bexley Hall Episcopal Seminary, 583 Sheridan Avenue, Columbus, OH 43209-2325. Tel: 614.231.3095. Email:

Bexley Hall in Rochester:

Bexley Hall Episcopal Seminary, 26 Broadway, Rochester, NY 14607-1704.
Tel: 585.546.2160. Email:

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Church Divinity School of the Pacific

The Church Divinity School of the Pacific (CDSP) is a graduate theological seminary of the Episcopal Church and is an integral member of the ecumenical Graduate Theological Union [] in Berkeley, California. Located on the Pacific Rim, CDSP is enhanced by the diverse culture of the greater San Francisco Bay Area.

Led by Dean Donn F. Morgan, CDSP has since 1911 been designated the official seminary of the Episcopal Church's Province VIII, the Province west of the Rocky Mountains.

Nestled in the Berkeley foothills, CDSP is located one block away from the University of California. Within a short distance are hiking and biking trails, museums, open-air markets, theaters, coffee houses, and some of the best restaurants in the country.

Through the Center for Anglican Learning and Leadership (CALL) [], CDSP acknowledges its partnership with the wider Church in addressing issues that confront the Church today. CALL offers on-campus classes, forums, conferences, and online programs through the Internet and works with those inside and outside of CDSP to choose speakers for Business of God luncheons, provide support for alumni/ae, and share its educational and theological resources with dioceses, provincial program networks, and parishes as they seek to carry out the Church's mission.

Church Divinity School of the Pacific, 2451 Ridge Road, Berkeley, CA 94709-1217. Tel: 510.204.0700. Email:

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Episcopal Divinity School

Episcopal Divinity School (EDS) is set on a small campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Throughout its history, EDS has demonstrated a commitment to standing for peace and justice for all people.

Located just a few blocks from Harvard Yard and in close proximity to other major universities and theological schools, EDS provides easy access to some of the best theological resources in the world. Nearby academic institutions include Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (sponsor of an ongoing forum on science, faith, and religion), Boston University, Boston College, Brandeis University, and Tufts University.

EDS's primary academic affiliation is with the Boston Theological Institute (BTI), a consortium of theological schools in the greater Boston area whose roots include the Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox, and Protestant traditions. Together, the nine schools of the BTI maintain more than 200 full-time faculty and offer more than 3,000 students access to over 1.5 million volumes in the combined libraries.

EDS is led by the Rt. Rev. Steven Charleston, dean.

Episcopal Divinity School, 99 Brattle Street, Cambridge, MA 02138. Tel: 617.868.3450.

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Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest

Formation for mission and ministry at the Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest (ETSS), located in Austin, Texas, is rooted in the belief that the Christian church exists "for the sake of those outside its walls, as well as for the gathered community."

A feature of its mission-oriented curriculum is the emphasis on the mission of the church in a pluralistic social context, with a special focus on Latino culture. Hispanic Studies prepare graduates for ministry in a multicultural society with a focus on Latin American contexts. All courses in the seminary contain a missional and multicultural orientation and students learn Latino and other racial/ethnic perspectives throughout the course of their seminary program.

An ecumenical initiative for Latin American theological education is an offering of three neighborhood seminary programs -- the Seminary of the Southwest, the Lutheran Seminary Program in the Southwest and the Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. The program is inclusive and respectful of the denominational diversity that marks the religious life of Latinos living in the United States.

The Very Rev. Philip Turner is interim dean and president.

Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest, P.O. Box 2247, Austin, TX 78768. Tel: 512.472.4133.

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General Theological Seminary

The General Theological Seminary (GTS) -- the oldest seminary of the Episcopal Church -- was founded in 1817 and has been a New York City landmark since 1826. A leading center for theological education in the Anglican Communion, the seminary has taken a prominent role in the field of Christian spirituality for more than 25 years.

GTS's Center for Christian Spirituality offers a variety of courses preparing lay people and clergy for leadership in ministries of spiritual formation and seeks to enhance the spiritual vitality of parishes in the Episcopal Church and congregations of its ecumenical partners, as well as to strengthen the ministries of people in daily life as they serve in the world.

Because of its location in New York City -- home to the largest Jewish population outside of Israel -- GTS's Center for Jewish-Christian Studies and Relations (CJCSR), established in 1986 by Dr. James A. Carpenter, offers a unique opportunity among the Episcopal Seminaries in the United States, and indeed the world, for Jewish-Christian dialogue and education. The mission of CJCSR is to foster learning about Judaism and its variegated relationship with Christianity through the ages and today.

Located in New York City's Chelsea neighborhood, the seminary is led by the Very Rev. Ward B. Ewing, dean.

General Theological Seminary, 175 Ninth Avenue, New York, NY 10011. Tel: 212.243.5150.

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Nashotah House Theological Seminary

Founded in 1842 as "a mission to the frontier" and incorporated in 1847 as "a College of learning and piety," Nashotah House in Wisconsin is a seminary of the Episcopal Church whose mission is the preparation of men and women for ministries in the Catholic tradition, including: the formation of priests for parish ministry, the continuing education of the clergy, and the education and training of persons for other forms of ministry, both lay and ordained.

In a small, closely knit community of intentional prayer, Nashotah House instills "traditional values and a commitment to spreading the Word of God." Mission takes form in education and outreach, creating new experiences and opportunities in the communities and congregations Nashotah House serves.

The Very Rev. Robert S. Munday, dean, leads the seminary.

Nashotah House Theological Seminary, 2777 Mission Road, Nashotah, Wisconsin 53058. Tel: 262.646.6500. Email:

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Sewanee -- University of the South

Popularly known as Sewanee, the University of the South is home to one of the nation's top liberal arts colleges and a seminary of the Episcopal Church. The institution's School of Theology has added to its alumni ranks numerous bishops, including three of the last four presiding bishops of the Episcopal Church.

Located atop the Cumberland Plateau between Nashville and Chattanooga, Tennessee, Sewanee's physical environment, which includes a 10,000-acre campus, provides a scenic place in which to study and reflect, and has, over its history, become a meeting place for some of America's most respected literary figures. In addition to its traditionally strong curriculum in the arts, Sewanee is fast becoming known for its science programs, including the unique interdisciplinary Landscape Analysis Laboratory.

According to its mission statement, Sewanee "exists for education in such disciplines as will increase knowledge, understanding, and wisdom, pursued in close community and in full freedom of inquiry, and enlightened by Christian faith, to the end that students may be prepared to search for truth, to seek justice for all, to preserve liberty under law, and to love and serve God and humanity."

The Rev. Dr. William S. Stafford serves as dean.

Sewanee: The University of the South, 735 University Ave., Sewanee, TN 37383. Tel: 931.598.1000.

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Seabury-Western Theological Seminary

Seabury-Western Theological Seminary was created in 1933 by the merger of Seabury Divinity School (1858, Faribault, Minnesota) and Western Theological Seminary (1883, Chicago, Illinois).

Located at Evanston, Illinois, Seabury-Western places a strong emphasis on mission, evangelism, congregational development, and leadership education, and boasts a distinguished faculty of scholars who are active speakers, writers, and teachers for the Church.

As part of its mission, Seabury-Western is called "to develop empowered and empowering leaders for Christ's Church and God's mission in the world"
through: practices of learning, worship and community life which transform; distinctive integration of theory and practice with a particular focus on congregational vitality; learning and renewal that sustain leaders throughout their lives and ministries.

Seabury-Western is also home of the Seabury Institute, founded in 1994 "to challenge the Church to grow in faith and numbers by carrying out research and development projects in partnership with parishes."

The Very Rev. Gary Hall serves as dean and president.

Seabury-Western Theological Seminary, 2122 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60201. Tel: 800.275.8235. Email:

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Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry

Located in the heart of Ambridge, Pennsylvania -- just minutes away from downtown Pittsburgh -- Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry has some 175
full- and part-time students and a faculty of 11. More than 30 professors -- including experienced missionaries, youth ministries leaders, a historian of Christian art, and a noted renewal music leader
-- contribute their expertise.

Though founded in the evangelical tradition, Trinity is not monochromatic in its expressions of worship and spirituality and has always included a diverse population of evangelicals, charismatics, and Anglo-Catholics, "all sharing the riches of their traditions and striving to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."

TESM is led by the Very Rev. Paul F. M. Zahl, dean and president.

Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry, 311 Eleventh St., Ambridge, PA 15003.
Tel: 724.266.3838.

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Virginia Theological Seminary

Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS), located in Alexandria, Virginia, seeks "to further the universal mission of Christ's church by providing graduate theological education and serving as a theological resource for the Anglican Communion and the wider church."

The community at VTS is diverse in both age and culture. Men and women, single, married with or without children, overseas students new to the U.S., long distance commuters, African Americans, Asians, South Americans, Caucasians, and others are part of the seminary community and alumni.

VTS is also home to the Lay School of Theology, which was established in 1971 at the request of a number of parishes in the Washington D.C. area in order to provide an opportunity for serious theological education for lay people. The program is open to persons of all denominations who wish to deepen their own understanding of the Christian faith and experience. Spouses of seminarians are encouraged to enroll in Lay School courses. More information about the Lay School of Theology can be found online.

The Center for the Ministry of Teaching (CMT) works to support and enrich Christian education in the Episcopal Church. Established in 1984, the CMT operates from the Georgian colonial building known as Packard-Laird on the Seminary campus in Alexandria.

The history of Virginia Seminary has been one of active involvement in the mission of the Anglican Communion, and today the Center for Anglican Communion Studies serves Anglican leaders and scholars from around the world with the physical, financial, and human resources available at the Seminary.

The seminary is led by the Very Rev. Martha J. Horne, dean and president.

3737 Seminary Road, Alexandria, Virginia 22304. Tel: 703.370.6600.

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