Dr. Fredrica Harris Thompsett

DD, Virginia Theological Seminary
DHL, Hamilton College
DCL, Seabury-Western Theological Seminary
DD, Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest
DD, General Theological Seminary
MA, PhD, University of Chicago
BA, Denison University

“EDS provides a welcoming teaching environment for learners who wish to make a just and compassionate difference in the church and in society. For well over 25 years I have done my best to provoke wisdom, persistent questioning, and humor in the classroom and within the wider community. Whether we are addressing church history, theology, preaching, or baptismal leadership, I cherish the process of wondering together what wisdom we each have to polish up, propose, and pass along. I am proud of the leadership our graduates provide and I am humbled to be a part of this unique visionary community.” 

Dr. Fredrica Harris Thompsett, Mary Wolfe Professor of Historical Theology and faculty emerita, is a well-known lay leader in the Episcopal Church. A historian and theologian, she has taught at Episcopal seminaries for over 35 years.

Thompsett joined the EDS faculty in 1983, where for 14 years she also served as Academic Dean. She is the author of several articles and books that focus on the history and leadership of women and men, ordained and lay. Her most recent book, authored with former EDS academic dean Sheryl Kujawa-Holbrook, is now in widespread use: Born of Water, Born of Spirit: Supporting the Ministry of the Baptized in Small Congregations. The coeditor of a another Episcopal best-seller, Confronted by God: The Essential Verna Dozier, her other books include Deeper Joy: Lay Women and Vocation in the 20th Century Episcopal Church (co-edited with Sheryl Kujawa-Holbrook), and a popular volume in the New Church’s Teaching Series, Living with History.

Thompsett is best known in baptismal ministry circles for We Are Theologians, reprinted as a Seabury Classic. Her reflections on baptism are also available from EDS in a professionally produced DVD and study guide, Wade in the Water. Thompsett is sought after as a keynote speaker, conference leader, and preacher. She also serves the Episcopal Church as a member of its Executive Council and will serve the Diocese of Massachusetts as a deputy to the 2012 General Convention.