Episcopal Divinity School Announces Departure of the Rev. Cn. Dr. Kapya Kaoma as International Ministries and Pastoral Care Associate

Priest, activist, and mentor to African clergy and students to remain in consulting role

December 11, 2013 (Cambridge, MA)--Episcopal Divinity School announced today that the Rev. Cn. Dr. Kapya Kaoma (Certificate ’03), EDS’s international ministries and pastoral care associate, will leave the school later this year to focus on his ministry at Christ Church in Hyde Park, a neighborhood of Boston, and his work supporting African priests in the Diocese of Massachusetts. Kaoma has held a part-time position at EDS since 2011, and over the last two years has advised students from around the world as they make the transition from their home countries to the EDS community. 

“Kapya has been an invaluable resource for me and so many others on campus,” said President and Dean The Very Rev. Katherine Hancock Ragsdale. “He has helped our international students acclimate to the culture here, to our system of education, and he has served as a mentor and an advocate to them. As a result international students at EDS are better supported and better equipped to succeed than ever before.”

During his tenure, EDS has attained an increasingly international reach. Students come from six continents to study in both traditional and low-residency Distributive Learning degree and certificate programs. Over the last several years, EDS has implemented student exchange programs with seminaries in Asia and has expanded its popular Foreign Study Seminars to South Africa and to China. Most recently, EDS named former Malawian bishop the Rt. Rev. James Tengatenga a Presidential Fellow for 2014. 

“Kapya’s expertise and knowledge—of dioceses, of theological schools, of clergy and of political leaders in Africa have been so important to EDS’s growth as a truly international seminary over the last few years,” said Dean of Students and Community Life The Rev. Miriam Gelfer. “He has helped us to bridge cultural gaps that we could not fully understand without his counsel, so in that sense, his work will continue to have a lasting impact on the way EDS recruits and retains international students.”

Kaoma will continue to serve EDS as a consultant to the school’s admissions office, bringing his experience and expertise in working with international—and particularly African students—to bear. “I’m very happy to have the opportunity to continue to support international students at EDS, in my new consultative role while growing my own ministry and my work supporting African priests in the Diocese of Massachusetts,” said Kaoma. “My work across these different institutions is really of a single piece, so I do not see this so much as a departure as I do a rebalancing of my own priorities. Regardless of where I am, the work of supporting students and priests from my home continent goes on.”

In addition to his work with EDS and the Diocese of Massachusetts, Kaoma also serves as religion and sexuality researcher for Political Research Associates, a Somerville-based progressive think tank, where he has authored reports on colonizing African values and globalizing the culture wars.

Kaoma was born in Zambia, where he attended the Theological College of Central Africa. He later received a scholarship to study at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom. After being ordained, Kaoma travelled to Zimbabwe, where he served as dean of St. John’s Cathedral in Mutare, Zimbabwe, and as a lecturer at Africa University. Later, he returned to Zambia and became academic dean of St. John’s Anglican Seminary, where he launched its women’s studies and church school training programs. Kaoma holds a PhD in theology from Boston University’s School of Theology and a certificate from Episcopal Divinity School. 

About Episcopal Divinity School

In an ever-changing world, Episcopal Divinity School (EDS) is a respected and progressive center for study and spiritual formation for lay and ordained leaders. 

Committed to a mission of social justice and inclusive education and grounded in the Anglican tradition, EDS awards Masters’ degrees in Divinity and in Theological Studies, a Doctoral degree in Ministry, and Certificates in Anglican Formation; Justice, Reconciliation, and Mission; and Christian Spiritualities for the Contemporary World.

EDS graduates serve as lay and ordained ministers of the Episcopal Church as well as in other Christian denominations. They are also leaders in a variety of professions and industries, including non-profit executives, mental health professionals, social workers, community organizers, academics, artists, and writers, often in addition to their work as clergy or church leaders.

Located on a beautiful campus near Harvard Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts, EDS provides easy access to some of the best educational resources in the world, especially as a member of the Boston Theological Institute, a consortium of 10 eminent theological schools, seminaries, and departments of religion in the Boston area.