A Letter from Dean Kelly Brown Douglas

Dear Members of the EDS family:

It is with excitement that I join you as dean as we begin this new season of our life together as EDS at Union. I am humbled by the opportunity to serve this historic institution that has given so much to seminary education, the church and the world. The EDS legacy is strong, and we are all thankful for those whose sacrifices of labor and love have made it possible for us to carry forth this educational mission of ministry.

Today, visionary and transformative theological education is more important than ever before. The nation, the world and indeed the church, need leaders who embody the kind of priestly humility, prophetic vision and principled witness that can address the complicated social and moral challenges of our day. EDS at Union will be a place that nurtures this kind of leadership, and I commit to you that our seminary will be the institution that is really taking on the work of social justice and dismantling racism at the core of the Jesus Movement that our Presiding Bishop Michael Curry urges us to embrace.

During this transition year, EDS’s trustees and I will work together to develop a new kind of Anglican Studies program that will prepare people not simply to work in or for a church, but to be the church. At EDS at Union, our goal will be to educate people, lay and ordained, to be both priestly and prophetic in ways that will be transformative both for them and the diverse ministries they serve and create. We will offer hands-on experiences beyond CPE, equipping students with the tools, skills and knowledge to carry forth competent, effective and transforming ministries in culturally pluralistic global contexts.

But not everything will change. Our location in New York and our vision for the future may be new, but they are both imbued with our 150-year history of educating Episcopal leaders in both Philadelphia and Cambridge and the richness of the many Anglican traditions that EDS has long celebrated. That proud legacy will be at the heart of everything that EDS at Union becomes.

“To every thing there is a season and a time for every purpose under the heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1).  This is a new season in the life of EDS, a season to do new and exciting things for the purpose of that time when God’s heaven will be made manifest on earth. While I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible, I invite each of you to join me in carrying forth in a transformative way the visionary legacy that is EDS as we begin our new season at Union.


Kelly Douglas
Dean, Episcopal Divinity School at Union