On this All Saints' Day, I am giving thanks for the alum and friends of Episcopal Divinity School. Over the past few months, EDS has embarked on a remarkable journey. We have held alum listening sessions, convened conversations about the future of theological education, and considered EDS special charism and role as an institution grounded in the values of faith and social justice. This voice is needed now more than ever.
In this month’s e-newsletter, you will see exciting upcoming events, an update on EDS’ strategic plan, as well as alum highlights. If you missed the October edition of our transition news, you can find the e-newsletter here.
With your support, EDS is beginning a new chapter of its story, and for this I am deeply thankful.
The Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas
Strategic Planning Update
With the support of consultant Katie Glover, this month EDS completed its first phase of open-ended interviews with stakeholders including alums, clergy, and lay people. The Board of Trustees has reviewed the interview data and helped to identify areas of further inquiry for the next phase of information gathering. This next phase will take place over the next several months.
EDS November 2023 Updates
- New Website: EDS’ new website is live! Visit eds.edu for transition news, upcoming events, and more.
- Alum Resources: Resources for EDS alums, including transcripts, can be found here.
- Alum Facebook Page: EDS has launched a new alum Facebook page! Click here to join.
- New Address: EDS has relocated its office to the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine. Our new address is Episcopal Divinity School, 1047 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10025. Click here to read the press release.
- New Phone: EDS’ new general phone number is (646) 713-0845. This line will direct you to extension numbers for staff.
- Social media: EDS can be found on Facebook, Instagram, Threads, and LinkedIn. Be sure to follow if you aren’t already!
- Frequently Asked Questions: Click here to read answers to frequently asked questions regarding Episcopal Divinity School's transition from Union Theological Seminary.
Twitter Update: After discernment about social media platforms EDS wishes to continue to participate in, EDS has made the decision to pause our X/Twitter use. We sincerely appreciate all who have continued to follow us there, and we hope that you will join us on our other social media platforms, including Threads. Thank you for understanding and we look forward to continuing onwards together!
Listening Session Sign Up
As part of our year-long strategic planning process, the Rev. Canon Lydia Bucklin ‘15 is coordinating a series of Zoom listening sessions for alums and faculty of EDS. To learn more and sign up for these listening sessions, click here.
Register for the Kellogg Lecture: December 8, 2023
Mark your calendars for the rescheduled Kellogg Lecture December 9 at 7pm ET. This year's distinguished speaker is the Rev. Dr. Carter Heyward. This lecture, dedicated to the memory of the esteemed Rev. Frederic Brainerd Kellogg and his father, Frederic Rogers Kellogg, is titled "The Master's House and the Nagging Widow: A Stubborn Call to Dismantle."
In this lecture, Dr. Heyward will revisit Audre Lorde’s well-known warning, "The master's tools will never dismantle the master's house," and examine the tools necessary for dismantling the deadly sins of white Christian nationalism that continue to batter the Spirit of Justice-Love in the church.
In-person registration has filled, but there is still time to register to watch the livestream. Click here to RSVP!
"Ordain us today, along with our brothers”: The Journey to Women's Ordination
On December 9 at 10am ET, join EDS for a public conversation between the Rev. Dr. Carter Heyward, the Rt. Rev. Mary Glasspool, and the Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine. This event will mark the 50th anniversary of Dr. Heyward and four other women deacons presenting themselves for ordination to the priesthood in the Cathedral in an act of liturgical protest. This event is hosted in partnership with the Episcopal Diocese of New York's Taskforce for Commemorating the Ordination of Women.
This event will take place at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine, located at 1047 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10027. Registration is not required.
Episcopal Divinity School’s Seminar on Black Liberation Theologian James Cone
On Saturday, October 7, the Episcopal Divinity School hosted James Cone in a Global Context, an all-day online seminar that explored global impacts and implications of the groundbreaking work of Black liberation theologian Dr. James Cone. The seminar invited participants to grapple with the realities of racism and white supremacy as framed by Cone and highlighted ongoing struggles in the work of promoting Black theology.
"The heart of our theologies—and I want to go back to Cone as being the perfect exemplar of this—is about who is the Jesus that we are following? Who is the Jesus that we are worshiping?” asked featured guest Dr. Reddie. “If Jesus is a cis male who only saves people who look like him, and only saves people who sign up for a set of doctrinal positions, then Christianity will always be exclusive, and we’ve seen that in the enactment of empire.”
Read the full event re-cap here.
This section of the newsletter will spotlight EDS alums and share upcoming alum events and opportunities. We will share a more detailed list of alum updates in our upcoming January e-newsletter. If you have alum updates that you would like to share, please email them to [email protected].
The Rev. Dr. Karen Coleman serves as the University Chaplain for Episcopal Ministry. She also serves as an Assisting Priest at Trinity Copley Square Boston. She is also a certified Koru mindfulness instructor as well as a spiritual director.
Rev. Coleman is a graduate of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor where she holds a B.A. in Art History and a master’s and doctor of ministry degree from Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge. The title of her thesis was “Episcopal Female Clergy Leaders of African Heritage: Trailblazers and Colleagues”. Prior to her seminary studies, she worked as the assistant director of alumni relations and development at East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania and as a national fund development consultant for Girl Scouts of the USA, NYC.
She currently serves as President of Episcopal Diocese of MA Standing Committee, Clerical Deputy to General Convention 2024 and the EDS Alumni/ae Task Force Her BU committees include, Diversity and Inclusion, Office of Student Affairs Unit Directors liaison, and the BU School of Theology Anglican Episcopal Community of Learning. In her spare-time she is actively involved with her sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha, is a master canner and needlepoints.
Rev. Coleman says she is "excited about the conversations and leadership as EDS moves forward in equipping leaders for the church."
EDS Alum Facebook Page
The EDS Alum Facebook group is up and running! This is a space for sharing personal and professional updates, staying up-to-date on the latest EDS events, and being in community together. Click here to join.
If you have updates that you would like to share in an upcoming EDS Alum Update newsletter, please email them to [email protected]
As EDS enters this transformative strategic planning process and invites the insights of our alums through the upcoming Listening Sessions, we are confident that together we will shape a future that honors our rich heritage while embracing the ever-evolving needs of theological education. Stay tuned for more updates and exciting developments ahead!