EDS in Transition | December 2023 Update

December 4, 2023
EDS in Transition | December 2023 Update

Dear friends,

As we embrace the spirit of Advent and the joyful anticipation of Christmas, I want to share how excited I am about this month's upcoming events. In just a few days, EDS is excited to welcome Rev. Dr. Carter Heyward for the Kellogg Lecture, followed by an event at St. John the Divine to mark the 50th anniversary of a key moment in the journey toward women's ordination.

These events provide an opportunity to revisit EDS' historical role in women's journey to ordination as well as in the emergence of Feminist theology. I am also excited for the opportunity they bring for EDS alums and friends to reconnect with one another. I look forward to meeting you all.

In this month's newsletter, you'll find more details about our exciting upcoming events, a progress update on EDS' strategic plan, and highlights showcasing our esteemed alums. The importance of EDS' voice and values has never been more needed, and with your support EDS will remain a transformative witness for generations to come.

For those who may have missed the November edition of our transition news, you can access the newsletter here.

I am wishing you all a joyous and blessed Christmas season.


The Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas

Transition News

Strategic Planning Update

The EDS Board continues its work to envision the future for EDS. Our consultant, Katie Glover, is facilitating two Board working groups that are focusing more deeply on EDS's core values and missional identity. Katie continues to engage in strategic conversations with individuals and groups around the potential future landscapes of the church and of theological education and formation.

EDS December 2023 Updates

  • New Website: EDS’ new website is live! Visit 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.

Program Updates

Telling an Untold Story: The Mothers of Gynecology

On Friday, December 15th at 10am ET, join Michelle Browder, Lead Artist and Creator of The Mothers Of Gynecology Monument, and the Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas for a live online conversation. They will discuss how "Black women were tortured for the sake of healthcare and science and have been largely left out of the conversation," and the implications for reproductive justice today. The role of faith communities in the ongoing struggle for reproductive justice will also be explored.

This event will take place live on EDS' Facebook page.

Community Read—King: A Life by Jonathan Eig

In the months of December and January, the Rt. Rev. Matthew Heyd, Bishop Coadjutor of the Diocese of New York, and the Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas Interim President of EDS, invite their communities to read Jonathan Eig’s highly acclaimed biography of Martin Luther King Jr., King: A Life. On Wednesday, January 31 at 7pm ET, join us in gathering together to discuss the book and bear witness to King’s life, legacy, and transformational prophetic leadership.

Registration is required—click here to sign up.

White Christian Nationalism: What to Know and How to Respond

As the political influence of Christian nationalist ideology has grown in recent years, so has awareness of the threat it poses to democratic and religious freedoms. On Saturday, February 3, join Interim President the Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas and the Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, Executive Director of the Kairos Center for Religions, Rights, and Social Justice for a day-long, online seminar on this pressing topic. The seminar will examine the historical, theological, and biblical underpinnings of White Christian Nationalism and explore practical, pastoral and prophetic responses to it.

Learn more and sign up here.

Alum Corner

We offer great thanks for your participation in EDS' listening process these past months. The honesty, wisdom, and feedback that has been gathered will inform the future of EDS and strengthen our legacy and impact as a theological institution.

Moving forward, we are excited to offer new ways of coming together. Join us on Zoom every third Thursday at 1pm ET for Connect: Monthly Gathering of EDS Alums, where we will connect with one another, hear about the diverse contexts EDS alums are serving in their work and ministry, and stay up to date on all things EDS!

The first Connect session will take place on January 18th at 1pm featuring alum Amiee Altzier.

Registration is required—click here to sign up!

The Very Rev. Christopher Montella serves as the Rector of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church & Preschool in Santa Clarita, California in the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles.

Christopher has been an active member of the Bishop’s Commission for LGBTQ+ Ministry in EDLA since 2010 and has served as Chair since 2016. The Commission’s work of sharing faith and hope, advocating for LGBTQ+ issues and working to provide a theological foundation for healing the rift between sexuality and spirituality in the Church is a vital part of his ministry as a priest in The Episcopal Church.

Read the Rev. Montella's full alum spotlight here.

Program Reminders

We look forward to seeing you at the following events taking place this weekend!

The Kellogg Lecture: December 8, 2023

Mark your calendars for the rescheduled Kellogg Lecture December 8 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.

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!

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