EDS in Transition | January 2024 Update

January 8, 2024 Transition News
EDS in Transition | January 2024 Update

Dear friends of EDS,

As we enter 2024, I am reflecting on the crucial role Episcopal Divinity School has played in promoting social justice-focused theological education for the wider Church. This commitment forms a key part of EDS’ legacy, and our continuing dedication to this vision is of utmost importance.

I've just returned from the United Kingdom, where, since September, I've been teaching and collaborating with Emmanuel Theological College in Liverpool. My experience there has affirmed my belief that EDS’ values are what can foster friendships and partnership in ministry throughout the Anglican communion. There are many exciting opportunities ahead.

In this month's newsletter, you will find details about our upcoming events, an update on EDS' strategic plan, and a highlight on EDS alum the Rev. Richard (Dick) Mahaffy. Soon, EDS will host an online forum on Jonathan Eig’s book King: A Life and an online seminar addressing White Christian Nationalism. I hope you will be able to join in these events. If you missed the December edition of our transition news, you can access the newsletter here.

As 2024 unfolds, let’s continue to embrace hope and determination. The challenges ahead are significant, yet I believe faith leaders are poised to lead the way in making change. May we embrace this New Year as a chance to deepen our commitment to justice, peace, and understanding.

The Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas

Transition News

Strategic Planning Update

As part of its ongoing work to envision the future for EDS, two board working groups are drafting a core values statement and a statement of missional priorities for consideration by the full Board in February. Both statements draw from the many interviews and alum listening sessions that took place this past fall. Our consultant Katie Glover continues to engage in strategic conversations with individuals across the church and theological education, including bishops and seminary leaders.

EDS January 2024 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

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 online in gathering together with the author 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. Guest speakers include biblical scholar and theologian Walter Brueggemann and New York Times bestselling authors Kristin Du Mez and Jemar Tisby.

Learn more and sign up here.


In mid-January, EDS will partner with the Diocese of New York to lead a group of about twenty participants, mostly clergy of color who are recently ordained and/or new to the Diocese, on a Civil Rights pilgrimage to Atlanta, Montgomery and Selma. They will visit the Equal Justice Initiative Legacy Museum and National Memorial, the Edmund Pettus bridge, and other sacred sites of the Civil Rights movement. Be sure to follow EDS and the Diocese of New York on social media to get the on-the-ground updates, and stay tuned for more offerings like this to come!

Alum Corner

The Rev. Richard “Dick” Mahaffy serves as President of the Episcopal Conference of the Deaf, a national organization serving Deaf Ministries, and as a priest on the staff of St. Margaret of Scotland Episcopal Church in Sarasota, Florida. He has been profoundly Deaf since birth and is one of only three active Deaf Episcopal priests in the United States.

"My training and education at EDS have deepened my passion and my call to fight oppression and to affirm others, especially Deaf people," he shared.

Read Rev. Mahaffy's full alum spotlight here.

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!

Save the date: EDS Alum Retreat

On May 11, EDS will host a day-long spiritual retreat for alums at Adelynrood Retreat Center outside of Boston. The retreat will offer EDS alums an opportunity to reconnect, rejuvenate, and refresh their commitments to justice-focused ministry leadership.The space can accommodate 50 people. Information about how to register will be shared soon.

As EDS enters this transformative strategic planning process, 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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