EDS in Transition | March 2024 Update

March 4, 2024
EDS in Transition | March 2024 Update

Dear friends of EDS,

The Lenten season provides us with an opportunity for reflection and growth as we journey towards Easter and the promise of new beginnings. I pray that each of you have a meaningful Lenten journey.

February has been a busy month of preparation for our winter board meeting which was held on February 21st. During our time together, the board reviewed what our consultant, Katie Glover, learned from conversations she conducted with persons from across the Church and theological world regarding EDS’ role in the future of theological education. A resounding theme in these conversations was the importance of social justice to ministerial formation and the unique role that EDS can play in this regard.

Many of the themes discussed in our board meeting in response to the consultants report resonated with conversations at the Council of Seminary Deans meeting I attended in late January. As highlighted in this article, there is a shared and emerging conviction that the Church needs a new season of cooperation, data sharing, and imaginative approaches to strengthen theological education. Our shared goal is that the Episcopal Church not only endures but flourishes in fostering diverse, justice-minded, transformative leadership.

Please find below further updates about the board’s strategic planning process.

As we navigate these transformative times, I continue to be inspired by the various ministries of EDS alums as they carry forth justice filled ministries reflecting the love of God.

The Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas

Transition News

Update from Ms. Kay Kramer, EDS Board Chair

I’m delighted to give you an update from the EDS Board of Trustees. It has been my honor and privilege to be a trustee since 2017 and to serve as the Board Chair since October 2021. It has been a time of great discernment and transition, and I’m so pleased to report on what we have been doing. The EDS Board of Trustees meeting on February 21, 2024 focused on the strategic planning process and the upcoming search for a new President. We heard an important update from Katie Glover, our strategic planning consultant, about her second phase of conversations with a group of strategic, diverse members of the EDS community. These conversations offered the following thematic directions:

  • Making a positive impact on the church and the world
  • Matching EDS’ justice strengths to current formation gaps
  • EDS as a “hub” for transformative formation reaching emerging faith leaders

The conversations that Katie has had with 52 individuals (including alums, bishops, clergy, lay leaders, seminary deans, church leaders and more) has shown both a deep desire and commitment to seeing EDS thrive and making a difference and gratitude for the process that EDS has undertaken since disaffiliating with Union Theological Seminary. The board remains committed to upholding EDS’ unique identity and voice within the church and in the world of theological education.

As you know, Dr. Douglas announced her retirement from the faculty of Union Theological Seminary in the Spring of 2023. We are so grateful that she agreed to stay on as Interim President for this year as we’ve engaged in the strategic planning process. As part of that process, the board approved an updated mission and core values statement that will serve as a foundation for the search for the new president of EDS that will be launched shortly. Please watch for a special email with further details!

​​Lastly, I'd like to remind you that EDS is committed to full transparency as we move along in this strategic planning process. For answers to commonly asked questions, including the current status of the endowment, please see the FAQ page on our website.

Kay Kramer
Board Chair, Episcopal Divinity School

Strategic Planning Update

The board met on February 21, 2024 and received a report from our consultant, Katie Glover, on her ongoing conversations with leaders across the Episcopal Church and Theological Education. The report highlighted the depth and breadth of support and hopeful anticipation for EDS during this period of discernment. The board also approved mission and core values texts drafted by two board working groups that will serve as the foundation for programming and planning for the future.

EDS February 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.
  • Kairos Newsletter: In February 2024, EDS co-hosted a day-long online seminar “White Christian Nationalism: What to Know and How to Respond” with the Kairos Center for Religion, Rights, and Social Justice. To stay up-to-date with Kairos, please click here to sign up for their mailing list.

Program Updates

Spirituality for Social Justice

How do we stay in the fight for a more just future when the arc that bends toward justice is long? How do we maintain hope? What practices, wisdom, sounds, and movements sustain us as we engage the work of social justice?

On Saturday, April 13, 2024 from 9am-3pm ET, join Dr. Kwok Pui Lan, Dean's Professor of Systematic Theology at Emory’s Candler School of Theology, and the Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas, Interim President of Episcopal Divinity School, for a day-long exploration of spirituality for social justice. The two theologians will reflect on the practices, texts, and wisdom that sustain and inspire them. The online seminar will feature reflections, conversations, discussion groups, music, and liturgy. Special guests include the Rev. Dr. Alan Boesak, the Rt. Rev. Mariann Budde, the Rev. Dr. Claudio Carvalhaes, Archdeacon Rosalyn Kantlaht’ant Elm and the Rev. Jim Merritt.

Learn more and sign up here

EDS News

EDS Critically Engages White Christian Nationalism

Throughout its history, the Episcopal Divinity School (EDS) has committed itself to the work of advancing social justice. This year, among its other activities, EDS has given special attention to unpacking, interrogating, and countering white Christian nationalism. As this harmful ideology has grown in recent years, there is greater awareness of the threat it poses to democratic and religious freedoms. Through offerings including online seminars, an annual lecture, and upcoming public conversations, EDS is carving out space for progressive Christians to engage in this difficult and necessary work.

Click here to read the full story

Alum Corner

EDS Alum Cedar Monroe ’13 just released their first book: Trash: A Poor White Journey, which grapples with the realities of poverty in a majority white rural community, addressing entrenched white supremacy, the dispossession of Indigenous people, and rising inequality and homelessness.

“My time at EDS was critical in forming my ministry,” shared Cedar. “EDS grounded me in liberation theology, in a God on the side of the poor, and taught me to listen for theology through the resistance of oppressed communities. My professors introduced me to the many theologies coming from oppressed communities around the world, most especially those from the Global South.”

Read Cedar's full alum spotlight here

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 next Connect session will take place on March 21, 2024 at 1pm ET featuring Randy Callender.

Registration is required—click here to sign up!

Alum Retreat—The Pause: Social Justice for the Long Haul

The work of social justice is not incidental work. It is not easy. To continue to be part of changing the world we must take pauses. It is in the pause that we find God, find hope, and find sustenance for the work. On May 11, join EDS Alum for a one day pause, as we reflect together through scripture, poetry, and prayer in the beautiful setting of Adelynrood Retreat and Conference Center. Led by EDS Alums Dr. Elizabeth Magill and The Rev. Canon Lydia Kelsey Bucklin.

Learn more and register here

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!

Stay in Touch

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