Church Divinity School of the Pacific (CDSP), in Berkeley, California, is an active worshiping community in the unique ecumenical and inter-religious setting of the Graduate Theological Union (GTU). At CDSP, students of all ages and diverse backgrounds pursue academic excellence as they grow into Church leaders.
(Find more seminaries near Berkeley).
Church Divinity School of the Pacific’s History
CDSP was founded in 1893 and today is the only accredited Episcopal seminary and graduate school west of the Rockies. The faculty members at CDSP, who form the core faculty of the Ph.D. and Th.D. programs through the Graduate Theological Union (GTU), are experts in their field and bring international experience to the campus in Berkeley, California. Recently, CDSP faculty members have taught in Hong Kong, Panama, England, and Poland.
1962 was a high point in CDSP’s history, when it founded the ecumenical and inter-religious GTU with other schools in California. Established in 1962, the GTU is a consortium of nine seminaries and seven affiliated theological institutes, including Roman Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Buddhist, and Islamic traditions. The highly acclaimed GTU library is among the top theological libraries in the country. Most GTU members are within a few blocks of CDSP. Students may cross-register at the University of California, Berkeley, located one block south of CDSP.
CDSP’s rich inter-denominational relationships, ecumenical ties and commitment to academic excellence have helped it become one of the top seminaries in California, as well as in the U.S.
Church Divinity School of the Pacific’s Mission
CDSP provides a diverse environment for study, which attracts people with many different backgrounds, interests and goals. Women and men come to CDSP’s historic campus from urban and rural settings, small towns, and parishes of all sizes across the United States, as well as Latin America and the Pacific Rim. Clergy come to CDSP as sabbatical visitors. Our students bring geographic and demographic diversity and wide-ranging life experiences to our classrooms. Students’ learning is enriched by the intellectual and cultural opportunities available in the San Francisco Bay area.
The purpose of CDSP is to train these people to be Christian leaders. For decades, CDSP alumni have provided the Episcopal Church and communities worldwide with leaders at all levels—scholars, chaplains, rectors, canons, bishops, and laity. Some notable Episcopal leaders that have degrees from CDSP include the Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and the Archbishop of Hong Kong Paul Kwong, who both hold a CDSP M.Div. degree.
Regardless of the course of study, theological education at CDSP is informed by involvement with neighboring parishes, other seminaries and institutions, and diverse communities. CDSP prepares graduates to make a difference in the Church and the world.
CDSP’s Denominational Affiliation
As already stated, CDSP is an official seminary of the Episcopal Church (USA). It serves many Episcopal churches in the Rockies and along the Pacific Rim, but does not limit its service to these geographical areas. Students come from all over for an education at CDSP, and there are many graduates serving in the ECUSA and throughout the global Episcopal Church.
(Find more Episcopal seminaries).
CDSP’s Seminary Degrees
Through its own graduate-level courses and partnerships with other organizations, such as the GTU and the University of California, CDSP offers several different seminary degrees and certificates. The length of the seminary’s degree programs vary, depending on their level of study. CDSP also provides Christian leaders with continuing education credits.
Doctoral Level Programs
The D.Min. program is an advanced degree program that allows clergy to focus on a particular ministry. Together with Seabury/Western, CDSP also offers a joint D.Min. program in congregational development that combines independent study with one week in Berkeley in January and one week in Chicago in June.
(Find other seminaries with a D.Min.)
Master’s Level Programs
While maintaining a high academic standard, CDSP recognizes that ministry requires more than knowledge. Therefore, the M.Div. program at CDSP includes many learning opportunities outside of the traditional classroom. Ministry here is experienced in congregations, hospitals, and non-profit organizations, as well as in the classroom. Field education, in which students serve local parishes, agencies or chaplaincies, is a vital and integral part of the M.Div. program at CDSP.
(Find other seminaries with an M.Div.)
CDSP’s M.A. Degree with Graduate Theological Union (GTU)
Students at CDSP can earn a master’s of arts (M.A.) degree through CDSP and the Graduate Theological Union. An M.A. can qualify people to:
- Continue studying academically at the doctoral level.
- Teach religion at the elementary, secondary and junior college level.
- Integrate theology into a secular profession or a Christian ministry.
The M.A. can also be pursued concurrently with an M.Div. degree.
(Find other seminaries with an M.A.)
The master’s of theological studies at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific is designed for people who want a thorough theological training, but who do not intend to pursue ordination. Lasting only two years, it is shorter than the M.Div. program. The M.T.S. program can be customized to meet an individual student’s interests.
CDSP’s Certificate in Anglican Studies
A Certificate in Anglican Studies provides a one-year capstone to local formation or M.Div. programs at other seminaries. For those not trained at an Episcopal seminary, this is a common way to learn about the Episcopal Church’s history, theology and liturgy.
(Find other seminaries with Anglican Studies).
CDSP’s Hybrid Certificate in Anglican Studies
The purpose of the Hybrid Certificate in Anglican Studies is the same of the traditional certificate offered by CDSP, to help people understand the Episcopal Church better. They hybrid certificate, however, consists of online course work and shorter on-campus classes taught in Berkeley, CA. The classes are all held during the summer months. Through this structure, people who cannot move to CDSP’s campus can still earn a certificate.
(Find other seminaries with a certificate).
Continuing Education with CDSP
For fifteen years, CDSP, through its Center for Anglican Learning and Leadership (CALL), has offered online and semi-residential options for continuing education, ongoing formation, and vocational discernment and CEU credit. Throughout the year, students from nearly every state and from other countries take online continuing education courses at CDSP, joining a worldwide community of faith and scholarship. CDSP also offers online courses for academic credit and residential courses during the Intersession term each January and every summer.
Church Divinity School of the Pacific’s Accreditation
The Church Divinity School of the Pacific is currently accredited by the Association of Theological Schools (ATS). The ATS is a well-respected accrediting institution for Christian seminaries and Bible colleges. Many of the top seminaries and best Christian graduate schools in the United States have ATS accreditation.
More Information About Church Divinity School of the Pacific
For more information about the Church Divinity School of the Pacific, people can visit the school’s official website.
Find More Schools
For more Christian schools similar to Church Divinity School of the Pacific, continue on to:
- Seminaries in California or the Southwest United States
- Seminaries that offer certificates, or M.A., M.Div. or D.Min degrees
- Episcopal seminaries
- Campus-based or online seminaries