Council of Deans and the Retirement of the Rev. Dr. Mark Richardson

Date: January 11, 2022

It isn’t the same. Normally, the deans and the academic deans of all the Episcopal seminaries gather at one of our seminaries and share a program together at this time of year. But yesterday, it all took place on Zoom. Still the conversations were rich and thoughtful. We had the privilege of the presence of the President of the House of Deputies, the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings. Topics from COVID to equity of access to education were discussed.

The highlight for me is the sharing among the deans. The problems and challenges are shared; the joys and hopes are also shared. And we always have a moment of personal reflection from each dean. This was the last meeting for the Rev. Dr. Mark Richardson, the dean and president of Church Divinity School of the Pacific. So his sharing was especially moving. He is retiring at the end of June 2022. He has served for eleven years and has done so with distinction.

His leadership has been imaginative and effective. During his tenure, he signed the visionary agreement with Trinity Wall Street that secured the future of the seminary and ensured that we have a strong seminary on the west coast. He started the online and low-residence programs; he has led the way on making “community organizing” central to the curriculum and has been a leading participant in the conversations around race. He is leaving the institution he runs stronger (the goal of any leader) and has done so with a deep commitment to collegiality and partnership. We will miss you Mark. You have truly been a gift to theological education.

The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D.
Dean and President

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