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Monday, March 30, 2009

Ragsdale appointed 6th President and Dean of Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge

March 30, 2009

Dear Friends in Christ,

It is with great pleasure that I announce the appointment of The Rev. Dr. Katherine Hancock Ragsdale ‘97, as Episcopal Divinity School’s sixth president and dean. An EDS graduate whose life work and ministry exemplify EDS’ mission, Katherine’s gifts, skills, and experience closely match the criteria established by the Search Committee, both in terms of the current challenges and opportunities at EDS and the personal attributes we are looking for in a new leader.

The Search Committee and the Trustees see in Katherine the right combination of a person of immense faith, demonstrated organizational and team leadership ability, a passion for academic excellence and quality theological education, formidable development skills, and the ability to be a strong, articulate, and inspiring voice for the mission of EDS, both within the Episcopal Church and beyond. From among the many gifted candidates interviewed, Katherine Ragsdale overwhelmingly stood out as the one best equipped and called to lead EDS into this next exciting and promising chapter of our life and mission. The Trustees commend the Search Committee for their work in bringing this candidate forward.

Katherine currently serves as president and executive director of Political Research Associates and vicar of St. David’s Episcopal Church, in Pepperell, Massachusetts. Political Research Associates is a progressive think tank devoted to supporting movements that are building a more just and inclusive democratic society. She facilitated PRA’s successful transition from a founder led organization to one that has grown and thrived following the founder’s retirement in 2004. During her tenure, PRA has both broadened its donor base and worked with foundations to launch several new programs.

With her service as part time vicar of a small parish, Katherine exemplifies the bi-vocational model of leadership that, for many, is the future of the church. Today, approximately 19% of Episcopal parishes are served by part time clergy and there is every indication this number will grow. Her experience will guide us as we continue to evaluate and shape our curriculum and our approach to formation and worship so that we can continue to train and form transformational leaders for the growth of progressive parishes across the country.

Please join me in welcoming Katherine to EDS. She begins work July 1 and hopes to meet many of you at our seminary dinner on July 11 in Anaheim.


Brett Donham, Chair
Board of Trustees

Sent by:

Nancy Davidge
Director of Communications and Marketing
Episcopal Divinity School
99 Brattle Street
Cambridge, Massachusetts, 02138

617.682.1502 (office)

617.901.4200 (cell)


Lapinbizarre said...

Much nicer picture than MP's. Thank you.

Paul said...

In your advisory about comments, you will not tolerate intolerance or prejudice. That is a good thing.

I would submit to you that Katherine Ragsdale is herself very intolerant of anyone who contradicts the pro-choice doctrine.

Today, at her blog, I read her 2007 speech "Our Work is Not Done."

In it, she states that no one who believes that life begins at conception should work in medicine or pharmacies -- or ever serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.

How could she ever honestly participate in inter-faith or ecumenical dialogues -- when, in her world, many faithful Catholics, Orthodox believers, Buddhists and others are not even welcome at the table?

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Thanks for stopping by, Paul and for having the courage to state your opinions so clearly. I hope you don't mind if I returned the sentiment.

Katherine is also allowed to have her strong opinions as you are allowed to have your own.

Note, please, that she is voicing her opinion about who she thinks ought to fill public positions of service and trust. She is NOT talking religion, sir. She is talking public policy.

Everyone - EVERYONE - those who believe abortion is wrong and those who believe abortion is right - would be welcome at the Table where Katherine presides.

That's not so at the RC Table where, even if I were an ardent opponent of abortion, I would neither be welcomed nor fed.

Fred Preuss said...

And the Orthodox table, either, where the Russians are panicking over their low birth rate.
Still, this woman sounds as if she's going to have a hard time maintaining any real contacts outside the world of overeducated white upper middle class people. Not much diversity here.