In a surprise move, the Board of Trustees for one of the 10 schools educating Episcopal Church seminarians has voted to cease granting degrees at the conclusion of the 2016-2017 school year. It is unclear how Episcopal Divinity School of Cambridge, Massachusetts might continue on, with the board stating that it “will explore options for EDS’s future” in the coming year.
“A school that has taken on racism, sexism, heterosexism, and multiple interlocking oppressions is now called to rethink its delivery of theological education in a new and changing world,” declared former Washington National Cathedral Dean and EDS Board Chairman Gary Hall in an official announcement. “Ending unsustainable spending is a matter of social justice.”
Hall has significant history with multiple theologically progressive, financially struggling institutions: he also presided over the final years of Seabury-Western Theological Seminary of Evanston, Illinois before it merged with Bexley Hall Seminary of Ohio to form Bexley-Seabury. In 2015, Hall announced that he was stepping down as head of the National Cathedral early, in order for another official to be named that could complete a 10-year fundraising campaign to stabilize the financially struggling church.
The Episcopalian Church in the US has been imploding for decades. Most visible has been their steady membership decline. This article shows that there is a financial implosion in progress as well (understandably - declining membership will result,sooner or later, in declining donations).
Maybe former Presiding Bishop Janet Schori should have spent those millions of $$ expended to take away properties from seceding congregations somewhere more worthwhile. If the Episcopalian Church in the US survives in some form I don’t think Janet Schori will be remembered as one of the church’s better leaders.