I write to tell you that I have informed EDS's board of trustees of my intent not to request a renewal of my contract when it expires at the end of June 2015. Further, I have asked them, if possible, to expedite the process of naming a successor so that I may explore new opportunities. Of course I will do everything I can to insure a smooth transition.
I am very proud of our accomplishments over the last 5 years: major renovations to our physical plant and technology systems; increased giving from alumni and friends as well as new foundation grants; improvements in our distributive learning program to improve the experience for both faculty and students; transformative work within the Boston Theological Institute; the creation of the Mission Institute; and the preliminary stages of a capital campaign; and new partnerships with Bloy House and Chung Chi College in Hong Kong as well as preliminary conversations regarding cross registration for on-line and on-site courses, course sharing, and resource sharing possibilities among Episcopal seminaries, progressive theological schools, and diocesan schools, as well as small colleges and major universities (to insure a future for EDS, and theological education, that is both sustainable and relevant).
None of this would have been possible without an extraordinary staff and I wish to express my gratitude for their good work. And, of course, all of this work is important only in that it supports the teaching and learning for which EDS exists. In addition to designing and teaching what often prove to be life-changing courses, our faculty have helped put together several powerful conferences and lecture series. The School has been blessed by the extraordinary talent we have been able to draw from around the world for these events as well as by the alums who have gone from EDS into transformative ministries in the church and the world.
EDS has a long and distinguished history. I have every reason to believe that it will continue on what has become its traditional, and signature, path and I look forward to seeing what comes next for it.
Thank you all for your support for the School and for me, personally, over the last five and a half years. You will remain in my prayers.
The Very Rev. Katherine Hancock Ragsdale
President and Dean
Episcopal Divinity School
99 Brattle St.
Cambridge, MA 02138