Episcopal Divinity School Interim President and Dean Francis Fornaro’s Statement on the Retirement of Washington National Cathedral Dean Gary Hall

The Very Rev. Gary Hall and the Very Rev. Francis Fornaro

On August 18, 2015, EDS Board of Trustees Chair the Very Rev. Gary Hall ’76 announced his retirement as Dean of the Washington National Cathedral.

“In the months since I was named interim president and dean of Episcopal Divinity School, I have had the pleasure of working closely with EDS trustee and alumnus the Very Rev. Gary Hall—a pleasure that has only grown since he became chair of our board of trustees in June.

Dean Hall’s work at the Washington National Cathedral over the last several years has been nothing short of miraculous. Under his visionary and courageous leadership, Dean Hall has placed the National Cathedral on solid financial footing and cemented its role as a spiritual and civic center for Episcopalians and people of all faiths.

Dean Hall has brought the same tireless enthusiasm and visionary leadership to his role at Episcopal Divinity School. On behalf of the entire EDS community, I wish Dean Hall the best in his retirement, and I look forward to receiving his wise counsel and steadfast leadership as board chair in the future.”

The Very Rev. Francis Fornaro
Interim President and Dean
Episcopal Divinity School

About the Very Rev. Gary R. Hall

The Very Rev. Gary R. Hall assumed his duties as tenth dean of Washington National Cathedral on October 1, 2012. An ordained minister for more than thirty-five years, Hall is a past dean and president of Seabury–Western Theological Seminary in Evanston, IL. He currently serves as the National Cathedral’s chief ecclesiastical leader and executive officer, working closely with the bishop of Washington and governing bodies to shape and support ministries to the city of Washington, the nation, and the world.

Dean Hall was elected to the Episcopal Divinity School Board of Trustees in February 2015. He was elected chair in June of the same year. Hall was born in Los Angeles and holds an AB from UC Berkeley and a PhD from UCLA in addition to his MDiv from Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, MA. The congregations he has served include All Saints Pasadena, where he was senior clergy associate for education for eleven years. Prior to his work at Seabury–Western, where he served from 2005 to 2010, Hall was the rector of Church of the Redeemer in Bryn Mawr, PA for five years . He most recently was rector of Christ Church Cranbrook in Bloomfield Hills, MI.

About Episcopal Divinity School

Episcopal Divinity School (EDS) is a progressive seminary and theological graduate school for lay and ordained leaders of all denominations. Committed to a mission of social justice and inclusive education and grounded in the Anglican tradition, EDS awards Masters’ degrees in Divinity and Theological Studies, Doctoral degrees in Ministry, and Certificates in Anglican Formation; Justice, Reconciliation, and Mission; and Christian Spiritualities for the Contemporary World.

EDS offers unparalleled flexibility in its programs. Students may complete their course of study as Traditional Learning students, in residence at the school’s historic Cambridge campus, or as Distributive Learning students, taking blended online classes and completing four weeks of intensive campus residency per year.

EDS graduates serve as lay and ordained ministers of the Episcopal Church as well as in other Christian denominations. They are also leaders in a variety of professions and industries, including non-profit executives, mental health professionals, social workers, community organizers, academics, artists, and writers, often in addition to their work as clergy or church leaders.

EDS is a member of the Boston Theological Institute, a consortium of ten eminent theological schools, seminaries, and departments of religion in the Boston area.

A seminary for the Episcopal Church, Episcopal Divinity School is grounded in the Anglican tradition and committed to growing in relationship with other Christian and faith traditions. Episcopal Divinity School is an academic community of biblical, historical, and theological inquiry that respects students as responsible learners with valuable experience, supports spiritual and ministerial formation, and provides tools for the life-long work of social and personal transformation.


Image: The Very Rev. Gary Hall and the Very Rev. Francis Fornaro at the EDS booth during the 78th General Convention in Salt Lake City Utah, June 2015.