Episcopal seminary deans respond to racial incidents at Sewanee

Posted Mar 18, 2021

[Episcopal News Service] The deans of eight Episcopal seminaries released the following statement on March 18, speaking out against recent racial incidents at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee.

As Deans of the Episcopal Seminaries responsible for the formation of the leadership of The Episcopal Church, we stand with those persons who have been harmed by the recent events perpetrated by some of the undergraduate students at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee.

We support all those at the University of South, including the School of Theology, who are committed to do the hard work of racial justice and creating a safe and just place for all. We commit ourselves to doing the work in our institutions so that truly The Episcopal Church might be a welcoming place for all persons, committed to racial justice and thus pointing the way toward a world where the sacred humanity of all persons is respected.

Racial justice is a fundamental Christian obligation. Vandalism and racial slurs are indicative of the continuing crisis of racism at Episcopal institutions. Such behaviors illustrate the depth of racism and a culture which fosters it. Our institutions are responsible for preparing students who will lead the way toward a more just future for all. Therefore, as faith leaders and educators, we are obligated to challenge white supremacy, name the racism, and commit afresh to change.

The Very Reverend Kelly Brown Douglas, Ph.D.
Episcopal Divinity School at Union

The Very Rev. Kurt H. Dunkle
Dean and President
General Theological Seminary

The Rev. Micah T.J. Jackson, PhD
Bexley Seabury Seminary

The Very Rev. Cynthia Briggs Kittredge
Dean and President
Seminary of the Southwest

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

The Very Rev. Andrew B. McGowan
Dean and President,
Berkeley Divinity School at Yale.

The Very Rev. W. Mark Richardson, Ph.D.,
President and Dean
Church Divinity School of the Pacific

The Very Rev. James F. Turrell
The School of Theology
The University of the South