inspiring Speakers

September 11, 2020

Berkeley and YDS students have an inspiring slate of speakers coming this fall: Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, Maori theologian Jenny Ta Paa-Daniel, and Bishop Steven Charleston.

While education and worship experiences are largely online this fall term, students will still enjoy the opportunity to hear from some truly inspiring, if virtual, visitors. In the case of Berkeley’s Cheney Lecturer, Dr. Jenny Ta Paa-Daniel, she will be with us without undertaking the arduous journey from New Zealand. And equally fortunate are all Berkeley graduates who will be able to enjoy these visitors as well via social media.

Yale Divinity School’s Fall Convocation speaker will The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry.  A 1978 graduate of YDS, Curry received the Diploma in Anglican Studies from Berkeley Divinity School, from which he received an honorary doctorate in 2001. Curry has been the Presiding Bishop and Primate of The Episcopal Church since 2015.  His Convocation address, “Holding on to Hope in Troubling Times,” will be October 15 at 5:30 p.m. To register for this virtual event go to

The Cheney Lecture, given bi-annually as part of Berkeley Divinity School’s Convocation, will be presented this year by Dr. Jenny Te Paa-Daniel. A renowned public theologian and the first Maori to earn a Ph.D. in Theology, Jenny Te Paa-Daniel served as principal of St. John’s Theological College in Auckland, New Zealand and chaired the International Peace and Justice Network of the Anglican Communion. The Cheney Lecture will be held on Tuesday, October 20 at the conclusion of the Berkeley Convocation Evensong and conferral of honorary degrees, which begins at 4:00 p.m. To register for this virtual event go to

Bishop-in-residence. This academic year, Berkeley and the Annand Program for Spiritual Formation have invited two retired bishops of The Episcopal Church to serve as bishops-in-residence. This fall semester’s bishop-in-residence is the Rt. Rev. Steven Charleston. Formerly bishop of Alaska (1991-1996) and dean of Episcopal Divinity School (1999-2008), Charleston is also an elder of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. In addition to working with students through both the fall colloquia and the Annand Program, Charleston will be a regular preacher at Berkeley’s morning prayer (8:00 a.m. this term) and Wednesday evening Eucharist (6:00 p.m.). All Berkeley graduates are welcome to join in any BDS worship services via Zoom. Berkeley’s Spring bishop-in-residence will be the Rt. Rev. Kirk Smith, formerly bishop of Arizona.