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A Foundation for the Future

     In 2010, Disciples Seminary Foundation celebrated its 50th anniversary. It was a glorious time and a crowning achievement for DSF’s first half-century. In our first fifty years, we educated more than 700 theological students through our partner schools and reached thousands in California and all over the western United States through other educational programs.

     This year, Disciples Seminary Foundation is at work to build a foundation for our future. We’ve been adding staff and programs, establishing new partnerships and revitalizing our enduring relationships, and building the groundwork for the years and decades ahead of us. We’re excited to tell you about some of these new foundations in this newsletter.

     This summer, Dr. Mark David Parsons became Dean of Disciples Seminary Foundation in Claremont. As dean, Mark oversees DSF’s educational endeavors in cooperation with Claremont School of Theology, our longest partnership. Mark has served DSF in a number of roles for thirteen years, and is himself a DSF alumnus, with a Ph.D. from the Graduate Theological Union. For the past six years, Mark has been teaching for DSF at Claremont School of Theology, in the fields of religion and music as well as worship. CST has recognized Mark’s educational leadership in many ways, most recently by asking him to serve as vice-dean for CST’s academic programs on an interim basis. He continues to teach and to work tirelessly in mentoring our DSF Claremont students.

      In July, David Coatsworth joined DSF as Director of Development. Previously, Dave had served for five years as Executive for Financial Development for the United Church of Christ’s Wider Church Ministries in Cleveland, Ohio. From 2003-2009, he served on DSF’s board, including service as chair of the board’s development committee. He holds an MBA from the University of Utah. His roots are in Arizona, where he has strong knowledge of local churches in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), with an excellent record of volunteer leadership for more than a quarter century, focused on issues of stewardship and development. Dave began his time on DSF staff at the General Assembly of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Nashville, Tennessee, this summer.

     I hope you’ll join me in welcoming them to their new roles. In the rest of this newsletter, you can read about our new programs (including our top-notch certificate program in San Diego and a new partner school in Seattle) as well as the launch of Claremont Lincoln University and a great new online lay education program from Pacific School of Religion. Each of these is good news right now – and each is a foundation for the education that our regions need in the future.

 In Christ’s service,

 The Rev. Dr. Jon L. Berquist

P.S. If you want to keep up-to-date on DSF news, please visit our website (www.dsf.edu) regularly. We have more photos there, too. You can also read our news by subscribing to our email updates or visiting us on Facebook!

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