[Episcopal Diocese of Kansas] There has been a change in leadership at the Bishop Kemper School for Ministry, a collaborative education venture of the Episcopal Dioceses of Kansas, West Missouri, Nebraska and Western Kansas
The school’s dean since it was founded last summer, the Very Rev. Andrew Grosso of the Diocese of Kansas, left at the end of June to become the Director of Distance Learning at Nashotah House, an Episcopal seminary located about 30 miles west of Milwaukee, Wis.
The Rev. Don Compier, also of Kansas, accepted a call to become the new dean, beginning July 1.
The school offers classes to educate people from all four dioceses for leadership in lay and ordained vocations. It conducts classes and provides housing for students in Topeka.
The 2014-2015 classes are set to begin in August.
The new positions were announced earlier this summer by the school’s board of directors, which includes bishops and representatives of the four partnering dioceses.
BKSM board chair, Larry Bingham of the Diocese of Kansas, said that Compier “has extensive experience in theological education, including more than a decade in administration and nearly 25 years as a faculty member, most recently as Dean and Professor of Theology at Graceland University Seminary, an institution of the Community of Christ, in Independence, Mo.”
He previously served as a faculty member at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley, Calif., where one of his students was Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori. He also has made presentations to the House of Bishops.
Compier, who was ordained as a transitional deacon on June 7, earned his Ph.D. in Theological Studies from Emory University in Atlanta. He has served as a member of the Bishop Kemper School’s Board of Directors and has been a faculty member of the school this past year. He also taught at the Kansas School for Ministry, one of the predecessors of the Bishop Kemper School, since 2011. He is fluent in both Spanish and Dutch.
The position of dean previously had been part-time but now will be full-time, a move the board approved earlier this year in recognition of the growing needs of the school. Compier will work from his home in Independence, Mo.
Bishop Dean Wolfe of Kansas said of the change in leadership, “We have been richly blessed — first to have someone as capable as the Very Rev. Andrew Gross serving at the Bishop Kemper School, and then to have someone as wonderfully qualified as Dr. Don Compier serve as our next dean. I believe the Lord has been looking out for us.”
Bingham said that he and the other members of the board felt that such a smooth transition in a school that is only a year old, without a loss of competency, was inspired.
“The Holy Spirit obviously is at work here,” he said.
More information about the Bishop Kemper School for Ministry is on its website, www.bishopkemperschool.org.
–Melodie Woerman is director of communications for the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas.