Diocese Bolsters Ties to Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

Diocese of Pittsburgh
Posted May 24, 2021

Pittsburgh Bishop Dorsey McConnell has appointed the Reverend Canon Dr. Cathy Brall of his diocese to be the coordinator of the Episcopal/Anglican House of Study at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, effective June 1, 2021.

Additionally, the diocese has announced that the Maplewood Foundation has awarded $120,000 over three years to support the growth of that same program.

These two developments bolster a partnership that was cemented with the 2019 introduction of a formal program of Episcopal/Anglican studies at the seminary that provides Episcopal candidates for ordained ministry an academic and spiritual formation in a local, ecumenical setting.

The House of Study is one of several at Pittsburgh Seminary open to students in the Master of Divinity and Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies programs who are being trained for their denominational settings. These houses are an outgrowth of the recent curriculum redesign and were established to provide learning environments where students can deepen their capacity to reflect theologically upon their denominational traditions and further develop their sense of vocation.

The Episcopal/Anglican Concentration and House of Study provide more specific preparation for individuals who desire deeper knowledge in specific fields such as Episcopal church history, doctrine, liturgy, and practical theology.

Among her duties, Dr. Brall will provide students pastoral support and guidance, coordinate Episcopal worship as part of the PTS Chapel program, and convene seminars and other conversations concerning the Anglican tradition.

“I am very excited for the opportunity to mentor students and to see this program grow because of the great potential Pittsburgh Seminary provides,” said Dr. Brall.

As a member of the bishop’s staff, the coordinator’s position serves as a liaison between formation programs within the diocese and beyond. Several nearby Episcopal dioceses have sent students to PTS and other dioceses have expressed an openness to doing so.

“The Episcopal/Anglican Concentration and House of Study provides an excellent environment for Episcopalians in this region and across the country to prepare for ministry at PTS,” said the Rev. Charles L. Fischer III, Vice-President for Seminary Advancement and himself an Episcopal priest of the Pittsburgh diocese.

Dr. Brall’s new position marks the latest chapter in her service to Pittsburgh Seminary and its students.  She previously was Director of Field Education, an adjunct faculty member, and sat on the Board of Directors.  She was ordained a priest in 1995 and holds a Doctor of Ministry from Fuller Theological Seminary.  For many years she served as Provost of Trinity Cathedral.  Since 2015, she has been priest-in-charge of St. Thomas Church in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, and will continue in that capacity on a part-time basis.