supporting emerging theological leaders for diverse Christian communities



Upcoming Events

April 22 - Wally Burman preaches at CST Chapel, Claremont

April 24 - 10a.m. - noon, Bruce Epperly's Seminar on the topic of "Clergy Care", DSF Claremont

April 25-27 - Central Rocky Mountain Region's Spring Feast,Loveland, Colorado


Find us on Facebook


News & Events

Dr. Frank Burch Brown to serve as DSF Dean

in Northern California

Disciples Seminary Foundation is proud to announce that Dr. Frank Burch Brown will be our new Dean in Northern California, beginning August 1, 2014. In this role, he will serve as advisor to all DSF students in Northern California, work in the DSF office at Pacific School of Dr. Frank Burch BrownReligion, represent DSF at the Graduate Theological Union, and actively participate in DSF events. Dean Brown will also serve as the CARE/GTU Visiting Professor of Art and Religion for the Center for Arts, Religion and Education.
President Jon L. Berquist is pleased at the addition of Dean Brown to the DSF staff. He comments, "Frank Burch Brown is a highly respected professor, known widely as one of the most significant scholars in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and beyond. His students know him as a fabulous teacher and as a very strong, compassionate mentor. This combination is exactly what our students need, and Frank will lead them to be better thinkers, listeners, and leaders for our church and our world."

Dean Brown has been Kershner Prof. of Religion and the Arts at Christian Theological Seminary and was for three recent springs the A. Campbell Visiting Prof. of Religion and the Arts at the Univ. of Chicago Divinity School. In 2003 Burch Brown was the inaugural Henry Luce Visiting Professor in Theology and Art at St. John's School of Theology–Seminary in Collegeville, MN. Author of five books, including the award-winning Good Taste, Bad Taste, and Christian Taste (Oxford Univ. Press, 2000), he is editor of the Oxford Handbook of Religion and the Arts (Oxford UP, 2015), is Senior Editor in Religion and the Arts for the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Religion, and is composer of over 20 commissioned musical works. He was Interim Dean for CTS in 2009 and has been active on boards of several organizations in religion and the arts, including the Society for Arts in Religious and Theological Studies, and Theology Through the Arts (directed by Jeremy Begbie) at the University of Cambridge. He gave the Walter Hussey Lecture in Christianity and the Arts at Oxford University in 1993.


Rev. Belva Brown Jordan to serve as DSF Interim Dean

Disciples Seminary Foundation is proud to announce that Rev. Belva Brown Jordan, Associate Dean for Curriculum & Assessment and Associate Professor of the Practice of Ministry at Claremont School of Rev. Belva Brown JordanTheology, will be our Interim Dean in Claremont beginning July 1, 2014. In this role, she will serve as advisor to all DSF students in Southern California, work in the DSF office, represent DSF at CST, and continue her already active participation at DSF events. Dean Jordan will maintain her role at CST during her DSF service in 2014-2015.

Dean Jordan’s experience with higher education and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) spans twenty-eight years. After earning degrees at Texas Christian University and Brite Divinity School, she began her ministerial career as Director of Racial/Ethnic Ministries within the Division of Homeland Ministry in Indianapolis. Before making the transition to theological education, Dean Jordan also served as the denomination’s Director of Youth Ministry. Her first faculty appointment was with Lancaster Theological Seminary, with primary assignments in Field Education and The Practice of Ministry. After serving eight years at Lancaster (earning tenure and serving as Dean of the Faculty), Dean Jordan moved to Cambridge, MA to work as Assistant Dean for Student Life at Harvard Divinity School. When the opportunity to serve in a Disciples-affiliated seminary presented itself, Dean Jordan moved to Tulsa to become the Associate Dean for Admissions and Student Services at Phillips Theological Seminary. Dean Jordan moved to Claremont in the summer of 2013 to begin her work at Claremont School of Theology, which also involved service to Claremont Lincoln University during 2013-2014. Already in this first year in California, Belva has become a good friend and a great support for DSF, our students, and the regional church.

DSF Dean Emeritus Mark Parsons commends the hire: "I am delighted that Belva will join the DSF staff. She is deeply committed to ministry among and with the Disciples of Christ and brings with that commitment valuable wisdom and a remarkable breadth of experience. As a dedicated teacher, effective administrator, and caring mentor, she is uniquely qualified to serve as DSF Interim Dean in Claremont."

President Jon Berquist is honored to call Dean Jordan a DSF colleague and remarks, "Belva is well-known throughout our denomination for her exemplary service, and has already become a trusted part of the CST community. She will be a great addition to DSF and will keep us moving forward in the year ahead."


NAPAD announces a new office at DSF in Claremont!

Rev. Jinsuk Chun and Rev. Dr. Jon BerquistIn addition to NAPAD’s offices in Indianapolis, NAPAD will open a “Mission Center” office on the west coast. This will allow NAPAD to best serve the many Pacific/Asian Disciples churches and communities that are densely populated in the westernmost states. In the spirit of cooperation and solidarity with NAPAD ministries, DSF will be providing this office space at their Claremont building.

As Rev. Chun has said, “I am…very thankful to [DSF] for their sincere cooperation with NAPAD ministries. The NAPAD office at DSF in Claremont will be surely effective for NAPAD seminarians’ education, our church planting program, and leadership training, as well as other ministerial activities.”

DSF President, Dr. Jon L. Berquist, echoes the sentiments: “[NAPAD’s move to Claremont] supports two very important DSF goals: preparing the next generation of leaders for all of our racial/ethnic communities, and making sure every one of our graduates understands the breadth and variety of the church. I'm very grateful to Jinsuk and to the NAPAD board for partnering with DSF in this way.”

NAPAD’s Claremont office will open at 300 W. Foothill Blvd. on May 1 of this year.


Rev. Jenny Crosswhite Graduates from Santa Paula "Police Clergy Academy"

Crosswhite said the academy “Was a really great experience...I didn’t really know an awful lot about police policy and procedures,how officers make decisions on use of force and what level of force, how K-9s are paired with handlers,” as well as death notifications andJenny Crosswhite at Police Clergy Academy homicide investigations, among other subjects.
“I found it helpful and fascinating,” to learn of issues and actions from the side of law enforcement.
Over the course of the nine-week academy, Rev. Crosswhite was among four church leaders who attended two- and three-hour-sessions taught by SPPD personnel including patrol procedures, death notifications and media relations, less lethal training, detectives, homicide/crime scene investigations, use of force, and the Special Response Team.


DSF Student Preaches at CST Chapel

Nora Jacob at CST ChapelNora Jacob preached at CST chapel, Dec 3, on "Kiting Emmanuel." The service featured an interpretive dance by Rev. Jenny Crosswhite (Pastor of First Christian Church of Santa Paula and DSF staff) and Rev. Michelle Harris-Gloyer (Transitional Associate Pastor at First Christian Church of Orange, and a DSF alumna from PSR). Current DSF students Caroline Hamilton-Arnold and Al Lopez also participated in the service. CST is now placing all chapel services on the web, and Nora Jacob's service can be viewed at the link below:


Disciples Women present drama at

World Council of Churches

By Rev. Sheila Spencer, director for Christian Education/Faith Formation and assistant to the president, Disciples Home Missions

Rev. Young Lan Kim has always believed that her plays were created not only for entertainment, but as opportunities for education and enlightenment. One of her productions, "Can You Hear Me Now?" premiered at the 2010 Quadrennial Assembly in Greensboro, N.C. From left: Young Lan Kim, Louis Sloan Gobin, Sheila Spencer, Minhyang Seo, Joohyun ParkThe play addressed the issue of human trafficking through the transparent stories of several women who have been victimized. The raw, powerful performance and audience reaction played a part in International Disciples Women's Ministries' leadership's decision to continue to keep human trafficking as their social action focus through 2014. Many shared that the play opened up their eyes to human trafficking.
Years later, the play continues to open up the eyes of audiences from all over the world to this injustice. Read More


DSF Student named Executive Director of PCU

Timothy Murphy, one of our DSF students, has just been named as the executive director of Progressive Christians Uniting. PCU is a southern California network of individuals and congregations applying Christian social justice to realities of contemporary society. Timothy completes his Ph.D. degree at Claremont Lincoln University in December, and will begin at PCU in January. Congratulations, Timothy!

Rev. Murphy holds ordination in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) with ministerial standing in the United Church of Christ. He Timothy Murphyearned his M-Div. at Eden Seminary in St. Louis and worked as a student pastor at an inner city church there. While in seminary he also worked as a student chaplain in an AIDS residential facility in St. Louis and later at a homeless shelter in Texas. Prior to beginning his Ph.D. program in Claremont, Rev. Murphy served for three years as Minister for Youth and Social Justice at the Pilgrim United Church of Christ in Carlsbad, where he represented that well-known activist congregation in the leadership of important San Diego County organizations that support low-wage workers and promote immigrant rights. While studying in Claremont, Rev. Murphy has worked part time with the Center for Process and Faith and with the Disciples Seminary Foundation, gaining important administrative and fundraising skills in both positions.

"My passion is guiding faith communities to more fully live out the mission of being witnesses to Christ's peace with justice," said Rev. Murphy in accepting the appointment to lead PCU. "I see the future of Christianity as modeling a spiritual social movement, and I see PCU's role as supporting congregations that seek to be part of that modeling."


DSF's September Newsletter Features Guest Authors

Walter Brueggmann at General AssemblyFollowing presentations given at July's General Assembly, Walter Brueggemann reflects on the indispensibility of the Bible and Marjorie Suchocki meditates Marjorie Suchocki at General Assemblyon community and divine omnipresence in DSF's September newsletter. Click the links above to access the full text of their articles.


Justin Floyd Joins Regional Ministry Team

The Pacific Southwest Region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) is excited to announce the addition of new staff to the Regional Ministry Team! DSF Student Justin Floyd will be overseeing Regional Young Adult Ministries beginning July 1.

Justin Floyd has been hired to create and support Young Adult ministries in the Pacific Southwest Region. Graduating from Claremont School of Theology in December, Justin will also continue to serve First Christian Church, North Hollywood as staff for youth. This new position is supported by a Arlington Legacy Vision Fund grant.

Please join us in welcoming and supporting Justin in his new ministry!

Starting July 1, Justin can be reached at

(excerpted from PSWR E-Shout)


DSF students receive the highest level of theological education through our partner institutions: Claremont School of Theology, Pacific School of Religion, and Seattle University School of Theology and Ministry.

Our students graduate with the skills for effective ministry and with spiritual resources for a lifetime of ministry. DSF also partners with the church to nurture and call future leaders.

All of this is made possible by generous donors, including Disciples Mission Fund, who share our vision of leadership for mission in an ever-changing future.

DSF Austin Initiative logo

New Positions for DSF Students and Graduates:

- Gale Tompkins-Bischel has accepted a call to Sierra Christian Church in Loomis, CA, and will begin full time pastoral ministry with them on Jan. 15.

-Lorraine Ceniceros will be installed at Community Congregational United Church of Christ, Los Angeles on Jan 5.

- DSF alumna Hope Attenhofer called to serve as pastor of First Christian Church of Conroe, TX.

-Caroline Hamilton-Arnold is the Transitional Minister of United Church of the Valley in Temecula/Murrietta, CA

- Timothy Murphy, DSF student, named as the executive director of Progressive Christians Uniting

-Sandy Berry is pastor of First Christian Church, Colusa, CA.

-Justin Floyd hired to create and support Young Adult ministries in the Pacific Southwest Region




Stay up to date!

Sign up for our E-News

Explore our News Archive