Disciples Seminary Foundation History
1959: Organizers of "a Disciples Seminary Foundation" in Southern California recommended an affiliation with The School of Theology at Claremont to the state convention meeting in July.
1960: DSF's first Board of Directors begins raising money and searching for an Executive Director. DSF is incorporated October 20, 1960.
1962: Donald Reisinger is called as Executive Director, Mildred Whitworth is hired as a part-time secretary, and an office is established in the academic building of The School of Theology. Arizona Disciples join in support of DSF.
1963-64: Mr. Reisinger leads the Board in making DSF known and in raising funds to construct a building on The School of Theology campus. Several hundred persons invest with the Board of Church Extension (at 4% interest) to help DSF secure a building loan at 5% (building cost: $550,000).
1965: Dedication day is October 24, 1965, with nearly 750 persons participating in a service and walking through the 30 apartments, lounge, dining room, library and office complex.
1966: William Pearcy is hired to help DSF develop financial strength and stability. The 20/20 Vision program is born, asking donors to give $20 twice a year for three years, and many responded.
1970: Major goals of DSF stated include 1) contributing to the STC campus community; 2) serving seminarians and graduate students; and 3) interpreting theological education to the church. 1973ff: Ronald E. Osborn is brought to the STC faculty by DSF. Mary Anne Parrott is added to the staff. The scholar-in-residence program continues, an annual lectureship is established.
1977: The other five western regions of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) vote a comity agreement with DSF, a mutual support commitment. IMPACT, DSF's journal is launched.
1979: The staff is enlarged once again as Rod Parrott joins in the capacity of Assistant Dean. Series of listening conferences give direction to his work in continuing education, and the guiding concept of Oikodomē ("upbuilding") for research and publication is born. DSF's endowment reaches its first goal of $1,000,000. Mildred Whitworth retires.
1980: DSF celebrates its 20th anniversary on October 20 at which time the mortgage is burned. 1982ff: Ronald Osborn retires. DSF hosts the Reed Lectures of the Disciples of Christ Historical Society.
1985: DSF celebrates its 25th anniversary with a series of dinner celebrations. The Adopt-a-Seminarian program begins as a partnership between DSF and the Christian Women's Fellowship of the Pacific Southwest Region. Lester McAllister begins teaching Disciples history and polity for Claremont students; he leads DSF's first heritage tour after the General Assembly in Louisville, Kentucky. Seminarians produce video taped historical vignettes of six Disciples founding fathers. DSF hosts a Campbell Bicentennial Lectureship.
1988: DSF initiates a program for seminarians in Berkeley with Pacific School of Religion, similar to the one in Claremont and lecturer Ronald Osborn heads a celebration. A systematic program of continuing education is begun. STC purchases DSF's building.
1990: Joe Driskill (right) is named Assistant to the President in DSF's Berkeley office. The Ministry of Elders in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) is published. Oikodomē research is focused on multicultural issues.
1991: DSF co-sponsors a Southern California celebration of the Consultation on Church Union and sponsors a consultation on licensed ministry.
1993-94: When Central Christian Church in San Diego closes, it contributes its building to DSF for a "Disciples center for education, ecumenism and ministry." DSF prepares to move from the STC campus to a leased facility two blocks away. Violet Spencer, the first student in DSF's licensed ministry program, tailored individually, completes studies.
1995: DSF's first "alternative" tour to Israel and Palestine is led by Rod Parrott. DSF launches a 35th anniversary scholarship endowment fund which exceeds its goal of $1,225,000 in gifts and pledges.
1997-99: DSF's new facility at 300 W. Foothill Blvd., Claremont, is constructed and dedicated in September 1999. The first class of Korean Americans in a special cooperative M.A.T.S. program with San Francisco Theological Studies/Southern California graduates. Mark Parsons (right) joins the staff as Director of Special Studies in 1998 and leads the newly established Institute for Continuing Ministry Studies on behalf of the seminaries in Claremont. Mary Anne Parrott is named Senior Vice President.
2000: DSF turns 40 and celebrates; Donald Reisinger retires and friends and colleagues gather to honor him and his wife, Marjorie – all on October 20. Mary Anne Parrott (right) assumes presidency July 1. DSF receives a grant to send seminarians as church camp youth counselors. The largest gifts in DSF's history are provided by Allan and Marie Brady of Tucson in trusts and gift annuities, totaling nearly $2.5 million.
2001: Huberto Pimentel is named Vice President; he assumes leadership of the new Certificate of Ministry Studies for Pacific School of Religion's Southern California program. DSF teams up with Arizona Disciples, also, for a similar Certificate program.
2002: A new bilingual Master of Divinity program is inaugurated in cooperation with Brite Divinity School and San Francisco Theological Seminary. Experiments in Internet education begin with a Disciples history and polity course in Oregon. DSF's annual Berkeley lecture is phased out in favor of a region-by-region lectureship in conjunction with assemblies.
2003: The largest Disciples class graduates, 21 with degrees and certificates.
2005: Dean Rod Parrott retires. A three-year Certificate of Ministry Studies program ends in Arizona, and a new Hispanic (Spanish language) CMS program begins in Southern California. DSF Board of Trustees adopts a new strategic plan. The educational focus of Disciples Center moves to a congregationally-based grants program.
2006: Tamara Nichols Rodenberg is named Dean, and John Rodenberg is named Director of Development. Both begin on March 1. Vice President Huberto Pimentel resigns effective March 31 to assume the position of National Hispanic Pastor for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).
2007: A new mission statement, tagline, and updated, colorful logo are chosen.
2008: A new strategic plan is adopted; the President’s retirement on June 30, 2009, is announced; DSF purchases University Christian Church, Berkeley, in partnership with Pacific School of Religion; Mark Parsons is named to a faculty position at Claremont School of Theology; the Disciples Center office in San Diego is closed, and DSF oversees its property and program in new ways.
2009: President Mary Anne Parrott retires; Tamara Nichols Rodenberg is named Interim President. The DSF Scholarship Campaign: Equipping Leaders for Ministry goes public.
2010: DSF celebrates its 50th Anniversary with events in Northern and Southern California and with the publication of a 64 page edition of the DSF Report. Reaching its goal of $1,125,000, the success of the DSF Scholarship Campaign is announced. Young Sook Kim is named Director of Certificate of Ministry Studies. Interim activities include standardizing financial practices and office procedures.
2011: Jon Berquist assumes presidency February 1. Mark David Parsons becomes Dean of DSF Claremont and David Coatsworth is named Director of Development, and Xosé Escamilla becomes Director of Certificate of Ministry Studies. DSF affiliates with Seattle University School of Theology & Ministry. Initial gift is received from Lucille Ash establishing the Spencer Austin Fund for the education of church leaders.
2012: Mary Donovan Turner becomes Dean of Disciples Seminary Foundation in Northern California. JoAnn Bynum joins DSF as Director of Student Life, Claremont.
2014: Mark David Parsons goes on medical leave. Frank Burch Brown becomes Dean of Disciples Seminary Foundation in Northern California. Belva Brown Jordan serves as interim Dean of Disciples Seminary Foundation, Claremont. Clarence Johnson becomes Director at Disciples Seminary Foundation, Northern California. DSF names San Francisco Theological Seminary as fourth partner school. Claremont School of Theology begins online/hybrid masters' degrees. José Morales Jr. becomes Director of Pastoral Formation at Disciples Seminary Foundation, Claremont.
2015: Mark David Parsons passed away. Frank Burch Brown retired as Dean of Disciples Seminary Foundation in Northern California. Belva Brown Jordan begins service as Dean of Disciples Seminary Foundation, Claremont. Clarence Johnson becomes Director of Pastoral Formation at Disciples Seminary Foundation, Northern California. Laura Jean Torgerson becomes Director of Education and Mission at Disciples Seminary Foundation, Northern California.
2016: Jinsuk Chun becomes Director of Mission and Peace Education at Disciples Seminary Foundation, Claremont. Bentley Stewart becomes Director of Student Life at Disciples Seminary Foundation, Northern California.
2020: Rev. Belva Brown Jordan becomes Interim President of DSF on January 1.