"When Will We Ever Learn?" by CRCDS President Dr. Marvin A. McMickle

In a recent "Unite Rochester" blog post regarding the recent attack on Syria by the United States, CRCDS President Dr. Marvin A. McMickle wrote:

"I am a devoted follower of the teachings of Martin Luther King, Jr. At the heart of those teachings is his view that racism, poverty, and militarism are the greatest obstacles to a democratic society. I was reminded of this "tri-partite" system of evil in light of the recent bombings of a Syrian airbase ordered by President Trump. The President said he was moved by the death of persons as a result of the use of chemical weapons. Granted, the death of nearly 100 persons by chemical weapons was horrific. However, it was the same Donald Trump who, as a civilian critic of President Obama repeatedly said that the US should never intervene in Syria even though over 400,000 Syrian civilians had already been killed by their own government through the use of conventional weapons. Is it the policy of the United States that the death of 400,000 Syrians by conventional attack is acceptable, while the death of 100 Syrians by chemical attack is unacceptable? What makes the attack ordered by Trump even harder to understand is that it did not hamper the war making capacity of the Syrian government. Our attacks have not in any way deterred them from using that very same air field for waging war against their own  people. No runways were destroyed. No war planes were destroyed. In fact, just two days later, the Syrian government used that same airfield to launch a conventional bombing attack against the same town they had attacked with chemical weapons last week.  While the news media spent the last 72 hours focusing our attention on the launching of 59 tomahawk missiles at a cost of $59 million, they have now come to realize that the Trump-ordered attack has changed nothing in Syria. Indeed, it may have made matters worse. One attack will not drive Basheer Al Hasad out of power in Syria, but it may provoke some unanticipated counter- attacks by Syria, Iran, Russia, and Hezbollah. Now comes the inevitable question: If Trump cares so much about the victims of chemical attacks in Syria, will he change his travel ban and allow into the US those Syrian refugees who survived that chemical attack and who are now trying to flee from that terrible war zone? Dr. King was right when he warned that war alone does not solve our problems. It just creates new problems that demand our response, consume our money, and endanger the lives of our military personnel. The world has become a much more dangerous place since the attack ordered by Donald Trump. Does he have a strategy for peace, or just "an itchy trigger finger?"

CRCDS President Dr. Marvin A. McMickle: "Not the Republican Party I Once Knew"

CRCDS President Dr. Marvin A. McMickle recently submitted this opinion piece to the Rochester, New York Democrat and Chronicle:

All of my life I have known the values for which the Republican Party has stood. When I was growing up in Illinois my US Senators included Republicans like Everett Dirksen and Charles Percy. When I lived in New York City in the 1970s the mayor was John Lindsay, the Governor was Nelson Rockefeller, and one of the US Senators was Jacob Javits; all Republicans. When I was in New Jersey I was honored to offer the invocation at the inaugural of the new Republican Governor Thomas Kean. When I lived in Ohio I worked closely with George Voinovich, a Republican who served as Mayor of Cleveland, Governor of Ohio, and then as one of our US Senators.

As a lifelong Democrat myself, there were always areas of public policy with which I often disagreed with those Republican leaders; especially involving financing for services to the poor and marginalized. However, I never doubted their integrity, their intelligence, or their patriotism. I no longer see or hear from the Republican Party I once knew.

This change in the party cannot be blamed on Barry Goldwater in 1964 or the emergence of Ronald Reagan in 1976. I doubt that either of them could win a national election today if they ran as Republicans. This new Republican Party is xenophobic, anti-immigrant, unashamedly pro-Wall Street, and seems determined to use voter suppression and conspiracy theories to promote their political agenda.

No major Republican political leader has confronted Donald Trump on his attacks on traditional allies like Great Britain, Australia and Germany. They have been strangely silent about his repeated lies about the size of his electoral college win, or the size of his inaugural crowd, or the millions of illegal voters in the 2016 election, or his claim that thousands of people from Massachusetts voted illegally in New Hampshire, or his promise to prove that he was innocent of eleven sexual assault charges, or his recent outrage that the British Secret Service was somehow involved in wire-tapping Trump Tower at the direction of President Obama.

Instead, you hear Congressman Steve King of Iowa spewing venomous notions about “other people’s babies,” and Steve Bannon and Steve Miller directing Trump into an increasingly white nationalist agenda that is being regularly applauded by David Duke of the KKK. You hear Chris Collins of nearby Erie County supporting or defending every word that comes from the mouth of Donald Trump.

This is not the once proud GOP – the party of Abraham Lincoln. This is not the party of Dwight Eisenhower who warned against the military industrial complex. This is not the party of George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush who appointed Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice to be US Secretary of State.

We need a strong two-party system in our country, but we do not have one. The Democratic Party is devoid of new ideas and younger leadership. The Republican Party, either by consent or by silence, has lost its soul. In their song “Mrs. Robinson”, Simon and Garfunkel ask the question, “Where have you gone Joe DiMaggio?…Jolting Joe has left and gone away.”

The same seems to be true of what I remember about the Republican Party.

To read or share the piece online, click here:


CRCDS Stands in Support of our Jewish Brothers and Sisters

Members of Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, including faculty, students and alumni/ae attended a "Rally Against Anti-Semitism" yesterday in Brighton, NY, joining almost 150 people to decry hate crimes taking place locally and across the nation against the Jewish community. Coverage from this event is included here: http://www.twcnews.com/nys/rochester/top-stories/2017/03/12/brighton-jcc-closed-due-to-bomb-threat.html

CRCDS President Dr. Marvin A. McMickle is attending a press conference this afternoon condemning racism, prejudice and intolerance and standing in support with members of the Interfaith community of the Greater Rochester area.

Dr. McMickle published a blog post today in the Rochester, NY Democrat and Chronicle entitled, ""No Time for Silence" calling all of us to action. Read his message here:




Special Announcement from CRCDS

Dear Friends,

Last May, the CRCDS Board of Trustees voted unanimously to enter into an agreement to sell the current CRCDS campus on South Goodman Street in Rochester, NY.  This decision was the culmination of two decades of conversations and discussions about the suitability of the current campus to meet the ongoing and future needs of the CRCDS mission.  The Trustees and I concluded that the campus we have called home for almost 90 years no longer meets the needs of CRCDS and cannot be suitably adapted with the school’s limited financial resources.

Once this decision was made, the Trustees and I focused on two primary objectives:  1) identify a new home for CRCDS that will allow it to focus its resources on its mission; 2) find a buyer for the campus that will continue to steward it in a way that preserves its integrity and beauty for years to come.  I am delighted to report that through a partnership with the Rochester based firm Top Capital of New York, we were able to achieve both objectives…and will be able to do this without leaving the current campus location.

Top Capital of New York has agreed to construct a new academic space for CRCDS in the southwest corner of the current campus, along Highland Avenue.  This new facility will be customized to meet the needs of 21st century theological education, while remaining consistent with the overall appearance of the campus.  The partnership will allow CRCDS to lease the new purpose-built space while providing continued access to broader resources of the current campus buildings, including large gathering spaces and the historic and beloved Samuel Colgate Memorial Chapel.  This decision moves us significantly toward one of the primary objectives of our strategic plan – to create a sustainable and vibrant future for CRCDS.  We will now be able to focus more fully on our core mission of providing transformative theological educaton, without the burden of a large, aging physical plant.

I know many of you are concerned about the future of the campus and its buildings.  I will share with you that Top Capital intends to significantly invest in restoring the campus and adapting Strong Hall into a wedding, event and conference center that includes rooms for guests.  Of all the proposals we have seen and reviewed over two decades, the Trustees and I both are confident this agreement will provide the best opportunity to preserve both the beauty and integrity of the campus, including the grounds, while also significantly benefitting the future of CRCDS.  It also will allow the public to continue to enjoy the beauty of the campus in ways never experienced.  We are truly grateful for this partnership.

We will have more details to share with you in the upcoming Annual Report.  Until that time, I ask for your prayers as we continue on this significant phase of our journey.  We thank God for each and every one of you and for the opportunity to serve and to steward this wonderful school and its mission.

Thank you, again, for your support, concern and patience as we travel through this process.  I wish you all a blessed Lenten journey as we prepare to celebrate the Easter season.

Marvin A. McMickle


Dr. Sally Dodgson (CRDS '84) passes away








Beloved CRCDS friend, supporter, historian and alumna Dr. Sally L. Dodgson (CRDS ’84) passed away peacefully on March 6, 2017 after a long illness. She is survived by her husband of 64 years, Dr. Kenneth V. Dodgson (CRDS '48) and three daughters, Margaret (Kim), Kathryn and Carol, their spouses and five grandchildren. Sally served as the Director of Communications at CRDS from 1984-1996 and later held the position of Assistant to the President for Institutional Research.

Sally embodied a life of service. In 1957, Sally and Ken left the United States to live and work in Jorhat, Assam, India, where they spent the next 25 years. This experience shaped Sally’s life significantly and she and Ken would often share stories of their time there.  Upon returning to the United States, Sally enrolled at CRDS/Bexley Hall/Crozer Theological Seminary, receiving her Master of Divinity Degree in 1984. In 2005, she was awarded a Doctorate of Divinity degree from her and Ken's undergraduate alma mater, Franklin College. In 2008, together with Jean Bartlett, she was honored with the first Helen Barrett Montgomery Women of Vision award by CRCDS. Sally was honored by CRCDS in 2015 as a Distinguished Alumna.

Sally’s steadfast and active support of causes and institutions dear to her heart was exemplary. She was honored to serve as the President and as a Member of the Executive Committee of the American Baptist Churches of the Rochester Genesee Region, and was a member of the First Baptist Church’s Board of Trustees. Additionally, Sally’s outreach and social justice efforts included tutoring for Burmese refugees, working on voter registration for the Interfaith Alliance, participating in death penalty protests and assisting in building the first Habitat for Humanity home completely designed for and built by women.

All of us who knew Sally benefitted from her kindness, presence and genuine friendship.  She was a woman of great accomplishment and great humility who was deeply shaped by her Midwestern roots.  CRCDS relied heavily on Sally over the years in numerous ways, including her service as the school's unofficial historian.  Whether faced with a question about a carving in the chapel, the family members of a prior faculty member or the date the new pump house was built, Sally took each question in stride and almost always provided an immediate answer.  Sally's greatest gift to all of us in the CRCDS family was her steady, loving and cheerful presence. Over the years, she, Ken and her dear friend (and ours) Jean Bartlett, attended almost every one. No event was complete without Sally.  She will be missed dearly by us all.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, April 1, 2017, at 10AM, First Baptist Church, 175 Allen's Creek Road, Rochester, NY 14618. See more at:


 Please join us in praying for Ken, his family and all those who mourn the loss of this extraordinary servant of God.