Your Participation Matters! Help Make a Difference


Each and every gift you make to The Fund for CRCDS counts twice!

First, it helps provide students with the transformative education they need to make a difference in our world.

Secondly, each gift helps strengthen our participation, a key measure for attracting support from other donors

NOW, more than ever, CRDCS needs the school's graduates.

Mail your donation to:
1100 S. Goodman Street 
Rochester, New York 14620


click here to make your gift online

For more information, please call (585) 340-9647.

Thank you for making a difference!

RECOLLECTIONS Reminder to Class of 1964


We need your memories!

Deadline for submission has been extended to April 1st!

Memories, photos and highlights of your seminary days will be preserved and bound in a special "Recollections" publication. Each fifty-year class member will receive a complimentary copy.

Join your classmates who have sent in their recollections:

Phyllis Chaffee
James Marvin
Carol Maxwell Kolsti
John Lake
David Durham
Eldon Ernst
Mary Anna Geib
Nape Baker


 Please send your "Recollections" along with a current photo of yourself and any photos you may have from your seminary days by April 1st to:


Mail them to:

Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School
1100 South Goodman Street
Rochester, NY 14620-2589

CRCDS Alumnus Appointed Director of Vital Congregations

The Upper New York Conference is pleased to announce that the Rev. Dr. Aaron Bouwens (M.Div., '03) will begin serving full-time as the Conference Director of Vital Congregations.

Rev. Bouwens, 38, has led the Conference's church revitalization efforts since the position was created in July 2012; until now it has been a half-time appointment. Rev. Bouwens also serves as co-pastor of the First United Methodist Church in Liverpool.

“Aaron has been doing some great work in the area of congregational revitalization. Going full-time will enable him to expand what we’re able to offer local churches seeking renewal,” said Conference Director of Connectional Ministries the Rev. Bill Gottschalk-Fielding. “It’s another step in our continuing quest to align Conference resources around the needs of our local congregations.”

Rev. Bouwens

Rev. Bouwens said he's looking forward to having the opportunity to focus exclusively on helping congregations revitalize.

"I am excited to have a primary focus; to be able to pick one piece and really look at it," Rev. Bouwens said. "This will give me more time to resource more local churches and to find greater ways to enhance Hand to Plow and the come-along-side strategies of Hand to Plow."

Bishop Mark J. Webb said making this a full-time appointment speaks to the importance of keeping congregations equipped to meet the Church's larger mission.

"Helping congregations continue to be effective and grow in their vitality is essential to living the mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world," said Bishop Webb. "Rev. Bouwens has provided leadership to this task, and I am grateful for his continuing call to this work. I hope you will join me in praying for Aaron and his family during this time of transition."

As Director of Vital Congregations, Rev. Bouwens has led Hand to Plow, a multi-year process aimed at assisting churches in increasing discipleship.

Hand to Plow, he said, will continue to be a strong focus, but now he will also be able to work on other projects and explore "all the possible strategies to help local churches."

"I want to emphasize that we are not going to push Hand to Plow out of the way," Rev. Bouwens said. "But Hand to Plow takes a good amount of time, and we recognize that it might not fit everyone's needs."

Rev. Bouwens will be based in the Conference office in Syracuse and, he said, "Wherever my little blue car is."

"I talked about that with my family; I'll be on the road a little more," he said, "but that just means a different rhythm."

He and his wife, Sarah, have three daughters Rachel, 10; Leah, 8, and Hannah, 6. His mother is the Rev. Beth Bouwens, pastor of the Caton UMC.

Before Liverpool UMC, Rev. Bouwens served as pastor of First UMC in Cortland and Faith UMC in Wolcott. He has a BS from Houghton College and earned his MDiv. from Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School. He completed his Doctor of Ministry with a concentration in leadership in the 21st century in 2013 at Drew University in New Jersey.

Rev. Bouwens said the past 17 months has reinforced an important factor that should inspire and encourage Upper New York members.

We have a lot of people, laity, who are really excited and passionate about the possibility of what the Church could be," he said. "There's a lot of energy from our lay folks."

That energy will be needed, he said, because another lesson reinforced by the work he's been doing is that "changing a church requires a system change, not just a few activity changes."

Rev. Bouwens encourages church leaders and others who want to get involved or learn more about the Conference's church revitalization efforts to contact him at the Conference office at (315) 424-7878 ext. 338 or by email at


Hill Community Pulls Together to Support Student Lounge Food Mission

Generosity has ensured that CRCDS students will always have a place to relax and grab a snack or drink when they come to campus with news that the Student Lounge will remain open and funded. This comes as very welcome news to many students, since many travel a long way and appreciate having a "home away from home" between classes.

The Student Lounge is headed by Katie Kreutter (M.Div.) and is funded entirely by the CRCDS Student Cabinet. An appeal to staff, faculty and students was made last week for assistance that resulted in an immense showing of support through donations of food and money.

Pres. Marvin A. and Mrs. Peggy McMickle made a kind gift of $100 to fund the pantry, noting that "having a well stocked student lounge is a blessing at a school with a largely commuter student body." The Black Student Caucus and the Social Justice Fellowship both contributed $75 each to the cause, while many others also pledged to provide financial assistance or to donate food items.

If you would like to support the Student Cabinet, below is a "wish list" of food items they need:
1. Coca-Cola and Diet Coke
2. Water Bottles
3. Granola bars
4. Mini chocolate candy bars, and honestly anything chocolate
5. Individually wrapped bags of chips – all kinds
6. Fruit cups and applesauce
7. Popcorn (the small size microwave bags)
8. Fruit snacks
9. Licorice
10. Peanut butter crackers, cheese crackers, etc.

For more information, please contact Polly Bush at