The Cathedral College of Faith and Culture is the Cathedral’s programmatic hub to foster innovative and hope-filled learning at the intersection of sacred and civic life.
When renovations are completed in late 2020, the new Virginia Mae Center will be a primary home for the Cathedral and the College to expand our priorities of welcoming, deepening, convening and serving.
Feature from the latest issue of Cathedral Age
When Bishop Henry Yates Satterlee first imagined what would become Washington National Cathedral, he not only envisioned a great Gothic cathedral to serve the nation but also a “School of the Prophets” to serve the wider church.
Satterlee, the first Episcopal bishop of Washington, wanted a place where “devout and intellectual students may ponder the questions of the day side by side with the facts of the Gospel; where skilled theologians and interpreters of the Queen of Science shall be competent to translate the doctrinal truths of theology into the common language of life.”
Even though Satterlee never lived to see it, the College of Preachers opened in 1929, and over the next eight decades served as a destination for clergy, theologians and laity from across the country.
The Great Recession of 2008 forced the closure of the Cathedral College, and the rambling building that housed it and nurtured the imagination of generations of visitors lay dormant.
Article from the Washington Post
“National Cathedral will open a new educational center, thanks to $22 million in donations”
When Randy Hollerith was a young priest, he used to try to get the tower bedroom, a special nook in an enchanting old Gothic building, whenever he went to a training program at the College of Preachers.
Now, the College of Preachers has been closed for nearly a decade, since the 2008 recession hit hard at Washington National Cathedral, which shares a campus with the charming stone building. The Gothic structure has fallen into disrepair inside. Young Episcopal priests no longer come to the Cathedral for those training sessions.
And Hollerith, no longer such a young priest, is the dean of the cathedral — and has taken on the task of restoring the beloved building and creating a brand-new educational institution to live within its walls.
It will be called the Cathedral College of Faith and Culture, and it will convene retreats and seminars on subjects ranging from ethics in politics to liturgical art, along with the clergy training. Hollerith says it’s a place for the cathedral to influence discussion in Washington: “As we’ve seen from Notre Dame, [cathedrals] are places of great cultural meaning as well as religious meaning.”