November 27, 2023
The Rev. Dr. Stephen Cady has been named president of Brite Divinity School. Brite, one of five Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) seminaries is located on the campus of Texas Christian University (TCU) in Fort Worth, Tex.
Rev. Dr. Cady will begin his term on March 4, 2024. The announcement comes after a seven-month nationwide search that allowed students, faculty, staff, and members of the Brite and TCU communities opportunities to interact with candidates and provide feedback. Brite’s seven-member search committee, chaired by Brite Board of Trustees Vice Chair, Rev. Virzola Law, was assisted by the nationally-recognized, education-focused executive search firm Storbeck Search.
“I am honored and humbled to serve as the next President of Brite Divinity School,” said Cady. “My prayer is that our mutual ministry together might raise the profile of Brite so that it might be a beacon of hope for a new generation of faith leaders.”
Cady is only the third permanent president in Brite’s 109-year history. Until 20 years ago, Brite functioned as a part of TCU and had a dean but no president. He succeeds the Rev. Michael Cooper-White, who has served as interim president since October 2022. Brite’s second president Dr. D. Newell Williams, was awarded emeritus status upon his retirement in 2022 after serving 19 years.
Cady currently serves as the Senior Minister of Asbury First United Methodist Church in Rochester, NY. He previously served the congregation as Minister for Formation. The congregation, known for social justice, anti-poverty efforts, and LGBTQ advocacy, flourished during Cady’s tenure. During his tenure, the congregation increased worshipping attendance, grew its endowment from $6 million to over $10 million while reducing the annual endowment draw, and completed the largest capital campaign in its history, raising more than $8 million, to renovate, expand, and transform a historic building into a fully accessible Community Outreach Center that offers meals, showers, laundry, haircare, clothing, and healthcare to the most vulnerable of the community.
"Stephen brings experience in preaching, teaching, and administration. His leadership style is one of listening, collaborating, and empowering others. He is a strong voice for social justice in the academy, the church, and the community.” said Dr. Stuart McDonald, Chair of the Brite Board of Trustees.
"Stephen’s sense of calling in this season, both as a pastor and an academic, was compelling," said Rev. Virzola Law, chair of the presidential search committee. “When meeting with the search committee, Stephen commented ‘Everything lastingly good in my life has come, one way or another, from the church.’ We are thrilled to have found a strong leader who will not only bolster Brite’s reputation in the academy but strengthen the connection to the church.”
Prior to his time at Asbury First United Methodist, Cady served congregations in Kingston, NJ and Park Ridge, Il. He earned his Doctor of Philosophy at Princeton Theological Seminary and a Master of Divinity at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. He earned a Bachelor of Arts at Ohio Wesleyan University.
Since 2021, Rev. Dr. Cady has served on the Board of Trustees of Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School and currently serves as Chair. He was selected to serve as a delegate to the General Conference of the United Methodist Church. Cady and his wife, Emily, have three children Ellie, Charlie, and Hannah.