Born on December 16, 1946, David John Bird was raised in the village of Dorridge in the borough of Solihull at Warwickshire. The Rt. Rev. Mervyn Charles-Edwards, bishop of Worcester, ordained him deacon on March 29, 1970, at St. George’s Church, Kiddermisnster, and the Rt. Rev. Sir Robert Wilmer Woods as priest the following year. He earned his B.A. in English literature, biblical studies, and theology at St. David’s College, Lampeter, Wales, from 1965 to 1970. During this time, he was a student at Bishop Burgess Hall, the theological college for ordination training. He earned an M.A. in sacred theology at General Theological Seminary, New York (1972-74). His Ph.D. is in systematic theology and ethics, with an emphasis on ecumenism from Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, Pa. (1982-87), and there he joined the theology faculty.
His theology emphasizes a liberal, compassionate, and inclusive approach to community life and he is devoted to ecumenism. Dr. Bird promotes Christian unity and is published in this field. He was curate at St. George’s Church, Kidderminster, England (1970-72), and associate at Christ and St. Stephen’s Church, New York (1977-78). He was appointed vicar of Christ Episcopal Church, Rochdale, Ma. (1978-79), and then served as rector at St. Andrew’s Church, New Kensington, Pa. (1979-89). He became rector at Grace Church, Georgetown, Washington, D.C. (1989-2003), during which time he was reader of general ordination examinations in the Diocese of Washington (1991-2003). He has served as dean and rector of the historic Trinity Episcopal Cathedral (2003 to the present), the oldest church structure in continuous use in San Jose, California. During this time, he was visitor and chaplain of the College of Early Christian Studies (2013 to present).
Dr. Bird is a strong advocate of education and first opened his church for classes in January 2014, after a few seminars were conducted in the sanctuary. His encouragement made the blog as well as the website possible, while the actual architect and webmaster did the programing, design, and structure. (They will be featured in an upcoming post.) Dr. Bird installed me as scholar-in-residence and has worked tirelessly to support our efforts. He also records for the site, for his British accent and poetic intonation make learning a pleasure. I cannot adequately express my appreciation for his friendship or for his wisdom.