Paul Daniels

[The Episcopal News] Bloy House, the Episcopal Theological School at Los Angeles, today named as its new dean the Rev. Paul Anthony Daniels, rector of the Westside’s St. Mary in Palms parish and a Ph.D. student in systematic theology at Fordham University.

In his new post, Daniels will be based at St. Paul’s Commons, the diocese’s Echo Park headquarters, to which Bloy House has relocated. He succeeds Canon Linda Allport, who on June 30 retired as dean. Concurrently, the Very Rev. Gary Hall has retired as president, having held that office since 2020.
“Paul Daniels brings his amazing gifts and energy to the Bloy House deanship at an historic time for our home-grown theological school,” said Bishop John Harvey Taylor, chairman of the Bloy House board of trustees and an alumnus of the school.

“In recent years, thanks to its president, Gary Hall, its first-ever lay dean, Linda Allport, and its devoted board, Bloy House has accomplished an historic transformation,” Taylor noted. “Its charism has always been to rush in and provide the kind of teaching a changing church needs. Once an innovative option for master of divinity candidates balancing family and work responsibilities, Bloy House now innovates through lay leader education and licensing, affordable Christian education for all, and education for the diaconate.

Linda Allport and Gary Hall recently retired as dean and president of Bloy House. File photos

“As grateful board chair, I lift up Gary and Linda for their astonishing legacy of adaptive change and welcome Paul as their worthy successor,” Taylor said. “He is brilliant, pastoral, and deeply devoted to a just and abundant future for the church that he and we love.”

Daniels – who received his master of divinity degree from Yale Divinity School in 2019 and bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Atlanta’s Morehouse College in 2012 – has assisted at New York City’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine and served as a summer associate at Trinity Church Wall Street. At Yale Divinity School he assisted in development work, and in Grahamstown, South Africa, he served in ministry at both the Cathedral Church of St. Michael and St. George and at Rhodes University.

“The vocation of all Christians – whether ordained or not ordained – is sacred leadership: to proclaim the Good News, serve Christ, and strive for justice and peace,” Daniels said upon his appointment. “Therefore, I could not be more excited about the unique role Bloy House will continue to play in lifting up the priesthood of all believers – not only so that parishes thrive in and of themselves, but that their parishioners and priests might also be emboldened to speak and act prophetically.

“Our time, just like our call, demands theological and institutional innovation that extends beyond parochial insularity,” Daniels added. “Our time, just like our call, demands strategies and ideas that dare – even desire – to take on our most complex political challenges. Our time, just like our call, demands that we seek the best of our cultural, intellectual, artistic, and technological genius to be as though a new creation. Bloy House will reach far and wide in an answer to God’s call. As a home for Christian innovation, we will strive to equip the Diocese of Los Angeles, the wider church, and all who seek God, with fresh language for an eternal love.”

Hall – as Bloy House’s outgoing president and a former dean of Washington National Cathedral – calls Daniels “a brilliant choice” as a new leader who will carry forward the school’s three emphases of “lay ministry education, diaconal education, and Anglican Studies for non-Episcopal seminary graduates preparing for ordination.”

Of her successor as dean, Allport adds: “I am excited about the new energy and ideas Paul is bringing to Bloy House. I will miss the day-to-day work, but I hope to ‘keep my hand in,’ supporting the new dean, teaching classes, visiting congregations, and speaking about and lifting up lay ministry. I’ve learned so much, and it will impact the years I have remaining in service to my church and diocese.”