The School of Theology. Sewanee: The University of the South


2014 Convocation for the Conferring of Degrees

The School of Theology announced today that it would bestow three honorary degrees during the May 9 Convocation for the Conferring of Degrees to be held in All Saints’ Chapel at 10 a.m. The School will also recognize 31 students who will receive a variety of degrees and certificates. The preacher for this year’s commencement service is the Most Rev. David Chillingworth, bishop of the Diocese of St. Andrews, Dunkeld, and Dunblane. A luncheon in McClurg Hall following the service will honor the class of 2014 seminary graduates, their guests, families, faculty, and staff. The convocation service will be streamed live for those unable to attend.

The following distinguished guests will receive honorary degrees:

David Chillingworth

The Most Rev. David Chillingworth was ordained as bishop of the Diocese of St. Andrews, Dunkeld, and Dunblane in St Ninian’s Cathedral, Perth, Scotland, in 2005. In 2009, he was elected primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church at the Church’s General Synod.

Born in Dublin in 1951, Chillingworth grew up in Northern Ireland. He studied at Trinity College, Dublin, and Oriel College, Oxford. His training for ministry was at Ripon College, Cuddesdon, in the Church of England. Before moving to Scotland, he served as rector of Seagoe Parish Church in Portadown and as archdeacon of Dromore.

Ordained in Belfast, Ireland, in 1976, Chillingworth spent much of his working life at the heart of the Northern Ireland conflict. His work in parish ministry was consistently focused on the challenge of reconciliation and the problems of sectarianism.

Since coming to the Diocese of St. Andrews, Chillingworth has worked with clergy and others to carry out a major review of the life of the diocese and its congregations. This has led to the “Casting the Net” initiative, which was launched in every church in the diocese on in 2009. “Casting the Net” is a movement of mission and growth — it encourages clergy and congregations to reach out into the communities in which they live.

Chillingworth is a regular broadcaster on BBC Radio Scotland’s “Thought for the Day.” One of the Church’s “blogging bishops,” he writes a popular online journal, Thinking Aloud, and believes that bishops should use today’s means of communication to carry the message of the Church.

The close links between The Episcopal Church and the Scottish Episcopal Church are focused in the consecration of Samuel Seabury — consecrated by the Scottish bishops as the first bishop of the American Church in 1784. Chillingworth has prioritized links with The Episcopal Church and the wider Anglican Communion. In 2009–11, he took part in the College for Bishops of The Episcopal Church.

Chillingworth is married to Alison and they have three grown children.

Mark Bourlakas

The Rt. Rev. Mark Allen Bourlakas, C’85, T’12, was ordained the sixth bishop of the Diocese of Southwestern Virginia on July 20, 2013. Bourlakas served as dean of Christ Church Cathedral in Louisville, Ky., prior to his election. Before then, he served parishes both large and small in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee, each with a wide range of theological and political beliefs.

His ministry has been mission- and evangelism-focused and has reached out to the millennial generation and to people unfamiliar with The Episcopal Church, beginning every sermon with “In the name of God, who gives us minds to think, hearts to love, and hands to serve,” the theme for his first Diocesan Council.

Bourlakas earned a bachelor of arts degree from the University of the South, a doctor of ministry degree from The School of Theology, and a master of divinity from Seabury-Western Theological Seminary in Evanston, Ill.

His thesis, Holding the Place of Christ: Leadership in the Divine Household, incorporates the teachings of Thomas Merton and details Merton’s belief that leadership is more effectively shaped by relationship with others rather than by position over others.

He enjoys painting, walking, playing basketball, and watching auto racing.  He and his wife Martha have three daughters — Hannah, Sarah, and Elizabeth.

David Hurd

Dr. David J. Hurd Jr. has been a faculty member at The General Theological Seminary since 1976, where he is currently professor of Church music. He also serves as organist and director of music at the seminary's Chapel of the Good Shepherd. 

Hurd was born in Brooklyn, N.Y, and attended both the High School of Music and Art and The Juilliard School before finishing as an organ major at Oberlin College. His principal graduate work was done in organ performance at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.  He has served as assistant organist of Trinity Church and St. Paul's Chapel in New York City, and as director of music at the Chapel of the Intercession, All Saints' Church, and the Church of the Holy Apostles, also in New York City. He has held faculty appointments at Duke University, the Manhattan School of Music, Westminster Choir College, and Yale University. 

Hurd has received doctorates from the Berkeley Divinity School at Yale, The Church Divinity School of the Pacific, Berkeley, Calif., and from Seabury-Western Theological Seminary, Evanston, Ill.  He has received numerous recognitions including the Distinguished Composer Award for 2010 of the American Guild of Organists, and The African Diaspora Sacred Music Living Legend Award in 2011, and the Georgia & Nolan Payton Archive for the Study of African Diaspora Sacred Music and Musicians. 

His liturgical works, primarily organ and choral, are published and known internationally and ecumenically. Premieres of his commissioned works have been in Avery Fisher Hall, Carnegie Hall, The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, Trinity Church (Wall Street), the Basilica of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, and the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.

Students that are scheduled to receive degrees and certificates include:

CTS      Howard Walker Adams
DAS      Carenda Diane Baker
DAS      James Brandon Duke
DMIN    Jesse Kennedy Colbert
DMIN    Susan Alice Grimm
DMIN    Nina Ranadive Pooley
DMIN    Belinda Wright Snyder
DMIN    William Charles Treadwell III
MA        Jennifer Johnson Millkey
MA        Emmanuel Julius Petro
MA        Mark Allen Richard
MA        Rebecca Nuchols Roberts
MDIV    Alexander  Andujar
MDIV    Brian Wallace Cannaday
MDIV    Christopher James Capaldo
MDIV    Alice Hodgkins Courtright
MDIV    Sharron Leslie Cox
MDIV    Brenda Diane Dowell
MDIV    Christopher Kevin Hartley
MDIV    William Bentley Manning
MDIV    Bonnie Mixon McCrickard
MDIV    Carl Millard Saxton II
MDIV    Diana Lynn S. Scheide
MDIV    Stephen Lloyd Spicer
MDIV    Daniel Andrew Wagner
MDIV    Elizabeth Sharon Yale
STM     Andrew Michael Courtright
STM     Kenneth Nicholas Forti
STM     Sarah Danielle Kelb
STM     Zachary Robert Thompson

Details of the college's baccalaureate and commencement events may be found here.

Parking for commencement may be found along University Avenue in designated locations and in the parking lot behind Fulford Hall, but capacity is limited.