The School of Theology began a new academic year with a Holy Eucharist and Matriculation service on Wed., Aug. 24, at All Saints’ Chapel in the heart of the campus. Twenty-eight new students, along with the School’s faculty and the University of the South’s Vice-Chancellor Dr. John McCardell and Provost Dr. Linda Lankewicz, processed into the chapel be officially welcomed into the St. Luke’s community. This followed three weeks of orientation activities for the incoming class. Friends and family of the students were in attendance.
The Very Rev. William Stafford, Dean of The School of Theology, delivered the sermon using the reading, 1 Cor. 4:9-15, and St. Bartholomew Day to ask, "what is an apostle, a leader? You are here in one way or another in that succession, preparing to carry the apostolic message, as priests, elders, ministers, learned leaders in the church of God." Stafford shared that a theological education is far from a straightforward path, that there would be twists and turns throughout the experience, much like the life they will encounter during seminary and after graduation. He aksed the students to "get stuck in the epistle and Gospel readings because real transformational theological education includes getting stuck.” He ended by offering these words of advice: pray without ceasing, keep the Cross and Resurrection of Jesus Christ in the center of your struggles, search the scriptures with your heart and mind, and do it all in community. You may read the Dean's sermon in its entirety.
After the sermon, the students were called to sign the Matriculation Book, escorted by their fellow seminarian sponsors. The Vice-Chancellor then welcomed the students into “a very special community.” His short address drew from the life and teachings of William Alexander Guerry, Bishop of South Carolina from 1907 to 1928 and also a Chaplain and Professor at the University of the South. Guerry studied with William Porcher DuBose as the University was his undergraduate alma mater and also his seminary. You may read the Vice-Chancellor's remarks in their entirety.
Following the service, the students, faculty, friends, and family gathered for a celebratory dinner at the Sewanee Inn.