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


Sewanee’s New Academic Year Begins

The Launching of a New Year

The University of the South officially launched the new academic year on Sept. 27 at All Saints’ Chapel with messages from the University’s student and administrative leadership to the staff, faculty, and students in attendance.

After an opening prayer delivered by University Chaplain and Dean of All Saints’ Chapel Tom Macfie, Provost John Swallow introduced the speakers, each with their statements of welcome.

Charlie Hughes, president of the undergraduate student government, spoke of the different and unique roles that each level of student plays in the community — seniors provide the legacy, juniors the glue, sophomores assume new leadership roles, and freshman bring the excitement and enthusiasm of what will come.

Bonnie Mixon McCrickard, president of the seminary’s St. Luke’s community, spoke of the long standing history of the St. Luke’s community and its close relationship to the University. She shared how this community is one that models a life of invitation and welcome and that one of her hopes for The School of Theology is “to continue finding better ways to extend a welcome that reflects our growth and diversity.” You may read a transcript of her remarks here.

Daniel Williams, president of the Order of Gownsmen, reminded everyone of the Order’s history of values and tradition of academic excellence and integrity.

Dr. John McCardell, vice-chancellor of the University of the South, he began with a simple word of welcome, “to our new students, the Class of 2017, and to our new faculty colleagues and, to those returning students and faculty — welcome back, welcome home.” He reviewed the accomplishments of last year and highlighted the exciting plans coming up. He summed up his remarks with a story about Sewanee’s legendary athletic trainer, Willie Six. “A reporter asked Willie, at the time of his retirement, what was the best year in Sewanee’s athletic history. This man, who had seen many great teams and many great moments answered without hesitation: “The best year? The best year is the one comin’ up.” You may read McCardell’s remarks here.

Matriculation for The School of Theology

On Aug. 28, students, faculty, staff, family, and friends of The School of Theology gathered to officially recognize the incoming class for 2013. Thirty- one students, 24 of which are enrolled in the M.Div. class of 2016, came to the front of All Saints’ Chapel with their sponsors as their names were read by Provost John Swallow to sign the Matriculata Book.

The Rt. Rev. J. Neil Alexander, dean of The School of Theology, in a sermon that detailed the contradiction of binding oneself to Sewanee and the reading from Isaiah that commanded one to set God’s people free, explained to the matriculating students about the tradition and meaning of adding their names to the long list of students who have come before. He described how matriculation at The School of Theology differs from a secular ceremony where those students are not asked to do more than “show up, sign up, and pay up.” By signing this book, he explained, seminarians have taken their place “in the matrix and the history of The School of Theology.” No matter what happens during the course of their studies and life on the Mountain, their names will never be erased. “This can either bring you great joy or holy terror.” He concluded his sermon with a question, “will you come and bind yourself to the prophetic work, to the Jesus work, of setting people free?” You may read Alexander's sermon here.

Vice-Chancellor John McCardell joined the dean in welcoming the new students. He connected the sense of place and legacy of The School of Theology beginning with a professor and dean of The School of Theology, William Porcher DuBose, to a former college and School of Theology student, the Rt. Rev. William Alexander Guerry, bishop of South Carolina from 1907 to 1928. He acknowledged that the path the students have chosen will not be easy but added, “you are heirs — I hope proud heirs — of a distinctive and distinguished legacy, of DuBose and Guerry and so many other saints of God whose spirits suffuse this Chapel, this University, this Mountain, this Church.” You may read McCardell's remarks here.

Matriculating Students 2013

Lurena Anne Abdy            M.Div.    Diocese of Oregon
Howard Walker Adams     M.Div.    Diocese of W. Missouri
Carenda Diane Baker       D.A.S.     Diocese of Central PA
Kathryn A. Bast                 M.Div.     Diocese of Olympia
Robert William Beazley    M.Div.    Diocese of Florida
Katie Ann Bradshaw         M.Div.    Diocese of Mississippi
Justin David Briggle          M.Div.    Diocese of Texas
Nikolaus Michael Combs  M.Div.    Diocese of Idaho
Eleanor M. Crigger           M.Div.    Diocese of Southwestern Virginia
Aelred Bernard Dean       M.Div.    Diocese of Atlanta
Robertson C. Donehue    M.Div.    Diocese of South Carolina
Amy Elizabeth Duggins    M.Div.    Diocese of North Carolina
James Brandon Duke      D.A.S.     Diocese of Atlanta
John G. Eichelberger Jr.  S.T.M.    Diocese of North Carolina
Michael George Elliott     S.T.M.
Boyd M.Evans III             M.Div.    Diocese of East Tennessee
Kenneth Nicholas Forti    S.T.M.
Amy Martin George         M.Div.    Diocese of West Tennessee
Bobbi Jo Heyboer            M.Div.    Diocese of Western Michigan
Nathan G. Huddleston     M.Div.    Diocese of Florida
John Ira Kennedy III        M.Div.    Diocese of Alabama
Michael T. McCain           M.A. 
Lisa Stanley McIndoo      M.Div.    Diocese of West Tennessee
Lori Cameron O'Riley      M.Div.    Diocese of Atlanta
Neil Kumar Raman          M.Div.    Diocese of Long Island
Tyler Clayton Richards    M.Div.    Diocese of Alabama
Michelle Ann Ryan          M.Div.    Diocese of Central Florida
Joshua Paul Stephens    M.Div.    Diocese of S. Virginia
Michael T. Thompson      M.A.
Melinda R. Valentine Davis M.Div.    Diocese of Iowa
Jane-Allison E. Wiggin    M.Div.    Diocese of Upper South Carolina

Andrew M. Courtright, S.T.M, and Eric M. Moulton, S.T.M. from the Diocese of Central Florida, also signed officially matriculated on this day as they both joined the seminary in January 2013.