A Convocation for the Conferring of Degrees 2023

On Friday, May 12 the University of the South, in its 166th year, held a Convocation for the Conferring of Degrees from the School of Theology. The seminary graduated 34 students receiving varying degrees from acting vice-chancellor Dr. Nancy Berner. Many of the University’s leadership were in attendance including University chancellor the Rt. Rev. Dr. Jake Owensby, T’97, University provost Scott Wilson and the School’s Dean, the Very Rev. Dr. James F. Turrell. The ceremony took place in All Saints’ Chapel and was recorded for those unable to attend. 

Kevin Goodman Appointed Executive Director of EfM

The University of the South is pleased to announce that the Rev. Kevin M. Goodman will join the School of Theology as Executive Director of the Education for Ministry (EfM) program. Goodman replaces retiring Executive Director Karen Meridith who has led the program since 2010. Having served as an EfM mentor and trainer for more than thirty years, Kevin brings a deep understanding of EfM to his new role, as well as years of leadership experience in the church.

Hannah Matis Appointed Associate Dean of Academic Affairs

The University of the South is pleased to announce that church historian Hannah Matis, Ph.D., will join the School of Theology as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Associate Professor of Church History. Dr. Matis will begin her duties at the start of the 2023-2024 academic year. Dr. Matis’s academic focus is in early medieval biblical interpretation and the church in late antiquity and the early Middle Ages. She brings extensive administrative experience to her leadership role as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, in which she will also direct the Advanced Degree Program.

The Rev. Dr. C.K. Robertson to speak at the School of Theology

Join us! The Rev. Dr. C.K. Robertson, Canon to Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, will be speaking at the School of Theology on Thursday, Nov. 10 at 3:15 CT. In his presentation titled "Tapping into our DNA: The Future of Anglicanism and the Anglican Communion after Lambeth 2022," Robertson reflects on the path forward in the aftermath of Lambeth 2022.

EfM Director Karen Meridith to Retire in 2023

With gratitude, the School of Theology announces the upcoming retirement of Karen M. Meridith from her role as executive director of Education for Ministry (EfM) and associate director of the Beecken Center. Karen will retire in June 2023 following the close of the 2022-2023 academic year. The School of Theology is extraordinarily grateful for Karen’s guidance and leadership over the past 12 years, as are countless individuals whose lives have been positively impacted by EfM under Karen’s leadership. Karen’s retirement date is set for June 30, 2023, and the formal search for her successor is slated to begin shortly.

The Rev. Robert Jemonde Taylor Receives 2022 Service Award

The School of Theology Service Award recognizes Episcopal clergy or laypersons who have exhibited distinguished service to The Episcopal Church. We have, in particular, sought to highlight clergy or laypersons who have made a significant difference in transforming unjust structures and promoting peace and reconciliation in their communities, as well as honoring those who have deployed parish resources to sustain and renew the life of the earth. This year’s recipient has made extraordinary contributions in both of these categories.

Charles Martin and Alane Osborne awarded Freeman and Woods Awards

Please join us in congratulating seminarian award winners, Alane Osborne and Charles Martin. Alane Osborne was presented with the Woods Leadership Award for her contributions to the quality of student life at the School of Theology. Charles Martin was awarded the Freeman Award for academic excellence. Awards were presented Sept. 28, 2022 at the Alumni Lectures & Homecoming banquet.

Benjamin King wins Nelson R. Burr Prize

Join us in congratulating the Rev. Dr. Benjamin King as winner of the 2022 Nelson R. Burr Prize. The prize for excellence and innovation in scholarship, was awarded by the Historical Society of the Episcopal Church for his article, “Church, Cotton, and Confederates: What Bishop Charles Todd Quintard’s Fundraising Trips to Great Britain Reveal About Some Nineteenth-Century Anglo-Catholics.”

Dr. Kenneth Miller Granted Tenure

At its summer meeting, the University of the South Board of Regents formally approved promotion and tenure decisions for eleven faculty members, including the School of Theology’s Dr. Kenneth Miller, Associate Professor of Church Music and Organist and Choirmaster of the Chapel of the Apostles. Please join us in congratulating Dr. Miller.

Deborah Jackson Elected to Executive Council

Please join us in congratulating the Reverend Deborah Jackson, associate dean for community life at the School of Theology, on her election to the Executive Council of The Episcopal Church. Jackson was elected during the 80th General Convention of The Episcopal Church, which is took place in Baltimore, Maryland in July 2022. Congratulations Dean Jackson! 

Andrew Thompson Appointed Director of Center for Religion and Environment

Join us in congratulating the Dr. Andrew Thompson, assistant professor of theological ethics for his appointment as Director of the Center for Religion and Environment. The Center fosters conversation around the increasingly rich intersections of religious belief and environmental awareness and care. 

Lecture: Miriam's Dance as Embodied Prophecy

Dr. Anathea Portier-Young returned to the Doctor of Ministry program for the 2022 summer session. On June 15 Portier-Young held a dynamic public lecture in which she examined the prophetic qualities of Miriam’s dance in Exodus 15:20-21. Watch the recording at the link below.

A Convocation for the Conferring of Degrees 2022

On May 6, the School of Theology will hold its 165th Convocation for the Conferring of Degrees. This year the ceremony will be held in the University’s All Saints’ Chapel. On that Friday the seminary will graduate 30 students receiving varying degrees from Interim Vice-Chancellor Nancy Berner.

The Rev. Dr. Gayle Fisher-Stewart to Give the Rev. Melissa L. Kean, T'19, Memorial Lecture

The Rev. Dr. Gayle Fisher-Stewart will give a lecture in the University of the South’s Convocation Hall on April 5 titled “Preaching Your Authentic Self.”

Audra Reys, Guest Editor for Black History Month

I am Audra Ryes (pronounced "Rise" like “sunrise”), a first-year seminarian in the master of divinity program at the School of Theology. I have climbed up this Mountain via New Orleans, Louisiana, where food, music, and culture are more important than money and politics. Because of this, having the honor of being this month’s guest editor during Black History Month is a real treat for me.

Holly Taylor Coolman to Lecture on Supersessionism

Supersessionism has now emerged as a topic of intense discussion in both the academy and the Church. Widely agreed to be problematic, it is surprisingly difficult to define.

The American Spiritual Ensemble Will Inaugurate Black History Month

The School of Theology will celebrate Black History Month by hosting a performance by The American Spiritual Ensemble on Feb. 1, 2022, in All Saints’ Chapel at 7 p.m. The Sewanee community is invited to attend free of charge. Note: Masks are required.

Brigety Announces Resignation

Today, Dec. 1, Vice-Chancellor Brigety informed the Board of Regents of his decision to tender his resignation as vice-chancellor effective at the conclusion of this semester, on Dec. 21, 2021.

2021 Festival of Lessons and Carols

After being unable to gather in person last December, the University of the South looks forward to welcoming the extended Sewanee family back into All Saints' Chapel again in 2021. This year, the seating capacity has been expanded and can accommodate 1,100 people at each service.

The School of Theology Bestows Awards on Seminarian Kelton Riley

On Sept. 29, the recipient of the Woods Leadership Award and the Freeman Award for Merit was announced during the School of Theology’s Alumni Lectures and Homecoming dinner. For the second time in the recent past, one seminarian was the recipient of both awards—Kelton Riley, T’23.

Bogert-Winkler Awarded Fellowship

The Rev. Hilary Bogert-Winkler, assistant professor of Liturgy at the School of Theology, has been awarded a fellowship from the Folger Institute. Her project is titled, "Phillip O'Sullivan Beare's Zoilomastix: A Critical English Translation and Digital Edition.

Thompson's Partnership Offers Churches an Eco Opportunity

Dr. Andrew Thompson has partnered with the Tennessee Aquarium and Freshwaters Illustrated to develop an environmental curriculum for churches. Thompson wrote “Wherever the River Goes,” a faith-based reflection guide designed to accompany the aquarium’s documentary film, Hidden Rivers of Southern Appalachia.

King to Give Keynote Address at Newman Conference

On Sept. 20, 2021, the Rev. Dr. Benjamin King will deliver one of two keynote addresses at an international conference being streamed from the National Institute of Newman Studies in Pittsburgh. The theme of the conference is "John Henry Newman: Scholar, Sage, and Saint."

Honorary Degrees to be Conferred at the Alumni Lectures and Homecoming

On Sept. 29, 2021, the University of the South will confer honorary degrees to three notable recipients as part of the three-day Alumni Lectures and Homecoming event—Thomas Murray, Samuel Candler, and Quintin Primo.

2021 SUMMA Camp Welcomed 29 High Schoolers

The 29 youth and 10 adult leaders who participated in 2021 SUMMA Theological Debate Camp were especially delighted to gather in-person in Sewanee in July after last year’s hiatus from the campus due to Covid-19 restrictions.

The 164th Convocation for the Conferring of Degrees

On May 16, the School of Theology held its 164th Convocation for the Conferring of Degrees. This year the ceremony was held outdoors on Hardee-McGee Field without masks due to the easing of the Covid-19 restrictions. For the first time the School’s choir was able to sing unmasked and together. Families and friends were invited to attend this wonderful event in-person this year. There was much to celebrate!

Richard Cogill to Lead Contextual Education Program

The Very Rev. James F. Turrell, dean of the School of Theology, Sewanee, Tennessee, is pleased to announce that the Rev. Richard Cogill has been appointed director of contextual education, beginning on July 1, 2021. Cogill will have oversight of the School’s field education, clinical pastoral education, and cross-cultural programs as part of the curriculum’s three-course practical theology sequence.

School of Theology Removes DuBose from Annual Lecture Series Title

For 97 years, the School of Theology’s annual lectures, held in conjunction with the alumni homecoming, have carried the name “The DuBose Lectures” in commemoration of William Porcher DuBose. on April 7, 2021, the faculty of the School of Theology voted to remove his name from the annual event, effective immediately.

The Rev. Dr. Bogert-Winkler Joins School of Theology Faculty

On March 30, 2021, the Very Rev. James F. Turrell, dean of the School of Theology, Sewanee, Tennessee, announced that the Rev. Dr. Hilary Bogert-Winkler has been appointed assistant professor of liturgy. She will begin teaching in the academic year 2021–2022.

Innovations That Support Conversations on Race

Last September, in its historic statement, the Board of Regents called for the University to become a “model of diversity, of inclusion, of intellectual rigor, and of loving spirit in an America that rejects prejudice and embraces possibility. The School of Theology has been hard at work.

The School of Theology Bestows Awards on Two Seminarians

On Oct. 7, The School of Theology announced the recipients of the Woods Leadership Award—Ashley Simpson, T'22, and the Freeman Award for Merit—Christopher Schwenk, T'22.

Rejecting Prejudice, Embracing Possibility

Today, Sept. 8, 2020, the University of the South released a statement “categorically rejecting its past veneration of the Confederacy and of the ‘Lost Cause’ and wholeheartedly committing itself to an urgent process of institutional reckoning in order to make Sewanee a model of diversity, of inclusion, of intellectual rigor, and of loving spirit in an America that rejects prejudice and embraces possibility.”

Starting the New Year on a Rugby Field

Neither the threat of rain or a global pandemic could keep the School of Theology from celebrating the Eucharist on Wednesday, Aug. 26. As the bell rang, seminarians converged on the rugby field adjacent to the School’s campus. What they found was completely different from the traditional service held in the Chapel of the Apostles, but despite the radical change in venue, the Spirit was present.


After 10 years of service as the university’s 16th vice-chancellor, John M. McCardell Jr. will assume his new role on June 17 as vice-chancellor emeritus and a member of the college faculty as professor of history. On the same day, Reuben E. Brigety II will begin his work as Sewanee’s 17th vice-chancellor.

Response to national Protests

In the wake of national protests following the death of George Floyd in police custody, Vice-Chancellor John McCardell, Dean of Students Marichal Gentry, the Deans of the School of Theology, and the Office of the Dean of the College sent messages to students, faculty, and staff. Student organizations made powerful statements of support for racial justice.

James Turrell Named Dean

On May 7, Vice-Chancellor John McCardell announced the appointment of the Rev. Canon James F. Turrell, Ph.D., as dean of the School of Theology at the University of the South. He will assume his new duties on July 1, 2020.

Meet the 2020 Fellows-in-residence

The School of Theology welcomes two fellows-in-residence Feb. 10–21. The Rev. Dr. Deonna D. Neal serves as the chair of the Department of Leadership, Ethics, and the Profession of Arms at Air University at Maxwell Air Force base, Alabama. Cecile S. Holmes is an associate professor in the University of South Carolina's School of Journalism and Mass Communications. Both will be working on their respective projects while in Sewanee.

Alexander to Step Down as Dean

The Rt. Rev. J. Neil Alexander announced on Friday, Nov. 15, that he will step down from his position as dean of the School of Theology effective August 1, 2020. Alexander, currently in his eighth year as dean, had this to say upon announcing his decision. “Being part of the University of the South has been one of the deep joys of my vocation, and I will always be grateful for the privilege of finding my place in Sewanee’s history.”

Women Shine at 2019 DuBose Awards Banquet

Each year, DuBose Awards are bestowed on worthy people who have been serving the Church and their communities in a number of ways. This year, there were two remarkable women given DuBose awards in recognition of selfless body of work over a lifetime.

Winter Convocation Honors Roaf, Heischman, and Walters

The University of the South’s Winter Convocation will be held at 4:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 17, in All Saints' Chapel. Honorary degrees will be presented to the Rt. Rev. Phoebe Roaf, the Rev. Daniel Heischman, and the Rev. Francic Walter III, T'57.

Matriculation 2023

On the evening of Monday, August 28, the School of Theology matriculated seminarians from all over the Unites States and the world. i. During the Holy Eucharist and Matriculation service students were admitted to the classes of 2024, 2025 and 2026 as they signed the Matriculation Book and were gowned. Additionally, new faculty and administrators, the Rev. Kevin M. Goodman and Dr. Hannah Matis were also formally welcome to the School of Theology. And what a warm welcome it was for all new members of our community.