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.

View the Recording here

View The Photography Here

Honorary Degree

The Rev. Gay Clark Jennings received an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree and also delivered the sermon at the commencement service.

The Rev. Gay Clark Jennings served as president of the Episcopal Church’s House of Deputies from 2012 to 2022, and was notably the first ordained woman to hold the position. As president, Jennings was committed to fostering a new generation of leaders in the Episcopal Church. She also encouraged the church’s work for justice through the actions of General Convention and the work of Episcopalians throughout the church.

2023 Graduates of the School of Theology


Diploma of Anglican Studies

Sandra Rogers, Diocese of Southwest Florida

Carsten Michael Seiler, Diocese of Arizona

Zachary Settle, Diocese of East Tennessee

Katie O'Neal Sorey, Diocese of Mississippi


Doctor of Ministry

Frederick DuMontier Devall IV


Master in Sacred Theology

Hilary Anne Greer (in absentia)

Anne Fontaine Downs Richter


Master of Arts

Elizabeth Dawn Carrillo

Audrey Sollie Jordan

Will Madi

John Ng’oma

Master of Divinity

Richard London Ahlquist, Diocese of Alabama

Casey Anderson-Molina, Diocese of Arkansas

Tara Bartal, Diocese of East Carolina

Thomas Benson Becker, Diocese of Lexington

Katherine Cantelou Chappell, Diocese of East Tennessee

Elliot Thomas Conrad, Diocese of Long Island

Lucas Caine Crossland, Diocese of East Carolina

Garron Cruz Daniels, Diocese of Missouri

Thomas Roger DuMontier Jr.,Diocese of Southwest Virginia

Caroline Katherine Howard, Diocese of Kansas

Joseph Michael Kennedy, Diocese of Eastern Michigan

Robert C. Light III, Diocese of Southwest Virginia

Jane Hagan Major, Diocese of Alabama

Izak Cameron McKenzie, Diocese of Lexington

Tyler Pierce Proctor, Diocese of Upper South Carolina

Kelton L. Riley, Diocese of Alabama

Yuriria Rodriguez-Laureani, Diocese of Indianapolis

Erica Rozolsky, Diocese of Rio Grande

Susannah Elizabeth Southern, Diocese of Easton

Dawn Marie Stary, Diocese of San Diego

Benjamin Wayne Thoms, Diocese of Western Louisiana

Johnny Rufus Van Horn, Diocese of Mississippi

David S. Wilcox II, Diocese of West Missouri

End of Year Community Lunch

The School of Theology holds several events leading up to Commencement, including the semester’s final Eucharist at the community lunch held in Cravens Hall during which senior prizes and awards are presented. During the final community lunch on April 26, the Very Rev. Dr. James F. Turrell, Dean of the School of Theology and Acting-Vice-Chancellor of the University, Dr. Nancy Berner recognized some of the outstanding achievements by the graduating class and announced the senior prizes. Dean Turrell began by recognizing many of the people who have served the School in various ways during this past year.

  • Student Body President—Katherine Chappell
  • Senior Class Representative—Dawn Stary
  • Student Trustee to the University Board of Trustees—Kristen Paul


Turrell additionally recognized Sacristans who have a central role, often unheralded, in the worship life of the seminary community. Members of the senior class who served as sacristans this academic year are:

  • Jane Hagan Major, Head Sacristan
  • Thomas Becker
  • Kelton L. Riley
  • Katherine Cantelou Chappell


Awards previously presented to Seniors

Woods Leadership Award: The Woods Leadership Award is presented to a member of the Middler Class who has most successfully taken the initiative in assuming a leadership role in the class. Senior Kelton Riley was recognized with the Woods Leadership Award in the fall of 2022.

Freeman Award for Merit: The Freeman Award for Merit was established by the Rev. Reed H. Freeman and his wife Nancy. It is awarded to a rising Middler who has demonstrated outstanding academic performance and promise in the junior year. Senior Kelton Riley was recognized with the Woods Leadership Award in the fall of 2022, notably the first student to be awarded both prizes in the same year.

William A. Griffin Scholar for study in the Holy Land: The William A. Griffin Scholarships are given each year to enable students to study in the Holy Land. The fund was established to celebrate the ministry of William A. Griffin, former Professor of Old Testament at The School of Theology from 1959-1988, and was endowed by Professor Griffin’s wife, Anne Griffin, and her daughter, Shore Griffin, and other donors. Senior class recipients of this award were: Thomas Becker, Katherine Cantelou Chappell, Garron Daniels, Jane Hagan Major and Rufus VanHorn


2023 Senior Prizes 

  • The School of Theology Prize in Biblical Studies—Kelton L. Riley
  • The School of Theology Prize in Theology and Ethics—Elliot Thomas Conrad
  • The School of Theology Prize in Historical Studies—Jane Hagan Major
  • The School of Theology Prize in Practical Theology—Lucas Caine Crossland
  • The School of Theology Prize in Community Service—Yuri Rodriguez-Laureani

The Annual Episcopal Preaching Foundation Award: The Annual Episcopal Preaching Foundation Award is bestowed upon the individual who, in the estimation of the Dean and Faculty, has demonstrated excellence in preaching. This award is sponsored annually by the Episcopal Preaching Foundation and was awarded this year to Katherine Cantelou Chappell.