Seminary of the Southwest awarded honorary degrees to former Missouri Senator John Danforth and Bishop James Scott Mayer of Northwest Texas during its 59th commencement ceremony on May 11 at St. Matthew's Episcopal Church in Austin, Texas.
Danforth, an Episcopal priest, former three-term senator from Missouri, and former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, preached the commencement sermon.
Danforth wrote "Faith and Politics" out of his conviction that Christianity is a religion of peace which has too often been used to divide people struggling with difficult issues. Dedicated to reconciliation and peacemaking, Danforth was a special envoy for peace in Sudan and facilitated a peace agreement that ended the country's 21-year civil war.
Danforth's citation may be read here.
A graduate of Seminary of the Southwest, Mayer is known for his leadership as a true friend and one who loves the people he serves. A native Texan, Mayer served the Church of the Heavenly Rest in Abilene for 14 years before being elected bishop for the Episcopal Diocese of Northwest Texas, which is composed of 80 out of Texas' 254 counties and which encompasses the panhandle of Texas plus a swath of north and west Texas.
Mayer's citation may be read here.
During the commencement ceremony, 17 graduates earned the MDiv or Anglican Studies diploma for ordained ministry in the Episcopal Church. They came to the seminary from dioceses throughout the country and from Pakistan. Ten people earned master's degrees in counseling, in religion, and in chaplaincy and pastoral care.
Dean and President Doug Travis said, "We're very pleased with the readiness of our graduates to lead and with the number who have assignments already in place."