Presiding Bishop named ETSS commencement speaker, will receive honorary degree

March 13, 2007

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori will preach the commencement sermon and receive an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree during the May 15 graduation at the Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, Texas.

"The Seminary of the Southwest is delighted to welcome Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori back to our community," said the Rev. Dr. Philip Turner, interim dean of the seminary. "We look forward to her address and her participation in our commencement festivities."

The seminary's 56th commencement ceremony begins at 10 a.m. on May 15 at St. Matthew's Episcopal Church in Austin.

Jefferts Schori first came to the Austin seminary in 2005 to visit two of her Nevada seminarians -- the Revs. Margaret Fuller and Susanne Methven. Fuller, who graduated in 2006, serves St. Mary's Church in Winnemucca. Methven, who will be among 37 persons receiving degrees this May, was ordained to the diaconate by Jefferts Schori in October 2006 -- the Presiding Bishop's last diocesan ordination.

The May 15 graduation marks the first time the Presiding Bishop will preach a commencement sermon and receive an honorary degree from an Episcopal seminary.

Founded in 1951 by the 22nd Presiding Bishop John Hines when he was bishop coadjutor of Texas, the Seminary of the Southwest has awarded honorary doctoral degrees to two other former Presiding Bishops -- Edmond Browning (1995) and Frank Griswold (2004). Hines was awarded an honorary doctoral degree by the seminary when its first class graduated in 1954.