Virginia seminary to award 4 honorary degrees

April 28, 2011

Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, during its annual commencement ceremony on May 19, will award four honorary degrees to North Carolina Bishop Michael B. Curry; Texas Bishop C. Andrew Doyle; Joan G. Ogilvy Holden, head of St. Stephen's & St. Agnes School in Washington, D.C.; and Professor Simon Lee, founder of the Senator George Mitchell Centre for Peace and Global Responsibility.

"Honorary degrees are awarded every year by Virginia Theological Seminary in recognition of faithful and notable service and also creative and innovative leadership in parish ministry, in overseas mission, academia, and in ecumenical, social, diocesan, and national church ministries," according to an April 27 press release from the seminary.

Curry was elected 11th bishop of North Carolina in February 2000. He serves on the boards of a large number of organizations, including the Alliance for Christian Media and the Day1 Advisory Committee, and was a member of the Commission on Ministry in each of the three dioceses where he has served.

Doyle was elected bishop coadjutor of the Diocese of Texas in May 2008 and seated as the ninth bishop of Texas in June 2009. He served as a deputy to General Convention in 2006 and 2009. Locally, Doyle's ministry includes a broad range of experience on boards including the diocesan foundations, finance, and communication, mission funding, the diocesan executive board and the Hispanic commission.

Holden became headmistress at St. Agnes School in 1984 and was named the first head of the combined institutions of St. Stephen's & St. Agnes in 1990. In 2009, Holden received the Washington Post's 2008-2009 Distinguished Educational Leadership Award, recognizing her as a head of school who goes beyond the daily demands of the position to create an exceptional educational environment.

Lee founded the Senator George Mitchell Centre for Peace and Global Responsibility, an institution that connects peace and peace building with the world faiths, philosophy and sociology and exploring its implications with a wide array of professions, disciplines, and communities.

Founded in 1823, Virginia Theological Seminary is the largest of the 11 accredited seminaries of the Episcopal Church.