Virginia Theological Seminary to award 4 honorary degrees

September 27, 2011

Four honorary doctorate degrees will be awarded during the Oct. 4 annual academic convocation at Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria.

The Doctor in Divinity, honoris causa, degree will be awarded to Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia Bishop Herman Hollerith and Diarmaid Ninian John MacCulloch, professor of the History of the Church at the University of Oxford and Fellow of St. Cross College, Oxford.

The Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, degree will be awarded to Ysaye M. Barnwell, member of the legendary women's vocal group Sweet Honey in the Rock, and Sidney Buford Scott, community activist and chairman of the Scott Group of Scott & Stringfellow, LLC.

Details about each degree recipient follow.

Hollerith was consecrated as the 10th bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia in February 2009. He has served as rector of Bruton Parish in Williamsburg, Virginia, and rector of Prince George Winyah in Georgetown, South Carolina. He holds a Master of Divinity degree from Yale Divinity School and a Bachelor of Science degree from Denison University. Hollerith was ordained to the priesthood in 1983 and was elected bishop on Sept. 27, 2008.

MacCulloch has been professor of the History of the Church at the University of Oxford since 1997 and fellow of St. Cross College, Oxford, since 1995. In 1987, he was ordained deacon in the Church of England. He is an award-winning author.

Barnwell has been a member of Sweet Honey In The Rock since 1979. Her training as a sign language interpreter led her to facilitate the group's practice of making concerts accessible to the deaf through American Sign Language interpretation. Barnwell holds Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Speech Pathology (SUNY, Geneseo, 1967, 1968), the Doctor of Philosophy in Speech Pathology degree (University of Pittsburgh, 1975), and the Master of Science in Public Health degree (Howard University, 1981).

Scott is chairman of the Scott Group of Scott & Stringfellow, LLC. Scott recently celebrated his 49th anniversary with Scott & Stringfellow and continues to serve as chairman of the firm's board of directors. A community activist in his city of Richmond, Virginia, Scott helped found the Micah Association, a mentoring program that now actively partners 1300 persons in 105 faith communities to work with at-risk children in elementary schools.

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