FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Alexandria, Va.) – Honorary doctorates were conferred upon five distinguished recipients at Virginia Theological Seminary’s annual Academic Convocation yesterday. The Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, was awarded to Brian Clarke. The Doctor of divinity, honoris causa degree was awarded to Dr. Naim Stifan Ateek, the Rev. Daniel R. Heischman D.D., the Rt. Rev. Samuel Sewall Rodman III, and the Rt. Rev. Carl Walter Wright.
“From an activist, to an artist, to an educator, to Bishops, the Seminary honors a life well lived,” said the Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D., dean and president of Virginia Theological Seminary. “We are delighted to do so and honored that these honorary degrees are accepted. They are making a difference to the Church.”
The Rev. Naim Stifan Ateek, D.D. is a Palestinian priest in the Anglican Communion and founder of the Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center in Jerusalem. He was the first to articulate a Palestinian theology of liberation in his book, Justice, and only Justice, a Palestinian Theology of Liberation, published by Orbis in 1989, and based on his dissertation for his degree in theology. A former Canon of St. George’s Cathedral Jerusalem, he lectures widely both at home and abroad.
Brian Clarke. is a British artist; a painter and architectural stained glass designer who has breathed new life into the art form. His groundbreaking work has been featured in such diverse settings as the Pfizer World Headquarters in New York, the King Kahled International Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, the Dutch National Ballet in Amsterdam, and now in Virginia Seminary’s Immanuel Chapel, where his three abstract depictions of the Holy Trinity have given fresh inspiration that will carry us beyond our bicentennial.
The Rev. Daniel R. Heischman D.D. is the executive director of the National Association of Episcopal Schools (NAES). Prior to his work with NAES, Daniel was College Chaplain at Trinity College, Hartford, After leading The Council for Religion in Independent Schools, you served as Head of the Upper School at St. Alban’s in Washington, D.C., and then as College Chaplain at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. A noted speaker, workshop leader, and author, Rev. Heischman is a doctoral programs instructor at Virginia Theological Seminary.
The Rt. Rev. Samuel Sewall Rodman III ’87 is the 12th Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina and was consecrated on July 15, 2017, by his predecessor, the Most Rev. Michael Bruce Curry, Presiding Bishop and Primate of The Episcopal Church. For 23 years, Bishop Rodman served as a parish priest in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. He then served as the Project Manager for the Campaign Initiatives in the Diocese of Massachusetts on the Together Now campaign, where he helped raise $20 million in funding.
The Rt. Rev. Carl Walter Wright ’90 was consecrated Bishop Suffragan for the Armed Forces and Federal Ministries in February of 2017. Prior to that, Wright was rector of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Pasadena, Maryland, and was appointed Archdeacon. As an Air Force chaplain, he saw the world, serving in Germany, Iraq, Kuwait, Korea, and throughout the United States. Having enjoyed 32 years of continuous military service, Wright has also been a member of the Union of Black Episcopalians since 1980 and serves as Honorary Chair of the Board.
Founded in 1823 as a beacon of hope in a country new and finding its way, Virginia Theological Seminary has led the way in forming leaders of the Episcopal Church, including: the Most Rev. John E. Hines (VTS 1933, D.D. 1946), former presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church; the Rt. Rev. John T. Walker (VTS 1954, D.D. 1978), the first African-American bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington; and theologian, author and lay preacher Ms. Verna J. Dozier (VTS D.D. 1978). Serving the worldwide Anglican Communion, Virginia Theological Seminary educates approximately 25% of those being ordained who received residential theological education. Visit us online at www.vts.edu.