2016 Honorary Degree Recipients Announced

CAMBRIDGE, MA, March 31, 2016—Episcopal Divinity School (EDS) has announced its 2016 commencement ceremony will take place on May 19, at the First Church in Cambridge, Congregational, in Cambridge, MA, at 2:00pm. At the ceremony, EDS will present honorary doctor of divinity degrees to three individuals: the Rev. Cn. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas, Dr. Joseph B. Moore, and the Rev. Elder Dr. Nancy L. Wilson.

The Rev. Cn. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas will deliver the commencement address. Douglas is The Susan D. Morgan Professor and Chair of the Religion Program at Goucher College in Baltimore, MD, the canon theologian at the Washington National Cathedral, and a leading voice in the development of a womanist theology.

About the 2016 Honorary Degree Recipients

Kelly Brown DouglasThe Rev. Cn. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas is the Susan D. Morgan Professor and Chair of the Religion Program at Goucher College in Baltimore, MD. A leading voice in the development of a womanist theology, Essence magazine counts Douglas “among this country’s most distinguished religious thinkers, teachers, ministers, and counselors.” She has published numerous essays and articles in national publications, and her books include The Black Christ; Sexuality and the Black Church; What’s Faith Got to Do With It?: Black Bodies/Christian Soul; Black Bodies and the Black Church: A Blues Slant; and most recently, in 2015, Stand Your Ground: Black Bodies and the Justice of God.

Douglas is an ordained priest in The Episcopal Church and is the canon theologian at the Washington National Cathedral. In January 2016, she was a keynote speaker at Trinity Institute’s Listen for a Change: Sacred Conversations for Racial Justice conference.

Joseph B. MooreDr. Joseph B. Moore is in his ninth year as president of Lesley University in Cambridge, MA. Moore was a central figure in guiding the negotiations of the EDS-Lesley partnership that occurred from 2007 to 2010. His leadership and devotion to the spirit of the partnership was instrumental in bringing the complex partnership agreement to fruition and solidifying trust between the two institutions.

In addition to the partnership with EDS, and the initiation of Lesley University’s presence onto the Brattle Street campus during his presidency, Moore has also overseen the university’s relocation of its Graduate School of Arts and Social Sciences to a property adjacent to the Brattle Campus, completed renovations to all of the Threshold Program's facilities on Oxford Street, and celebrated the grand opening of the $46 million Lunder Arts Center that is the new home for the Lesley University College of Art and Design that enhances the university’s presence at Porter Square, Cambridge.

Nancy L. WilsonThe Rev. Elder Dr. Nancy L. Wilson has been moderator of Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC) since 2005, following the retirement of the founder of MCC, Rev. Elder Troy Perry. In July 2010, she was re-elected for a term of six years. She is only the second person, and the first woman, to serve in that role since the founding of MCC in 1968. Wilson, who received a DMin from Episcopal Divinity School in 2011, has spoken at national and international conferences on the topics of eradicating human trafficking, a queer response to climate change, global LGBTQI human rights, religion and social change, and marriage equality.

In 2011, President Barack Obama appointed Wilson to the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Following President Obama’s re-election in 2013, Wilson gave a Scripture reading at the Inaugural Prayer Service at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC, and was the first openly gay clergy member to participate. Wilson’s published works include Outing the Bible: Queer Folks, God, Jesus, and the Christian Scriptures; Outing the Church: 40 Years in the Queer Christian Movement; and Our Tribe: Queer Folks, God, Jesus and the Bible.

About Episcopal Divinity School

Episcopal Divinity School (EDS) is a progressive seminary and theological graduate school for lay and ordained leaders of all denominations. Committed to a mission of social justice and inclusive education and grounded in the Anglican tradition, EDS awards Masters’ degrees in Divinity and Theological Studies, Doctoral degrees in Ministry, and Certificates in Anglican Formation; Justice, Reconciliation, and Mission; and Christian Spiritualities for the Contemporary World.

EDS offers unparalleled flexibility in its programs. Students may complete their course of study as Traditional Learning students, in residence at the school’s historic Cambridge campus, or as Distributive Learning students, taking blended online classes and completing four weeks of intensive campus residency per year.

EDS graduates serve as lay and ordained ministers of the Episcopal Church as well as in other Christian denominations. They are also leaders in a variety of professions and industries, including non-profit executives, mental health professionals, social workers, community organizers, academics, artists, and writers, often in addition to their work as clergy or church leaders.

EDS is a member of the Boston Theological Institute, a consortium of theological schools, seminaries, and departments of religion in the Boston area.

A seminary for The Episcopal Church, Episcopal Divinity School is grounded in the Anglican tradition and committed to growing in relationship with other Christian and faith traditions. Episcopal Divinity School is an academic community of biblical, historical, and theological inquiry that respects students as responsible learners with valuable experience, supports spiritual and ministerial formation, and provides tools for the life-long work of social and personal transformation.


This article was reported and written by the Episcopal Divinity School Communications and Marketing staff. For questions or comments, please email comms@eds.edu.