Thursday, May 24, 2007
EDS Honors The Rt. Rev. James Kelsey With Doctor of Divinity, Honoris Causa
May 22, 2007, CAMBRIDGE, MA – The Rt. Rev. James Kelsey, Bishop of the Diocese of Northern Michigan, was presented a from Episcopal Divinity School “for his prophetic leadership in supporting the baptismal ministry of all Episcopalians and for the Diocese’s work in helping to transform congregations from being communities gathered around a minister to ministering communities” at their Commencement ceremony on May 17, 2007 at the First Church in Cambridge, Congregational, in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
“Some ministry folk who are truly skilled in collaborative, shared ministry are educated over time into this path. Some are deeply shaped in mutual ministry by those with whom they serve,” said Dr. Fredrica Harris Thompsett in her citation honoring Kelsey. “Some are called out to witness biblically and prophetically, following the Apostle Paul’s missionary methods and appreciation of diverse gifts within each and every community. And some frankly are just born with a taste for companionship. Jim Kelsey, you are a bit of all of these paths to baptismal ministry, and much more.”
The Rt. Rev. James Kelsey is the Bishop of the Diocese of Northern Michigan. An advocate for collaborative ministry, a non-hierarchal form of leadership which includes a locally ordained priest and a team of persons who share ministry support responsibilities, Kelsey and others in the diocese have played a leadership role in introducing collaborative ministry to other dioceses in both the Episcopal Church and elsewhere in the Anglican Communion. EDS recognized Bishop James Kelsey and the Diocese of Northern Michigan for their prophetic leadership in supporting the baptismal ministry of all Episcopalians.
“You not only speak of but you practice ‘shared Episcopacy.’ With consummate hospitality and unfailing good humor you and your diocesan family have shared your experience in ministry with many visitors from the U.S., Canada and overseas,” said Thompsett. “We are proud too that you have persistently stood in genuine friendship with lesbian and gay colleagues, worked energetically for ecological justice in territory where natural gifts have mostly been ‘mined away,’ strategically spoken truth to power in recent Bishops’ meetings, and labored as a small diocese in this large land to advance other paths where justice and mercy meet.
“We know that it is antithetical for you to accept any honor including this one standing alone in leadership without collegial brothers and sisters. We know too that the loving spirit of diocesan companions and far-flung friends upholds and travels with you.”
EDS conferred 21 degrees including nine Master of Divinity, one Master of Arts in Theological Studies, seven Doctor of Ministry, one Advanced Certificate of Theological Study, and three Certificates of Theological Study at their Commencement ceremony. EDS was pleased to also confer Doctor of Divinity, honoris causa degrees on: The Rev. Canon Gregory Cameron, Ms. Catherine Hoffman, and The Most Rev. Njongonkulu Winston Hugh Ndungane, who all have distinguished and faithful ministries in social justice. The Commencement address was delivered by Archbishop Ndungane.
About Episcopal Divinity School
Episcopal Divinity School is a respected center of study and spiritual formation for lay and ordained leaders with a strong commitment to justice, compassion, and reconciliation. EDS, formed in 1974 with the merger of Philadelphia Divinity School (founded in 1857) and Episcopal Theological School (founded in 1867), offers doctor of ministry and master’s degrees, as well as certificates in theological studies. Located on an eight acre campus just a few blocks from Harvard Yard, EDS is a member of the Boston Theological Institute, a consortium of nine eminent theological schools, seminaries, and departments of religion.