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St. Stephen's College grants two honorary degrees-the Doctor of Divinity and the Doctor of Sacred Letters-and one meritorious award-the Order of St. Stephen's College. These honours are conferred annually at the College's convocation ceremony in November. Nominations for each degree and award can be made by submitting an online nomination form no later than May 15 of each calendar year. Details of the nomination process, and the specific criteria for each honour, are outlined below.

Description and Criteria

The Doctor of Divinity (honoris causa) is awarded to individuals whose contributions reflect meritorious service, outstanding leadership in denominational or ecumenical contexts, and/or outstanding commitment and contribution to ministry, whether ordered or lay. This degree is awarded for excellence and/or outstanding contributions in one or more of the following areas:

  • Pastoral or missionary experience
  • Theological scholarship
  • Faith and public life
  • Community responsibility

The Doctor of Sacred Letters (honoris causa) is awarded for special contributions to the life and work of the church, the community, or the College which are not necessarily inclusive of faith ministry. The contributions would normally reflect meritorious service, outstanding leadership, or scholarship of a high order which directly or indirectly furthers the vision and mission of the College. It would reflect excellence and/or outstanding contributions in such fields as:

  • Service to the academic community
  • Service to the community at large
  • Contributions to philosophy, literature, the arts or spirituality which are complementary to the values of the College
  • Exemplary service to the College not primarily of a theological nature
  • Contributions to religious communities which are complementary to the ecumenical and interfaith objectives of the College

The Order of St. Stephen's College recognizes a person or group that makes or has made an outstanding contribution through leadership, advocacy or research in the local, provincial, national, or international context. Such contributions may be related to the improvement and nurture of society. Fields to be recognized may include education, faith/religious communities, chaplaincy, mediation, management, media services, the arts, health care, counseling, multicultural relationships, and care of the Earth.

Nomination Process

Nominations for honorary degrees and awards are typically made in writing through the online nomination form. The committee also welcomes oral nominations in instances where the nominee's work is best articulated through storytelling and traditional means of sharing.

The Nomination Form will ask for the following information:

  1. the name, contact information, and position of the Nominator(s),
  2. the name, contact information, and position of the Nominee,
  3. a statement of what honour the nominee is being recommended for (DD, DSL, OSSC),
  4. a brief curriculum vitae of the Nominee (either in writing (max. 300 words) or through oral account),
  5. succinct descriptions (either in writing or through oral account) indicating: (a) what the Nominee does or has done to deserve nomination (max. 300 words), (b) the significance of the nominee's contribution for the community (max. 300 words), (c) recognition of other awards and/or honours the nominee may have already received (if any) (max. 150 words), and (d) evidence of how the nominee's contributions relate to the vision, mission, and values of St. Stephen's College (max. 300 words).
  6. two or more reference letters (signed) or oral testimonies, addressed to the Awards and Honorary Degrees Committee

**Note: requirements 1-3 must be made in writing through the online nomination form, while requirements 4-6 can be made either in writing or orally.


The Committee does not normally consider:

  • Nominations of current members of the Board of Governors, the Academic Senate, faculty, staff and administration of the College, employees of the College, or currently serving members of governing bodies or Committees of the College.
  • Nominations of active Canadian politicians.
  • Nominations of deceased persons (for posthumous awarding of degrees or awards).


Nominators shall take care to maintain confidentiality, not revealing the nomination to the nominee or to anyone else until the honorary degree or award has been adjudicated by the Academic Senate.

Submission of Nominations

Nominations should be submitted online through the Nomination Form, no later than May 15 of each calendar year. Questions and other correspondence regarding honorary degrees and awards can be directed to the Office of the Dean of St. Stephen's College, either by email or by post:

Awards and Honorary Degrees Committee
c/o Office of the Dean
St. Stephen's College,
at the University of Alberta
8810 112 Street
Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2J6

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