Clay Matthews to Receive an Honorary Degree

The University of the South will celebrate Foundation Day on Friday, Sept. 20. The convocation, which will be held at 4:30 p.m. in All Saints’ Chapel, will include the conferral of three honorary degrees and the induction of new members into the Order of the Gown.


The Rt. Rev. Dr. Frank Clayton Matthews, former bishop for the Office of Pastoral Development, will receive an honorary degree along with Dr. John Lewis Ford, former dean of campus life at Emory University, and Dr. Sylvia Earle, the world’s best-known oceanographer, who also will be the speaker.


Matthews is a native of North Carolina and a graduate of Hampden-Sydney College. He received master of divinity and doctor of ministry degrees from Virginia Theological Seminary. In 1998, while serving as bishop suffragan in the Diocese of Virginia, he was called to become the bishop for the Office of Pastoral Development, a ministry of the presiding bishop’s office. He remained in that post under three presiding bishops, until his retirement in 2017. During his time as bishop for that office, he worked closely with the chancellors of the Episcopal Church on disciplinary complaints involving bishops, diocesan mediations and conflict resolutions, interventions, property disputes, and all Episcopal elections. Bishop Matthews continues to serve as the managing director of the College of Bishops, a program that was developed in 2004. Under his leadership, the College became an authorized school for education and formation of bishops of the Episcopal Church, the Anglican Church of Canada, Wales, Scotland, Tanzania, Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, New Zealand, Australia, Cuba, and others. He led the development of the College’s three-year program for new bishops, “Living our Vows,” that helps them grow spiritually and vocationally. It will be sustained, after Bishop Matthews’ retirement in December 2019, by tuitions, support of the General Convention of the Episcopal Church, and the endowment created during his tenure as director.


You may watch convocation via the live-stream.