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Honorary Degrees

Honorary degrees are reserved for those whose lives reflect the values of King’s mission and have achieved notable accomplishments and made generous contributions in their life’s work and service.

In holding a degree bearing the King name, these persons bring honor to the school and its history. Past degrees awarded have included Doctor of Divinity, Doctor of Laws, Doctor of Letters, Doctor of Humane Letters, Doctor of Fine Arts, and Doctor of Science.

King University traditionally bestows honorary degrees during one of its commencement ceremonies.

Background and Purpose of Honorary Degrees at King University

The highest honor a university bestows is that of its degree—normally an earned degree. It is traditional and appropriate for universities such as King in exceptionally meritorious cases to award an honorary degree, one that by its nature is not earned in the usual manner of matriculation and satisfaction of academic degree requirements. The honorary degree is thus considered the highest of these highest honors. King has a long history of responsibly awarding honorary degrees in a manner that benefits both the recipient and the school. King honorary degrees can serve a variety of institutional purposes including:

  • Associating the university with exemplars whose character, accomplishments, scholarship, creativity, ministry or philanthropy are deemed worthy of emulation by those within and outside the university community.
  • Expressing the highest level of gratitude for extraordinary selfless contributions (of all sorts) to the university and its students.
  • Recognizing King alumni who have in their professional, civic, ministry, or service undertakings brought great credit to the university in their particular contexts.
  • Building or solidifying an ongoing relationship with an influential and worthy public person (internationally, nationally, regionally, or within his or her own community) who by virtue of receiving such a degree will in turn bring honor and recognition to the university.
  • Recognizing exceptional dedicated Christian ministry or service by ordained and lay persons, especially when the nature of their work is unlikely to result in secular recognition or generous renumeration.
  • Strengthening the institution’s association with the communities we serve and in which we are present and strengthening the school’s relationships with organizations vital to the future and success of the university.

Honorary Degree Recipients

Dr. Elizabeth R. Achtemeier

Dr. William Kirk Allen, Jr.

John Lee Allison

Dr. Antonio Almeida

John Pegram Anderson

Earnest Andrew (Andy) Andrews

The Reverend Hugh Frederick Ash

Dr. Myron S. Augsburger

The Reverend Joseph Little Auten

Dr. Herbert Bernard Barks, Jr.

Lembel Nelson Bell

Senator Marsha Blackburn

The Reverend Hunter Bryson Blakely, Jr.

Wade H. Boggs

Robert Peter “Pete” Bogner

George Thomas Bourne

Benjamin Lowry Bowman

The Reverend John Harper Brady

William Emerson Brock, III

The Reverend Everett Kennedy Brown

Dr. Stephen W. Brown

W. Dale Brown

Miss Anne Ruth Bryan

Dr. William Turner Bryant

John Henderson Caldwell

E. Neal Caldwell

Dr. Edward Stephen Campbell

William Walter Carson

Dr. Charles Clifton Carson

The Reverend James Daniel Carter

David W. Carter

George T. Chandler

Dr. and Mrs. Kap Soo Chang

Mrs. Eloise E. Clark

Frank Emmett Clark

The Reverend William Matheson Clark

Dr. Lois M. Clarke

The Honorable Frank Goad Clement

Thomas Stone Clyce

Dr. Donald Stanley Coffey

Dr. Charles W. Colson

The Reverend Marvin Keen Compher

Cortez Alonzo Cooper, Jr.

The Reverend Dr. Robert W. Cousar, Jr.

James Chalmers Cowan

Robert Lerhea Cowman

The Reverend Charles Crimp Cowsert, Jr.

Robert McFerran Crowe

Thomas Leon Cummings, Jr.

The Reverend Eugene Lewis Daniel, Jr.

Earnest Davenport

The Reverend Thompson Elder Davis, Sr.

Lawrence Edward Davis

Lee George Davy

Earnest W. Deavenport, Jr.

Pauline Massengill DeFriece

Joseph James Delaney

Dr. Oswald Delgado

Henry Benson Dendy

Thomas McCallie Divine

Alexander Hunt Doak

Marshall W. Doggett, Jr.

President Burgil Estel Dossett

Guy B. Duff

Robert D. Earnest

The Reverend Robert Doggett Earnest

The Reverend Irving Melville Ellis

Jeffery Lance Ethell

The Reverend Benjamin Hoyt Evans

Cecil Lee Ewing

William Marvin Flannagan

William Garnett Foster, Jr.

James Luther Fowle

The Reverend Christopher McCoy Franklin

The Dr.’s Powell and Annelle Fraser

The Reverend Thomas Fry, Jr.

The Reverend Charles Darby Fulton

Dr. Gloria Gaither

The Reverend Charles Edward Gammon, II

The Reverend Alvin Allen Gardner, Jr.

Robert P. George

Mrs. Leonard Burns Gibbs

Thomas William Gillispie

The Reverend Theodore Marvin Greenhoe

Dr. Jeff J. Gregory

John M. Gregory

Lord and Lady Brian Griffiths

Dr. Os Guinness

Dr. Manford George Gutzke

The Reverend Benjamin Haden

George Caldwell Hager

Herbert Halverstadt

William Wistar Hamilton

G.B. Hancher

Walter Ellis Harrop

The Reverend Collier Smith Harvey, Jr.

The Reverend Harry S. Hassall

Dr. Nathan O. Hatch

Mrs. Fred J. Hay

The Reverend Samuel Hutson Hay

Michael G. Helton

Robert Eugene Henderlite

Langdon Mosley Henderlite

D.A. Hogshead

The Reverend Charles Jarman Hollandsworth

Mr. James Bradford Hollenhead

The Reverend Robert Spencer Hough

Dr. Thomas Dunlap Hunter, Jr.

Dr. Richard Gordon Hutcheson

Frank Lee Jackson

Dr. Kay Coles James

Dr. Ananthi Jebasingh

Dr. N. Emil Jebasingh

Carroll Douglas Jenkins

Representative William L. Jenkins

Andrew Albert Jumper

The Reverend William Francis Junkin, Jr.

Dr. William S. Kanaga

The Reverend Richard Polk Keeton

The Reverend Dr. Balmer Hancock Kelly

Byry David Kennedy

Walter King Keys

Dr. Jin-Hong Kim

Dr. Charles King

Louis A. King

Mrs. William R. Laird, III

The Reverend Samuel Baxter Lapsley

James Edward Latham

The Reverend John Cecil Lawrence

Doyle Lawson

Dr. Oak Lim

Yon Ok Lim

Jonathon Miller Liston

Dr. William W. Locke

Nicholas M. Long

Clifford Clardk Loomis

Anne Graham Lotz

John Sprole Lyons

Pitser Miller Lyons, III

The Reverend Joseph Bingham Mack

Kathrina Macellan

Mrs. Robert L. Maclellan

Hugh O. Maclellen

The Reverend John Howard Macrae

The Reverend William Tally Manson, Jr.

Charles Howard Maury

Graham Clark McChesney

The Reverend James Munn McChesney, Jr.

Charles Sydmor McChesney

Frank Munn McChesney

Dr. and Mrs. Charles Goddard McClure

The Reverend Robert E. McClure

Thomas Maxwell McConnell

David Franklin McConnell

Thomas Jasper McConnell

Jim Nance McCord

Dr. Matthew McGowan

Dr. Charles E. McGowan

Robert McInturff

Dr. Donald C. McKenzie

The Reverend John Henry McKinnon, Jr.

Joseph Richard McCree

Marshall Wallace Millard

Murphy Davis Miller

The Reverend Harold Whitefield Minor, Jr.

The Reverend Elmer Perry Mobley

Dr. Samuel Hugh Moffett

Michael Morgan

John Morrison

Coral Montgomery Newman

Charles Sydney Newman

The Reverend Benjamin Franklin Ormand, Jr.

Dr. Charles Hankley Owens

Katherine Woneldorf Paterson

Alfred Lewis Patterson

James Godfrey Patton

The Reverend Willard Alexander Peak

Dr. M. Catherine Peeke

Dr. Victor Pentz

Charles Robertson Pepper

Ferinand O. Pharr

Joshua Phipps

Dr. Rebecca Pippert

Charles Henry Pratt

Samuel Rhea Preton

Dr. Scott Livingstone Probasco, Jr.

The Honorable James H. Quillen

Albert Richard “Rocky” Rausch

Dr. Richard A. Ray

Richard Clark Reed

Walter Taylor Reveley, III (“Taylor”)

Richard Samuel Reynolds

The Reverend John Irwin Rhea

The Reverend Thomas Clarke Rye Rhea

James McDowell Richards

John Koontz Roberts

Mr. Woodrow Wilson Robinson

James W. Rogan

The Reverend William Rathmill Rollins

The Reverend Benjamin Lacy Rose

David Earl Ross

Ellen Fraser Ross

Dr. Eleanor Rupp

The Reverend Preston Orr Sartelle

Paul Armand Scherer

The Reverend William Mitchell Schotanus

Samuel Taylor Senter

Joseph Ramsey Sevier

Dr. Angus Robertson Shaw, III

Henry Hugh Shelton

Dr. Stephen Jamison Sloop

Dr. James Harvey Smith

William Graham Smith

The Reverend Maurice Omar Sommers

Dr. Jule Christian Spach

William Thompson Spears

Dr. Julian W. Spitzer

William Henry Tappey Squires

The Reverend Robert Lansing Stamper

Everett Butler Stanley

Carl Herman Stark

Earnest Lee Stoffel

Dr. and Mrs. Lowell Sykes

Archiblad Alexander Doak Tadlock

The Reverend Manson Booth Tate

Dr. David W. A. Taylor

The Reverend Willard Gillreth Thomas

The Reverend Chilton Frazier Thorington

Dr. Warren Fred Thuston

Dr. Iain Torrance

James Frazier Van Dyke

Joseph Anderson Vance

James Isaac Vance

Dr. Silas Max Vaughn

Dr. Waldon Franklin Wadsworth

Dr. Inez Morton Wager

The Reverend Chancellor Byron Waites

Jesse Albert Wallace

Benjamin Edward Wallace

Isaac Emmons Wallace

James Darnell Wallace

Dr. Morris DeSaussure Warren

Dr. Paul Frederic Warren

Dr. Max Weaver

Dr. Scott Weimer

Dr. James Wilson White

The Reverend Samuel Shannon Wiley

The Reverend David Elmore Wilkinson

Dr. Charles Williams

The Reverend Archie Brown Williford

The Reverend W. Ernest Wilson

Dr. Nicholas Wolterstorff

Dr. Fredrick Zollicoffer Woodward

John S. Yelton