CDSP awarded an honorary degree to the Rev. Dr. Tim Vivian ’88 at its annual alumni convocation on October 11.
Vivian, a retired Episcopal priest and professor emeritus of religious studies at California State University Bakersfield, holds bachelor, master’s, and Ph.D. degrees from the University of California, Santa Barbara, as well as a master’s degree from Cal Poly and an M.Div. from CDSP.
In 2007, after a substantial majority of the clergy and laity of the Diocese of San Joaquin left the Episcopal Church in opposition to its inclusion of LGBT people, Vivian helped maintain the Episcopal Church’s presence in the diocese and was appointed vicar of a new congregation, Grace Episcopal Church in Bakersfield, by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori. When he retired at the end of 2017, the church had 200 members.
In presenting the degree, the Rev. Gary Commins ’80 ‘01, cited Vivian’s “courage in standing up for peace and human equality in a hostile social and ecclesiastical environment,” and “his determination to build up an inclusive church ex nihilo in a spiritually arid place.”
In his academic life, Vivian has published numerous books, articles, and book reviews on early Christianity, especially Egyptian monasticism.
The degree was awarded at CDSP’s convocation Eucharist in All Saints Chapel. The Rev. Canon Andrea McMillin, a CDSP trustee, preached, and the Rt. Rev. Tom Breidenthal ’81, also a trustee, presided.