Alma mater they called it in more innocent but no less culpable times.

An awful lot to lay on a stint in school.

I brought a untutored brew of vocation and a love of the spoken word to Harvard Divinity School some 45 years ago.

I had plans. Harvard had ways. They let me in, gave me the run of the place, leant me money. I was up to my eyes in proper learning. I meant to get into the priesthood of something or other. They rightly thought that was ill conceived.

I seem to have spent a good part of the time since then working out a liturgical or hortatory plan b.

A school ensued, traipsing the world, scrawling, up against Brother Blue’s incandescent example.

Turns out a few at Harvard have lately thought well of me, and are ready to make a fuss. I’ve just learned there are doings in the works. Bless their alma. And their mater.

Credibility, finally.

Stephen Jenkinson
Founder of Orphan Wisdom

This year, Harvard Divinity School recognizes Stephen Jenkinson with a Distinguished Alumni Honors Award:

Stephen has been awarded as a Gomes Honoree for helping people navigate grief, exploring the liminal space between life and death, and connecting humanity through ceremony and storytelling.

About the award: This year’s theme, “Journeys of the Soul,” honors those who contemplate the wide array of knowledge that can help shed the limitations of earthly perceptions and connect humanity to the transcendent.

“With this theme, we seek to honor those who, throughout various systems of belief, are dedicated to lifting the veils that obscure our ordinary state of being and illuminate expanded experiences… These honorees are known for asking and exploring some of humanity’s deepest questions: Where did we come from? What are we doing here? Where are we going? And what is the meaning of it all?” Read more about the award here.