Distinguished Alums

Established in 1986, the Distinguished Alum Award is given to graduates of Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary who have made a lasting impact on the Church and society through outstanding professional, volunteer, or philanthropic accomplishments; and/or who have advanced the Seminary’s mission, thereby enhancing Louisville Seminary’s impact on the Church and future generations of students.

The First Decade Award is awarded to recent graduates who have made a significant impact on the Church and their community in the first five to nine years of ministry and service after their graduation from Louisville Seminary.

List of Distinguished Alums

2020 Distinguished Alum Award Recipients

Stephen Hancock

Stephen Hancock (MDiv 1981)

Rev. Stephen Carey Hancock has served as Pastor/Head of Staff at Second Presbyterian Church of Little Rock since August 2001. Before coming to Little Rock, he served as pastor of Second Presbyterian Church in Nashville, Tennessee, for 10 years. While in Nashville, Steve served as Lecturer in Church and Ministries at Vanderbilt Divinity School. His ministerial callings also include service in churches in Indiana and Kentucky. While in Indiana, Steve also served as a Visiting Instructor in Preaching for two years at St. Meinrad School of Theology, a Roman Catholic Seminary.

In addition to his commitment to ministry, Steve has remained involved in his alma mater, Louisville Seminary. From 1982 to 1991, Steve served as Dean of Students and taught as Adjunct Professor of Preaching. He also recently served on the seminary’s Board of Trustees during seminary president Dean Thompson and Michael Jinkins’ tenures.

Steve is also a past Trustee for Lyons College in Arkansas and currently serves on the steering committee of the Arkansas Interfaith Alliance. Further, Steve serves the Presbytery of Arkansas as the Moderator of the Permanent Judicial Commission and as a member of the General Council.

R. Joseph Owles

R. Joseph Owles (MDiv ’97, ThM ’99)

Bishop R. Joseph Owles is a priest in the Independent Old Catholic Church and currently serves as Hospice Chaplain at Red Oak Hospice in Salem County, New Jersey. His service to ministry and community also includes: a chaplaincy at the University of Louisville Hospital; Director of Education and Youth at Anchorage Presbyterian Church; Founder and Head Pastor of the Kingdom of God Catholic Church; and Coordinator of the Year with Education initiative for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

R.J. is an author of many books including A Guide to Grief and Mourning, A Song to My Soul, Awake, and A Sheep Among Wolves: One Man’s Stubborn Commitment to the Idea that God is Love. He has also translated The Rule of Saint Benedict and the Tao Te Ching.

In his ministry, R.J. seeks to serve the Invisible God by serving those who are made in God’s image. He is committed to living as a disciple of Jesus Christ. He practices the Spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola as a “Contemplative in Action” who seeks to find God in all things. He also seeks to live the Sermon on the Mount as if it is the instruction manual for disciples of Jesus Christ. Above all else, R.J. believes that God is love – love is not what God does, but who God is. This means that if whatever is done is done without love, then it is not done for God.

Previous Distinguished Alum Award Recipients

William Addison Alexander, Jr. (’20)
William Avery Benfield, Jr. (’39,’40)
Frank Hill Caldwell (’25)
John R. Cunningham (’17)
Paul Milburn Edris (’35)
William Marion Elliot, Jr. (’26)
Charles E. S. Kraemer (’34)
William Robert Laws, Jr. (’43)
Eugene Feland Smathers (’32)

Olof Anderson, Jr. (’27)
Roy Hunter Short (’27, ’29)
George Henry Vick (’36, ’37)

T. Watson Street (’42)
Arch B. Taylor (’45)
Robert Walkup (’41)

Robert McLeod, Jr. (’26)
Ernest Mathews (’43)
John McQueen (’37)

Paul Garber (’37)
Stewart C. Henry (’37)
George Hubbard (’36)
Jameson Jones (’38)

John Olert, Jr. (’42)
Henry Pope Mobley, Jr. (’42)
T. Samuel Lee (’43)
Harold M. Parker, Jr. (’46)

Louise Hussey Farrior (’67)
Pitser Miller Lyons, III (’50)
Daniel Durham Rhodes (’44)

Earle W. Crawford (’38)
Olive Durham Haynes (’86)
Snowden Isaiah McKinnon (’53)

Jane Krauss Jackson (’74)
John McElroy Crowell (’41)
Landern Childers (’36)

William Higgins Hopper, Jr. (’53)
Edward Bicking “Casey” Jones (’54)
Dora Emma Pierce (’61)
Ray Woodrow Teeuwissen (’44, ’73)

Louis H. Coleman, Jr. (’79)
Paul L. Love (’53)
Joseph D. Powlas (’52)
Grayson L. Tucker, Jr. (’52, ’56)

Vernon A. Anderson (’20)
Malcolm C. McIver, Jr. (’44 )
Irvin Moxley (’59)
Joseph B. Mullin (’52)

George W. Gunn (’50)
John I. Rhea (’38)
Charles J. Ping (’54)

Lynn Lyman Gant (’81, ’89)
Bruce F. Gannaway (’53, ’61)
James B. Wilbanks (’53, ’62)

Marie Cross (’77, ’98)
T. Morton McMillan (’56, ’61)
Tom Schafer (’43)

Tom Duncan (’45)
Harold Knox (’53)
Syngman Rhee (’60)

Ann Reed Held (’78, ’86)
Thornton Wilson (Tony) Tucker (’55, ’60)
Edward L. Tullis (’47)
Lachlan Cumming Vass III (’40)

John B. Begley (’67)
Paul Y. Harlan (’65, ’88)
Washio Ishii (’63)
Homer T. Rickabaugh (’57)

W. Edward Farley (’53)
Joseph L. Hunter (’46)
Walter C. Sutton (’57, ’63)

Mary Gene Boteler (’78)
Milton P. Brown (’54)
Howard C. Walton Jr. (’49)

Frank Bean (’62; ’65; ’93)
George Edwards (’51)
James D. Howie (’59)
Thomas L. Jones (’55; ’59; ’77)
William McAtee (’59; ’65)
H. William Peterson, (’61)*
L. C. Rudolph (’51)

William J. Carl III (’73)
Marian McClure (’95)
K. C. Ptomey (’67)
David A. Steere (’56)

Edwin W. Albright (’65)
John T. Bare (’56)
Jennings F. Bryant Jr. (’71)
Cheryl R. Goodman-Morris (’77)
J. Mark Goodman-Morris (’76; ’85)
Maqsood P. Kamil ('92; '94)

George Carpenter (’56)
Jane Larsen-Wigger (’83)
Nyambura J. Njoroge (’85)

Addison D. (A.D.) Ellison Jr. (’45)
Jill M. Hudson (’86)
Isaac K. Njuguna (’75; ’79)
John B. Owen (’96)

Brenson P. Bishop (’95)
James H. Brown (’58)
J. Michael "Micky" Efird (’58)
Willa Fae Williams (’93)

SusanLee Clements ('02)
R. David Kaylor (’58)
Rick L. Nutt (’80)
Teresa E. Snorton (’82)
Christine E. White ('02)

Mark Baridon ('88)
Karen Devaisher ('92)
Landon Whitsitt ('05)
Lewis Donelson ('76)
Kathy Angi (’01)
J. Herbert Nelson II (’02)
Lewis Brogdon (’05)

Amanda Ragland (’88; ’89)
Jack Ragland (’88; ’89)
Rebecca (Becky) Balenger Smith Ritchey (’92)*
Jamsetta Ferguson (’06; ’13)

Elizabeth Hinson-Hasty (’95)
Ann Laird Jones (’82)
Charles Leo Stanford, Jr. (’58)
Angela Cowser (’06)

Deborah Block ('77)
Kilen Gray ('02, '16)
Karen Kolkes Akin ('79)

Conrad Sharps
Cindy Guertin-Anderson
J. Bradley Wigger
Lisa Hermann

Majid Abel (’97, ’01)
Nosheen Khan (’01)


Alum Award Program Guidelines

The Alum Association of Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary established the following Alum Awards:

Distinguished Alum Award: is given to someone who has made a lasting impact on the Church and Society through outstanding professional, volunteer, or philanthropic accomplishments; and/or who has advanced the Seminary’s mission thereby enhancing Louisville Seminary’s impact on the Church and future generations of students.

First Decade Award: is awarded to a recent graduate who has made a significant impact in the Church and his/her community in the first five to nine years of ministry and service after seminary.

  • Demonstrates strong leadership with committed dedication to faithfulness and effectiveness in their calling and/or vocation(s).
  • A strong advocate for the mission and vision of Louisville Seminary, showing passion and interest in her present and future.
  • Models an active spiritual life and demonstrates an ethic of care and compassion in their personal and professional life with a balance of confidence and humility.
  • Focused on service to others, showing leadership and giving back to the community. Contributing to the society around them modeling outstanding professional, voluntary, or philanthropic accomplishments.
  • Is an Alum of the Seminary with an earned degree
    • no more than one award per year can be awarded to an Alum posthumously
    • no more than one award per year can be awarded to a current member of staff, faculty, or administration
  • Has been out of seminary at least ten years at time of consideration (except for the First Decade Award candidates)
  • Not a current member of the Board of Trustees or Alum Board
  • Nominators shall nominate no more than one candidate for consideration per year for the purpose of diversity in nominations and representation. If multiple candidates are nominated by the same person in the same year, the task force will only consider the first completed application in the order they arrive.
Selection Process
  • The current year’s nomination form should be used to make a nomination and must be received electronically or postmarked by the deadline date.
  • The Engagement Committee of the Alum Board receives and reviews all nominations
  • Members of the Distinguished Alum Task Force of the Engagement Committee will be ineligible to nominate for the years they are receiving and recommending nominations.
  • Nominees are considered and chosen based on the nomination form that is submitted along with any materials that accompany the form, and/or additional information secured in the review process.
  • The Engagement Committee of the Alum Board presents names to the full Alum Board for vote
The Engagement Committee of the Alum Board, carefully reviews all nomination materials it receives so that it can make its recommendation to the spring meeting of the Alum Board, which officially names the Distinguished Alum Award. Normally, the Committee recommends only three alum be honored annually, and will award no more than one First Decade Award in each year. First decade awards will be considered but not necessarily awarded every year. In years where there are a plethora of nominees, those not chosen will be held for consideration for up to three years after the original nomination date.

The Alum Board will actively seek nominees for the award, as early as January 1. The Engagement Committee considers nominations based on the criteria listed above. In the past, recipients have been recognized for “distinguished service in a particular ministry,” as well as “lifetime achievement.”

The Committee emphasizes the importance of a complete nomination, which must include adequate information describing the person’s history and work, as well as at least two letters of recommendation. All information must be submitted to the Office of Institutional Advancement.

Please be advised that the Committee can only review, and make its recommendation to the Alum Board based on the materials sent to them. Therefore, a careful, thoughtful and complete nomination is most helpful in the selection process.

Deadline for Consideration
The deadline for submission of all materials, including letters of recommendation, is May 1st.

Click here to Nominate an Alum

Contact Andrea Stevens, Director of Annual Giving and Alum Relations at astevens@lpts.edu with any questions.

The committee will notify nominators as to whether their candidate has been selected.

Presentation of the Award
The Distinguished Alum Awards will be presented each year during Louisville Seminary Alum Reunion. The Distinguished Alum(s) and their guest(s) will be our guests during the Reunion.