COVID-19 Info and Updates   Learn More »

Our Honorary Doctorate Recipients

St. Mark’s College is proud to be associated with our many distinguished honorary doctorate recipients (Doctor of Sacred Letters). Like our founder and visionary leader, Father Henry Carr, these individuals are visionaries of their time and have made, or are making, significant contributions to the Church and society.

Honorary doctorates may be awarded in Theology (i.e. Doctor of Sacred Letters honoris causa) as per An Act to Incorporate St. Mark’s College, 1956, sec. 15. With the award distributed at Spring Convocation, honorary doctorate recipients are invited to speak to students as they prepare for the next chapter of their lives.

The honorary doctorate degree is the highest honour within the power of St. Mark’s College, and the selection of candidates for such a degree is to reflect the College’s highest aspirations and ideals.

Recent recipients include:

2020 - Dr. Paul Burns, Professor Emeritus and an academic leader whose commitment to his students and to the lifelong pursuit of learning has made him an inspiration to all

2019 - Dianne Doyle, President and CEO of Providence Health Care, one of Canada’s largest Catholic Health Care organizations, who was recognized for her championing of Catholic health care, leadership in the governance of non-profits and advocacy of the vulnerable and disadvantaged members of society

2018 - Father Thomas Rosica, CSB, founding CEO of the Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation and Television Network, English language assistant in the Holy See Press Office, and Scripture Scholar, who was recognized for his role in bringing people closer to Christ and the Catholic faith

2017 - Sister Nuala Patricia Kenny, SC, OC, BA, MD, FRCP(C), a pediatrician, ethicist, and educator, who was recognized for her continued work in helping both the Church and society tackle fundamental ethical questions

2016 - Dr. Felix Durity, former Head of Neurosurgery and current Professor Emeritus in UBC’s Department of Surgery, who was recognized for his commitment to humanitarian endeavours, including his enormous contributions to neurosurgery, particularly in developing countries

2015 - Dr. Moira McQueen, Director of the Canadian Catholic Bioethics Institute, who was recognized for being a leading light in Catholic bioethics and moral decision-making

2014 - Sister Donna Geernaert, SC, Congregational Leader of the Sisters of Charity–Halifax, who was recognized for her long-time leadership in ecumenism and interfaith dialogue

2013 - Honorable Steven Point, Provincial Court of British Columbia judge and former Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, who was recognized for his work as an inspirational Catholic and First Nations leader

Selection Criteria

Honorary doctorates will be awarded to those well recognized for distinguished and visionary leadership and achievements consistent with the St. Mark's College core values, mission, and goals. They will exemplify the highest personal and professional standards that serve as an inspiration and model for students, faculty, staff, and the broader Catholic community of the Archdiocese of Vancouver and the Province of British Columbia. The recipients may be eminent researchers, scholars, professionals, philanthropists, creative artists, community leaders or social activists of regional, national or global renown.


Nominations should be in writing and include supporting documentation. The nomination should include a rationale of how the nominee exemplifies the goals and values of the College.  The nominee must not be informed of the nomination. The Committee may seek additional information. Nomination deadline is October 31st

launchSubmit a Nomination

Nominations may be submitted by St. Mark's College employees, students, alumni, members of the Board of Governors, members of the Honorary Degree Selection Committee and general community members. Nominees must not be current members of the College's Board of Governors, current St. Mark's College employees, current students or anyone with direct political, legal, or budgetary authority over St. Mark's College.

Questions: Contact the Office of the Principal

print_r( $wpdb_results[0] );
Array ( [meta_value] => a:2:{i:0;a:1:{s:27:"content-area_editor_content";s:2856:"

Summer Institute

Ready to be inspired and kickstart your own learning? Take advantage of the St. Mark’s Summer Institute, where you will attend virtual classes in real-time over a three-week period and then have many weeks left in which to finish coursework at your own pace. New and returning students have the option of completing a Catholic Core course, an elective course, or both.

Courses run Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from July 5-23, 2021. Students have until late August to complete their coursework.

The Summer Institute offers all who are interested - including those who work in education, parish ministry, healthcare, and other professions - the opportunity to engage deeply in reflection and discussion and earn course credits, in a more intensive format than the usual three-month term.

SCRI 505: Introduction to Scripture (Fr. Nick Meisl)
Morning class, 8:30am - 12:00pm
Courses run weekdays from July 4-15, 2021.

Discover a basic introduction to Scripture for students without previous background in Scripture. This course covers both the Old and New Testaments in their own contexts, thematic parallels between them, and gives attention to how the Catholic intellectual tradition engages these textual traditions.

Afternoon class (Elective course) – More details to come


Spotlight on student experience

"Deciding to take the Catholic Core Courses at St. Mark’s College, particularly during Covid-19, has been one of the smartest decisions of my life. At first, I felt some trepidation as I last undertook an academic course 9 years ago; however, the entire experience has been so positive and enlightening, I am delighted I did and would definitely encourage others to undertake them as well.

The learning environment is very collegial and supportive; in our classes, our contributions were always valued, not only by the professors, but also by our classmates. It is a wonderful way of learning from each other and forming new relationships. My teaching ministry will definitely be informed by my study at SMC: I am actually looking forward to sharing what I have learned with my students and colleagues. My faith life and appreciation of the liturgy has benefitted, too, from these studies on Scripture and Theology and the readings we have done in class; my choice of bedtime reading material now isn’t novels but the Bible and Apostolic Exhortations! Every Christian Education teacher should take the Catholic Core at St. Mark's College - it’s a great place to learn and grow in your faith!"

- Ann Marie McGrath, Educator
Summer Institute 2020[/letter]

[button link="" newwindow="true"]Register for Courses[/button]



Is it required that I come to Vancouver for the Summer Institute courses?

No. Attending classes virtually is always an option we offer to students who live outside of Metro Vancouver.
This year, due to COVID-19, all students will be taking their Summer classes virtually through live online courses.

Synchronous, asynchronous, online, virtual, Zoom. So many new terms - how will my classes be offered?

Many people hear “online class” and think of a series of pre-recorded lectures and online interaction with no real-time interaction with a human. That’s not how our courses are offered.

Your classes will be virtual. The live online courses taking place in a digital classroom with real-time instruction and opportunities for face-to-face interaction with your professor and classmates.

Classes run on weekdays for three weeks in July on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. There will be a daily live lecture and class time. There may be required readings before each class and most other coursework is completed after classes end. You will have until late August to complete papers and other coursework.

Throughout the course you will be interacting with your professor and fellow classmates.

How do I access my online courses?

St. Mark’s College uses an online learning platform through UBC called Canvas. After you have registered for the course, you will be contacted by the Registrar's Office with instructions for accessing your course materials. If you have questions, please contact Chisom Onwuli at [email protected].

Will I be able to talk to my instructor and classmates?

Yes. The course design and video software allows for two-way interaction. You will be able (even encouraged) to interact with your professor and classmates and engage in discussions.

What is the cost of taking a Summer Institute course?

The Summer Institute courses are full 3-credit courses. The tuition cost can be found on the Tuition and Fees webpage.

As many of our students previously paid tuition in person, there are also special instructions on how to pay tuition during COVID-19.

How do I get the readings and books for my courses?

The list of required textbooks can be found through the online textbook list.

Readings may be shared directly by your professor or accessed through the libraries of St. Mark’s College and UBC.

Do I qualify for admission?

We have admission categories to accommodate various backgrounds including those with no previous post-secondary education, or those who wish to take classes as “auditing students” without going through the full application process. Visit our Admission Requirements webpage for more information.

If you’d like to speak to someone about starting your studies with St. Mark’s College, email [email protected].

More Questions?

Contact Dr. Lynda Robitaille
Email: [email protected]

";}} )
print_r( $meta_value );