The 2012 Durstan R McDonald Teaching Award
Mary Shelton Simpson Vescovo
Scholar, teacher, leader in the diocese and the wider church, your life defines and models the vocation of lay theologian. Known for your superb mind and wide reading, you distinguished yourself in the master’s degree program at Perkins School of Theology. Seminary of the Southwest was delighted to welcome you as a Visiting Fellow in 1992 for a project on Julian of Norwich.
As director of adult education and director of adult formation at St. Michael and All Angels Church in Dallas, for more than thirty years you have offered a vital resource for people seeking the opportunity to truly deepen and mature their faith. Serving with four rectors at that parish, you have shared your expertise in the Diocese of Dallas, in Province VII as chair of the Christian Education Commission and president, and on the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church. Networking and mentoring teachers in the seventh province, you built relationships between the seminary and the seventh province through an annual retreat for seminarians to work with practiced Christian educators.
Chair of the Catechesis Commission, you authored An Inquiring and Discerning Heart: Guidelines for Spiritual Formation in the Diocese of Dallas, a set of standards built around the baptismal covenant. Published in 1993 and reissued in 2011, that work continues to influence those who design programs for Christian formation.
A faithful follower of Christ and devoted to the Episcopal Church, you are appreciated for your warmth, vivacity, and enthusiasm. Another colleague and friend says, “Shelly is a passionate lover of God and of God's people. Unfailingly gracious and inclusive, she seeks to welcome all who desire to be initiated into the mind of God."
For your life's work as a theologian and educator, the faculty is honored to present you with the 2012 Durstan R McDonald Teaching Award.
Douglas Travis Nathan Jennings
Dean and President Faculty Secretary