Student Awards 2016

May 16, 2016

Each year, Seattle University's School of Theology and Ministry recognizes students who have exemplified exceptional commitment to their field of study and practical application of scholarship and values of inclusivity, equity, and social justice.

Congratulations to this year's Dr. Leo Stanford Leadership Award winners and their exceptional commitment to inclusivity and courage--translating theology into ministry and relational contexts: Catherine Nilon (Master of Divinity, Chaplaincy), Corey Passons (Master of Divinity), and Marcellino (Mars) Tanumihardja (Transformational Leadership). Congratulations are also due to Jeanette Thorson, our 2016 Rev. Dr. Clinton McNair Award Winner, for exceptional clinical practice. Pictured left to right: Associate Dean Dr. Tito Cruz, Mars, Corey, Jeanette, and Cathy.


About The Leo Stanford Award
The Leo Stanford Award is reserved for a Seattle University School of Theology and Ministry graduating student who exceeded the school's high norms of community service and academic excellence. This award is presented when a graduating student demonstrates exceptional service to the community and academic scholarship merits recognition. This award will be conferred at Seattle University's Commencement ceremony and named in the Commencement program.

Awarded on occasion to an outstanding student who closely realizes the school's vision. The awardee is recognized to be a competent and compassionate minister who is also:

  • Inclusive and courageous,
  • Rooted in the Gospels, and is
  • Able to translate Christian theology into ministry and relational contexts.

The award honors the memory of Dr. Leo Stanford, founding director of the Institute of Theological Studies. Dr. Stanford pioneered a vision for lay ministry within the church that became a model for other lay ministry programs in the United States. In this model, students learn to integrate academic theology, pastoral skill training, and spiritual formation leading toward personal and global transformation. The Institute of Theological Studies transitioned to become Seattle University's School of Theology and Ministry in 1996.

About The Reverend Dr. Clinton McNair Award
The Reverend Dr. Clinton McNair Award is reserved for a graduating Seattle University School of Theology and Ministry student in the Master of Arts in Couples and Family Therapy, who moved beyond the program's high norms of community service through clinical treatment and academic excellence. This award is presented annually to a graduating student who has demonstrated exceptional service to the community and achieved academic excellence that merits recognition. This award will be conferred at Seattle University's Commencement ceremony and named in the Commencement program.

Awarded to an outstanding Master of Arts in Couples and Family Therapy student who:

  • Identifies as a couples and family therapist, integrating effective, competent clinical education and practice with theological studies and spiritual formation,
  • Demonstrates a commitment to justice and to the well-being of individuals, families, and communities, and is
  • Rooted ethically and philosophically in holistic health and healing practices.

The award honors faculty emeritus Rev. Dr. Clinton McNair, founding director of Seattle University School of Theology and Ministry's Pastoral Counseling degree program. Dr. McNair pioneered a vision to bring healing, hope, and wholeness to individuals, families, and underserved communities by training therapists who competently, effectively, and ethically infuse spirituality into their clinical services. Building on his founding work, the program has since evolved to more formally prepare students to become Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFT), with the degree name shift to the Master of Arts in Couples and Family Therapy.