Monday, March 19, 2007

Pioneer female Anglican priest, Rev. Joy Carroll Wallis, to speak at Goshen College Commencement April 29


GOSHEN, Ind. – The Rev. Joy Carroll Wallis, one of the first women to be ordained as an Anglican priest in England (read part of her story), will present the 109th graduating class of Goshen College with a final address of their undergraduate careers during the 2007 commencement on April 29.

Carroll Wallis will present her commencement address at 3 p.m. in the college’s Roman Gingerich Recreation-Fitness Center on Sunday, April 29, 2007, following an 11 a.m. Baccalaureate service in the Church-Chapel, with President James Brenneman preaching. Approximately 240 seniors will receive diplomas from Goshen College during the service.

Carroll Wallis grew up in the inner city of South London, England, as the child of an Anglican priest, and was one of the first women to be ordained as a priest in the Anglican Church of England in 1994, following a hard fought struggle for equality. She was also the adviser to British writer Richard Curtis, as well as the inspiration and role model, for his hit situation comedy series “The Vicar of Dibley,” starring Dawn French (which can be viewed locally on the Public Television station WNIT on Saturdays at 10:30 p.m.).

She has written a book about her life and work as a priest in the Church of England, “Beneath the Cassock: The Real Life Vicar of Dibley,” (2002, Harper Collins, UK), which was released as an American edition in 2004 by Crossroads Publishing and titled “The Woman Behind the Collar,” with a foreword from the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams. As the youngest elected clergy member of the General Synod, Carroll Wallis was able to speak on behalf of women and others marginalized by church and society. Her 10-year ministry in inner-city London parishes embraced the needs of the poor, the homeless, the mentally ill, families and the elderly. She had earlier received a bachelor’s degree in education.


Carroll Wallis is a gifted preacher and communicator and regularly contributes to the church press, public radio and television. In 1997, Carroll Wallis married Jim Wallis, editor-in-chief of Sojourners magazine, and moved to Washington, D.C. She is licensed as a priest in the Episcopal Church, and has two young sons.


Schedule of weekend commencement activities:


Saturday, April 28

1:30 p.m. – 
Senior Nurses’ Pinning Ceremony, Church-Chapel

2-5 p.m. – 
Informal departmental receptions, various locations on and off campus

7:30 p.m. – 
Senior Class Program, Sauder Concert Hall, Music Center

8:45-10:30 p.m. – 
President’s Reception for graduates and their families, Music Center lobby


Sunday, April 29

11 a.m. – 
Baccalaureate Service, Church-Chapel

3 p.m. – 109th Annual Commencement, Roman Gingerich Recreation-Fitness Center

Editors: For more information about this release, to arrange an interview or request a photo, contact Goshen College News Bureau Director Jodi H. Beyeler at (574) 535-7572 or



Goshen College, established in 1894, is a residential Christian liberal arts college rooted in the Anabaptist-Mennonite tradition. The college’s Christ-centered core values – passionate learning, global citizenship, compassionate peacemaking and servant-leadership – prepare students as leaders for the church and world. Recognized for its unique Study-Service Term program, Goshen has earned citations of excellence in Barron’s Best Buys in Education, “Colleges of Distinction,” “Making a Difference College Guide” and U.S.News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges” edition, which named Goshen a “least debt college.” Visit

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Goshen College
1700 S Main St
Goshen, Indiana 46526
phone: +1 (574) 535-7569
fax: 535-7660