Archbishop of York awarded honorary Doctorate of Divinity by Durham University

Dr John Sentamu (l) pictured with former head of the UK Evangelical Alliance, Joel Edwards, who was also graduating from the university on Thursday(Photo: Twitter/Joel Edwards)

The Archbishop of York has been awarded an honorary Doctorate of Divinity by Durham University.

Dr John Sentamu received the honour in recognition of his "long and and exemplary service of national and international acclaim", a spokesperson for the Archbishop said. 

Dr Sentamu has served as the Archbishop of York for nearly 15 years and is due to retire in June this year. 

During his time in the role, he has been an outspoken advocate for social and racial integration, and worked to challenge and alleviate poverty. 

Championing young people is another cause that has been close to his heart.  The Youth Trust, a charity he founded, works across schools in northern England to develop leadership skills in students. 

On receiving the award, the Archbishop of York said: "It is a privilege to accept this Honorary Degree of Doctor of Divinity – what esteemed company I will be joining.

"I pray for all the Graduands as they celebrate their hard work and achievements and that the next stage of their journeys will bring fulfilment and joy. Every blessing." 

Durham University is the single validating partner for the Church of England's ordination training.  The Common Awards, as it is called, is overseen by a team at the university's Department of Theology and Religion. 

The Archbishop received his award today with over 100 Common Awards students.

Durham University's Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stuart Corbridge said: "We are delighted to award an honorary degree to the Archbishop of York, who so clearly shares our passion for empowering young people and preparing students to transition successfully to the next stage of their lives.

"We take our responsibilities as a centre for learning seriously and, like the Archbishop, we strive to create the opportunities, support and freedom for students to become the best they can, so they can go on to do inspiring and innovative things around the world."