Honorary Doctorate Recipient

The Right Rev. Dr. Richard Bott

Honorary Doctorate of Divinity

The Right Rev. Dr. Richard Bott – 43rd Moderator of The United Church of Canada.


Richard was born in 1968, and grew up on the north shore of Lake Superior, in the town of Marathon, Ontario; on the traditional and unceded territory of the Biigtigong Nishnaabeg.


He was privileged to study at the University of Ottawa, where he received a Bachelor of Social Sciences (Women’s Studies and Sociology) (1990).


His academic study for ministry took place at Queen’s Theological College, where he completed a Master of Divinity (1994), and a Diploma in Stewardship Studies (2002). Later, he did his Doctor of Ministry in a program run jointly by Ashland Theological Seminary, Ashland, Ohio, and Canterbury College of the University of Windsor (2003). His work focused on ways of supporting ministry personnel, with a thesis titled, “Collegial Caring: The Effect of Peer Supervision on the Stress of Ministry Personnel in The United Church of Canada.”


Ordained in 1994 by the United Church’s Conference of Manitoba and North Western Ontario, he served with the congregations of Trinity United Church in Iroquois Falls, Ontario; St. Marys United Church in St. Marys, Ontario; St. Andrew’s-Haney United which, with Hammond United, became Golden Ears United Church, in Maple Ridge, British Columbia; and Dunbar Heights United which, with Ryerson United, became Pacific Spirit United Church, in Vancouver.


He has been the Moderator of The United Church of Canada for almost three years, and will finish his term in August of 2022.


An avid liturgist and liturgical writer, Richard’s prayers, litanies, and other worship writings have spread across the church, both inside and outside of the denomination. A regular contributor to the United Church’s “gathering: resources for worship planners,” and “Mandate,” his writing has also been in Pilgrim Press’ “Gifts in Open Hands,” “From the Psalms to the Cloud: Connecting to the Digital Age,” and “A Child Laughs,” as well as the United Church’s “Emerging Spirit: Living the Hope,” “Advent Awakenings,” “With Us Always: Daily Devotions Framed By the Movies,” and various stewardship programs.


He has facilitated workshops on alternate conflict resolution, church amalgamation, worship, adult Christian nurture, leadership, stewardship – and just about anything else that people have asked him to take part in.


Richard is extremely fortunate to be Rowan Tennant’s dad. His daughter lives with her mother, in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia; and the two of them spend as much time together as is possible – listening to music, driving to lacrosse or rugby, or just having fun. He has been especially thankful that he has been able to work from Port Coquitlam during this pandemic time, because it has allowed him to remain a close part of his daughter’s life.


Richard believes that The United Church of Canada has always been the defining institution in his life. He had the great fortune of growing up in a community of faith that nurtured his gifts and challenged him to do more. Both his church and his faith have taught him the value of being a life-long learner, whether in formal academic settings, or in those informal settings, where the teacher is simply the person sitting beside him with something to share.

“It is truly a special moment for me, to be receiving an Honorary degree from Huntington University. The long and successful history between Huntington University and The United Church of Canada has seen generations of people go and make a positive difference across Canada and around the world. I would like to thank Chancellor Bela Ravi, President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Kevin McCormick, and the Board of Regents. I am extremely honoured to receive this prestigious recognition, and to share in the legacy and kinship that continues between Huntington University, academia and the church.”