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Featured Alumnus: Dr. Michael Colvard

December 2014 002 - Copy (708x800)Dr. Michael David Colvard is tenured Professor of Oral Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences at the College of Dentistry, University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr. Colvard was raised Episcopalian. While at Seabury-Western Episcopal Theological Seminary, in Evanston, Illinois; Dr. Colvard was profoundly influenced by the Reverend Professor (Dr.) Jack Van Hooser, PhD and the ecumenical and health and healing theology of the (late) Archbishop of Canterbury, Arthur Michael Ramsey, during the Archbishop’s summer In-Residence visits. Following Father Van Hooser’s and the Archbishop’s recommendations; Dr. Colvard pursued a combined training and study of the roles of clergy in health care and healing and contemporary times. Dr. Colvard received his Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree and a Periodontics Residency Specialty Certificate from Loyola University Dental School and Medical Center. Dr. Colvard received a Master’s in Theological Studies (MTS) degree from Seabury-Western (Episcopal) Theological Seminary, and a Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) Certificate from the Alexian Brothers Medical Center. Dr. Colvard holds a Masters in Sciences (MS) degree (Oral Medicine and Pathology) from the Graduate College of the University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr. Colvard is a Board Certified Member in Oral Medicine ( M O Med) and Fellow of Dental Surgery (FDS) from the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS), Edinburgh, Scotland. Dr. Colvard served in several United States Air Force (USAF) leadership positions and retired as an USAF full Colonel. Dr. Colvard’s current academic and clinical ministry is focused on humanitarian response and the associated identification of the deceased and family reconciliation of deceased. Dr. Colvard serves as a university based forensic dentist and anthropologist, assists the McHenry County (IL) Coroner’s Office as a forensic dentist and anthropologist, and assists in non-stipendiary ministry at Trinity Episcopal Church, in Wheaton. IL.

Through the gracious and perceptive PhD mentorship of Professor’s Dr. Geoffrey Cordell, Dr. John Morgan, Reverend Father (Dr.) Bernie O’Conner, and Reverend Father (Dr.) Robin Gibbons; Dr. Colvard was able to undertake a study of the historical medicinal plants documented in the healing traditions of the ancient Order of St John of Jerusalem, Knights Hospitallers, Dr. Colvard conducted medical anthropology and historical theology field research at the National Library of Malta, also known as the “Bibliotheca”, with Senior Librarian Advisor Ms. Maroma Camerilla. Dr. Colvard continued with work on Gozo with Gozo National Archives Director Reverend Father (Dr.) Joseph Bezzini, PhD. Further work was done at the Museum of the Order of St John, in Clerkenwell in the UK, and at the GTF Library. Dr. Colvard earned his Doctor of Philosophy in Theological History and Medical Anthropology, from the Graduate Theological Foundation. His thesis was entitled, “Toward a Soporific Ethnomedicine Ministry of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem: “Fraternitas Hospitalaria”. Dr. Colvard was awarded the Reverend Canon (Dr.) John Macquarrie Fellowship in Philosophical Theology by the Graduate Theological Foundation, for further studies into the ministerial scope and theological history of the Order of St John of Jerusalem, Knights Hospitallers. He will continue his research at GTF, within the Macquarrie Archives, as well as at St John’s Gate in Clerkenwell, the Oxford Bodleian Libraries, and through an Oxford Foundation HouseFellowship, University of Oxford.

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