We are delighted to announce the 2021 Honorary Degree Recipients.

Anthea Butler

Dr. Anthea Butler is Chair of Religious Studies and Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.

Her new book White Evangelical Racism: The Politics of Morality in America, is out March 2021 on Ferris and Ferris, a division of UNC Press. Her other books include Women in the Church of God in Christ: Making A Sanctified World, published also by The University of North Carolina Press.  

A historian of African American and American religion, Professor Butler’s research and writing spans African American religion and history, race, politics, and evangelicalism.   Professor Butler was awarded a Luce/ACLS Fellowship for the Religion, Journalism, and International Affairs grant for the 2018-2019 academic year to investigate Prosperity gospel and politics in the American and Nigerian context. She was also a Presidential fellow at Yale Divinity School for the 2019-2020 academic year.  

Professor Butler currently serves as President-Elect of the American Society for Church History and is also a member of the American Academy of Religion, American Historical Association, and the International Communications Association.  

A sought-after commentator on the BBC, MSNBC, CNN, The History Channel, and PBS, Professor Butler is currently an op-ed contributor to MSNBC opinion and has also written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, NBC, and The Guardian. You can see her on the recent PBS series The Black church in America, and the forthcoming American Experience on Billy Graham, set to air May 2021 on PBS.

Roger Bertschausen

Rev. Roger Bertschausen is the Interim Minister at First Unitarian Society in Madison, WI. He previously served as the Executive Director of the Unitarian Universalist Partner Church Council from 2016 to 2020. He served as the Senior Minister of the Fox Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Appleton, WI from 1990 until June 2015. During this time, the membership of the congregation grew from 100 to 700 members. Roger was named Minister Emeritus of the congregation in 2018. In 2013, Roger did a part-time ministry at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Columbus, Indiana in 1988-89 and a sabbatical ministry in 2013 at the Unitarian Church in Richmond outside of London in the UK. Roger is adjunct faculty at Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis, and he is a consultant in church governance with Unity Consulting of Unity Church-Unitarian in St. Paul, MN. His governance consulting with congregations, Boards and ministers has taken him from coast-to-coast in the United States.  

Roger has been actively involved in community justice and interfaith activities as well as domestic and international Unitarian/Universalist organizations and programs. In Appleton, he co-founded Toward Community: Unity in Diversity, Common Ground (an interfaith clergy group dedicated to improving the health of the community), the Fox Cities Rotary Multicultural Center, and the GLBT Partnership (a support program for LGBTQ+ youth).  

Ivanka Fišerová 

Pastor Ivanka Fišerova, MDiv, is part of the Ministerial Team of the International Unitarian Church of Prague. Ivanka was ordained to the Unitarian/Unitarian Universalist Ministry in 2007 by the Religious Society of Czech Unitarians.

Ivanka has served the Czech Unitarian organization — The Religious Society of Czech Unitarians — for over 32 years in a leadership capacity. After the Velvet Revolution happened in 1989, the former Czechoslovakia (since 1993 the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic) political and judicial systems were in complete chaos. A faction within the Prague Unitarian congregation took control of the buildings of the Czech Unitarian Headquarters and the Prague Church, locking Headquarters staff and the members of the Prague Church out of their buildings.

As General Secretary of the Religious Society of Czech Unitarians, Ivanka moved Unitarian Headquarters to her home in Prague and led the legal challenge to take back control of the Prague Unitarian Church and Unitarian Headquarters. It took 7 years and 13 lawsuits for the Prague congregation and the official Czech Unitarian Headquarters staff to win back their buildings and for the Religious Society of Czech Unitarians to regain their rightful legal status with the Czech Ministry of Culture.

As the Religious Society of Czech Unitarians’ Legal and Statutory Representative, Ivanka led this challenge and fought the 13 lawsuits. During this time Ivanka traveled widely, as the ambassador for the Czech Unitarian Church, bringing the attention of the wider Unitarian Universalist movement to the situation of the Church within the Czech Republic.

In the year 2000, the Headquarters and Prague Church buildings were returned to the Religious Society of Czech Unitarians and the Prague congregation. Iva, supported by a dedicated team of Czech Unitarians, began to rebuild and revitalize the national Czech Unitarian Movement and the Prague congregation.

Iva continued to serve the Czech Unitarian national organization in a leadership role and, between 2002 and 2005, served as the Executive Secretary for ICUU and, from 2005 to 2007, on the Nominating Committee of ICUU.

Graduating from Meadville Lombard in 2007, Iva returned to Prague and was ordained as a Unitarian minister in 2007.

Iva is the co-author of two books, one on the Czech Unitarian Principles and the second on Czech Unitarian Theology.