Since 1974, Moravian Theological Seminary has recognized a graduate, who, through outstanding service has brought distinction to the work of ministry, by presenting him or her with The John Hus Award.
During its annual Alumni Reunion Luncheon on March 8, 2012, the Seminary honored The Rt. Rev. Dr. D. Wayne Burkette as the 38th recipient of The John Hus Award. The award is named for John Hus, one of the great leaders of the Christian Church and is regarded a founding father of the Moravian Church.
From a modest beginning, Wayne became a scholar, discerned a call to ministry, became a pastor, and developed a highly communicative and scholarly style of preaching. In mid-career, he moved to Salem Academy and College in 1990 where he served as chaplain and administrator. In 2002 he was called to the episcopal ministry of the church by being elected Bishop. He was then elected president of the Southern Province Provincial Elders’ Conference in 2006.
A Morehead Scholarship recipient and graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Wayne received his master of Divinity from Moravian Theological Seminary in 1969. Later that year he was consecrated a deacon of the Moravian Church and became pastor of Olivet Moravian Church in Pfafftown, North Carolina. In 1972 he became associate pastor of Home Moravian Church in Winston-Salem and in 1974 became Home Church’s Senior Pastor. He earned a Doctor of Ministry degree from Union Theological Seminary in Virginia in 1978.
While serving as the Chaplain at Salem Academy and College, his skill in administration was recognized and he was appointed Chief Planning Officer in 1992. In 1994 he became the Head of Salem Academy and then in 1997, he was appointed Vice President of Salem Academy and College and Head of the Academy.
Wayne’s service as an educator at Salem was interrupted by his election as president of the Southern Province PEC. Here the call of the church and the Savior compelled him to make a change in service. Wayne’s leadership during this time of restructure in the Moravian Church has been described by many as the hallmark of his ministry; leadership with clarity of mind and keen communication skills.
“Wayne is best known as an inspirational preacher, a motivational educator, a compassionate counselor, and a skilled and effective administrator,” said the Rev. Dr. Frank Crouch, dean of the Moravian Theological Seminary. “He truly exemplifies the qualities and passion for God and the church of our ancient forerunner, John Hus.”
Nominations for future awards
John Hus Award winners are nominated by Seminary alums. The award gives special recognition to a graduate, who, through outstanding service has brought distinction to the work of ministry. Any graduate of the Seminary is eligible to be nominated for the John Hus Award.
Graduates of the Seminary are invited to nominate their fellow alumni for this prestigious award by submitting their nomination by October 31st to MTS Recognition Committee, Alumni House, Moravian Seminary, 1200 Main Street, Bethlehem, Pa. 18018. Nominations can also be submitted via e-mail to or online at: www.moravianseminary.edu/alumni/awards.html.
Nominations for the Alumni Awards are accepted and reviewed each fall by the Recognition Committee of the Alumni/ae Board of Governors. Completed nomination forms are required in order for the committee to review standard information on each of the nominees. Nominees who are considered but not selected for the award are re-evaluated in future years.
John Williams is director of Seminary Advancement at Moravian Theological Seminary.
From the September 2012 Moravian Magazine