An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Glossary of Terms


C.M. (The Doctor of Church Music degree. It presupposes a master's degree in church music from a school that follows the guidelines of the National Association of Schools of Music.

D.D. Doctor of Divinity

D. Doctor of Divinity( An honorary degree that may be awarded by a seminary to a member of the clergy or laity in recognition of significant contributions to the church. Seminaries frequently confer the degree on their alumni who are consecrated bishops.


H.L( The Doctor of Hebrew Letters presupposes a first theological degree and is to equip persons for teaching and research in theological seminaries, colleges, and universities.


M.A(The Doctor of Musical Arts degree presupposes a master's degree in church music from a school that follows the guidelines of the National Association of Schools of Music.


Min(The Doctor of Ministry degree presupposes the M. Div. degree and constitutes an advanced professional degree at the doctoral level with an emphasis on the profession and practice of ministry.


Miss(The Doctor of Missiology degree is a two-year, part M. Div. professional degree for missionaries interested in advanced training in cross-cultural ministries. It was first developed by Roman Catholic schools.


S.M( Sometimes referred to as S.M.D., the Doctor of Sacred Music degree presupposes a master's degree in church music from a school that follows the guidelines of the National Association of Schools of Music.


V.( Deo Volente, Latin for “God willing.” This abbreviation sometimes appears on formal announcements for celebrations and events such as an ordination.

Daily Evening Prayer

See Evening Prayer.

Daily Morning Prayer

See Morning Prayer.

Daily Office

Use of daily prayers to mark the times of the day and to express the traditions of the praying community is traditional in Judaism and in Christianity. The third, sixth, and ninth hours (9 a.m., 12 noon, and 3 p.m.) were times of private prayer in Judaism. The congregational or cathedral form of office developed […]

Dakota, Missionary District of

On Oct. 21, 1865, the House of Bishops created the Missionary District of Nebraska and Dakota. The House of Bishops divided this District on Oct. 28, 1868, and established the Missionary District of Dakota. The Missionary District of Dakota existed until 1883, when on Oct. 13, the House of Bishops divided it and created the […]

Dalcho, Frederick

(1770-Nov. 24, 1836). Church historian. He was born in London, England, and was baptized on Oct. 15, 1770. Dalcho came to Baltimore, Maryland, studied medicine, and became a surgeon's mate in the United States Army in Apr. 1792. In 1799 he settled in Charleston, South Carolina, where he practiced medicine. In 1807 he became one […]

Dale, Thomas

(d. Aug. 9, 1619). Public official in colonial Virginia. He was born in England. On June 19, 1606, he was knighted Sir Thomas Dale of Surrey. Dale entered the service of the Virginia Company of London, which appointed him marshal of Virginia. When he arrived in Virginia on May 19, 1611, the Governor of Virginia, […]

Dallas, Diocese of

The General Convention of 1874 voted to divide the Diocese of Texas and create the Missionary District of Northern Texas and the Missionary District of Western Texas. At the primary convention on Dec. 19-20, 1895, at St. Matthew's Cathedral, Dallas, the Missionary District of Northern Texas became the Diocese of Dallas. The Diocese of Dallas […]


The distinctive vestment of deacons in the western church. It may be worn at any liturgy in any season. The term is derived from a white tunic worn in second-century Dalmatia. The dalmatic was an ample white tunic with wide sleeves, bands about the cuffs, and clavi, or colored bands, descending from the shoulders to […]

Daniel Baker College

The Presbyterians established Daniel Baker College in 1888 at Brownwood, Texas. In 1930 the school became an independent, self-supporting institution. On June 1, 1950, the Rt. Rev. Charles Avery Mason, Bishop of Dallas, took over the school. Daniel Baker College was also called “The Episcopal College of the Southwest.” When Canterbury College in Danville, Indiana, […]

Daniels, Jonathan Myrick

(Mar. 20, 1939-Aug. 20, 1965). An Episcopal seminarian killed while working in the civil rights movement in Hayneville, near Selma, Alabama. Daniels was born in Keene, New Hampshire. He had a profound conversion experience on Easter Day, 1962, at the Church of the Advent, Boston. He entered the Episcopal Theological School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In […]

Dare, Virginia

(b. Aug. 18, 1587). The first child born of English parents in America. She was the granddaughter of Governor John White of Virginia and the child of his daughter Ellinor and her husband Ananias Dare. She was baptized on Aug. 20, 1587, on Roanoke Island. She was probably the first person baptized in America in […]

Dashiell, George

(1780-Apr. 1852). Priest who sought to found an evangelical Episcopal Church. He was born in Stepney, Maryland. Dashiell was licensed as a lay reader at the age of twenty. He was ordained deacon on June 9, 1805, and subsequently ordained priest (date unavailable). He served churches in Maryland and Delaware. He later became the rector […]

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Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.