One of the powers which the Archbishop has by virtue of the Ecclesiastical Licences Act 1533 is the power to award degrees. Although these are commonly termed “Lambeth Degrees”, the Archbishop is not a university and the degrees he awards are full degrees of the Realm. The Archbishop is noted as an institution authorised to award degrees in a Statutory Instrument made under the 1988 Education Act.
The degrees are now issued in two distinct ways. First, degrees are now awarded following examination or thesis and under the direction of the Archbishop’s Examination in Theology. The second form is the awarding of upper degrees (often, though not always, doctorates) in a range of disciplines to those who have served the Church in a particularly distinguished way and for whom an academic award would be particularly appropriate. It should also be noted that Lambeth Degrees can only be awarded to those who are capable and willing to take the Oath of Allegiance to the Queen. The Faculty Office provides legal advice to the Archbishop on the awarding of the degrees, draws up the documentation for the awarding of the degrees (including confirmation by the Crown Office as required by the 1533 Act) and assists in running the awards ceremonies, usually held in the chapel at Lambeth Palace.
More information can be found on the Archbishop’s website: http://www.archbishopofcanterbury.org/pages/archbishops-awards-and-examinations.html, including the contact details for who to contact further. Please note that the Faculty Office does not assist with general enquiries about Lambeth Degrees.
If you have been awarded a Lambeth Degree, and have been informed that it is ready for collection from the Faculty Office, please click here for contact details and a map / directions of how to find us.