Honorary Degree Policy

Policy #: 
ACD 101.026
Executive Owner: 

This degree is conferred to distinguished individuals for their outstanding contributions that are consistent with the mission of the University.


To honor influential individuals for their commitment and accomplishments and inspire our students, faculty, and staff by the honoree’s achievements and example.


AdventHealth University will award honorary degrees to distinguished individuals who merit special recognition for genuine achievement and distinctions in a field or activity consistent with the mission of the University. The Board of Trustees authorize the award of an honorary degree.


An honorary degree may be awarded to an outstanding individual who satisfies one or more of the following criteria:

  • Professional Accomplishment:  Academic and industry accomplishments with sustained achievements of distinction; influential contributions within business, government, academia, military, and/or entrepreneurialism; highest level of academic scholarship, research, and recognition.
  • Commitment to Serve: Impact and contributions to society; transformational, influential and innovative leadership; significant impact and development and mentorship of others; demonstrated commitment to benefiting society.
  • Commitment to AdventHealth University and AdventHealth: Profound commitment, involvement, leadership and service toward AdventHealth University; exceptional participation, demonstration, and commitment to the betterment of the student body, faculty, and on-campus involvement; and philanthropy/generosity toward mission and the evolution of making AdventHealth University and the community a better place.

Honorary Degrees

Honorary Degrees may be awarded in the following categories based on the specific criteria listed below:

  • Doctor of Health Education (DHEd): For demonstrated achievement in the health education field.
  • Doctorate in Health Care Administration (DHA):  For demonstrated and significant achievement in healthcare leadership.
  • Doctor of Divinity (D.D.): For distinguished and influential church leadership in administration, writing, or preaching at the national or international level. Denotes excellence in the areas of theology/divinity.
  • Doctor of Humane Letters (L.H.D.): For scholarly achievement in writing in the humanities, liberal arts, library science and liberal arts education, and also for unusual service to society in public health, social work, nursing, and international development.
  • Doctor of Laws (L.L.D.): For distinguished leadership in administration and public service in business, education, finance, government, law, public administration, and public life.
  • Doctor of Letters (Litt.D.): For a significant body of creative literature and writing, although not confined to literature in the narrow sense of that word.
  • Doctor of Pedagogy (Ped.D.): For service in education especially as an honored teacher or achievement in professional education.
  • Doctor of Science (D.Sc.): For demonstrated investigative achievement in the natural or physical sciences or major contributions to medical science, engineering, and/or agricultural science.
  • Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.): For notable achievement in business, business administration, economics and accounting.


Every effort will be made to ensure that individual nominations and discussions of nominees be confidential throughout the process. No publicity shall be issued regarding the nominees until final approval by the Board of Trustees.



    CommitteeDate VotedMinutes Code
    AHU CabinetMonday, April 17, 202323:30
    Approved by: 
    Approval Date: 
    Friday, June 16, 2023
    Effective Date: 
    Monday, April 17, 2023