Wednesday, January 23, 2013

So is it silly or hip that I want to have one of these made?



Fuller hoods conform to general American academic standards for size and design, and
generally have three elements: the shell, the lining, and the trim. The shell of the hood
should coordinate with or match the color of the robe; that is, a black robe would
determine the shell of the hood be black, likewise, a grey robe and a grey shell.
The lining of the hood, signifying the degree awarding institution, is royal blue with three
gold chevrons for all degrees awarded by Fuller Theological Seminary. In this context,
"school" means Fuller as an institution, not the three schools of Theology, World Mission
and Psychology at Fuller.

An illustration of the Fuller lining can be found in the book Academic Heraldry in
America by Kevin Sheard (Marquette, MI: Northern Michigan College Press;
1962). A jpeg file with the colors is attached.

The trim, signifying the degree, is 4 inches at the widest point for all master's degrees,
and 5 inches for all doctoral degrees. The velvet trim signifies the degree being awarded
by variations in width and color. Master's degrees are trimmed with 4-inch velvet, and
doctoral degrees with 5-inch velvet. Trim color is listed below.

MASTER OF ARTS (in Christian Leadership,
Cross-cultural Studies, Evangelism, Family Life
Education, Intercultural Studies, Marital & Family
Therapy, Missiology, Multicultural Ministries,
Pastoral Ministry, Psychology, Theology, Youth
Ministry,): White trim
MASTER OF SCIENCE : Golden yellow trim
MASTER OF THEOLOGY (in Theology, Missiology, or
Intercultural Studies): Scarlet trim
DOCTOR OF MISSIOLOGY: Burnt orange trim
DOCTOR OF PSYCHOLOGY: Golden yellow trim
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY (in Theology, Missiology,
Intercultural Studies, Clinical Psychology,
Marital and Family Therapy, or Marriage and
Family Studies): Blue trim


In its own Baccalaureate and Commencement ceremonies, Fuller Seminary uses standard
Fifth Avenue style academic gowns, black in color and trim, appropriate to the degree
level (master's or doctoral) in design, accented with Fuller hoods as described above.
Standard black mortarboard caps are used, with black tassels for master's degrees and
gold tassels for doctoral degrees. The Seminary provides this rental regalia for graduates,
which must be worn for Baccalaureate and Commencement, and returned immediately
after Commencement.

For those graduates wishing to purchase regalia for other uses, the Seminary specifies the
following standard for academic regalia: graduates are free to employ whatever style and
design they wish as long as it is appropriate to the degree level and to general custom in
the context in which they wear it. For example, if it is appropriate to the degree level and
to general custom in the context in which it will be worn, a graduate could purchase a soft
tam, rather than a mortarboard, if the graduate so desired.
If you have any further questions, please contact the Registrar.


Fuller rents regalia on behalf of our students to wear at our own Commencement
ceremonies. When someone contacts Fuller to purchase regalia, we recommend that they
take the above information to any tailor or supplier of choir, pulpit, judicial and/or
academic robes, and have regalia custom-made. Any reputable tailor or robe maker
should be able to help you - especially with the information about Fuller's particulars -
either by fulfilling your needs themselves, or at least by directing you to an academic
apparel company. If you or your supplier have any further questions, please contact the
Registrar's office.


  1. Anonymous6:32 PM

    Neither silly nor hip; Anglican.

  2. Sounds Catholic to me.

  3. Since the modern university system is profoundly shaped by Aquinas, you are probably right.

  4. Well, we finally agree on something.

  5. Anonymous10:24 PM

    Academic garb is required to sit in choir in the Anglican church. It consists of: cassock, surplice, tippet, and hood. If you are not ordained you do not wear the tippet.

    Aquinas may have had influence on the philosophical and/or theological development of the modern university, but it's doubtful that he had an influence on the fashions of academic regalia.

    The regalia in the Anglican church has more to do with the the medieval relationship between the church and university and the English love of hierarchy.

  6. What say you, Clint? A larger question may be: Why begrudge the Pope fancy-schmancy robes when he is acting as head of the Church of over a billion people, when you want to wear a special robe to receive a Ph.D.?

  7. I don't begrudge him is robes. I was in Rome about a decade ago for the creation of new cardinals, and I loved the diversity of clerical garb worn by that group, especially those coming from non-Roman traditions, such as Coptic Catholics and Eastern Rite.

  8. OK, I guess I was making an assumption. I was raised Lutheran, and I used to hear all the comments about the gold and the hats and the you-name-it in Rome. Sorry.

  9. Anonymous10:22 AM

    Why would anyone begrudge a bishop his uniform any more than a surgeon his scrubs, or a garbage man his overhauls? Churchly garb is the same as any other uniform uniform:

    Regarding things like robes, Luther writes in one of his letters of counsel to George Buchholzer on December 4, 1539:

    "With respect to what troubles you – whether a cope or alb is to be worn in the procession during Rogation week and on Saint Mark’s Day, and whether a procession around the churchyard is to be held with a pure responsory on Sundays and with the Salve festa dies on Easter without, however, carrying the Sacrament about – this is my advice: If your lord, the margrave and elector, etc. [Joachim II, Elector of Brandenburg], permits the gospel of Jesus Christ to be preached with purity and power and without human additions and the two sacraments of Baptism an the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ to be administered and offered according to their institution, if he is willing to abolish the invocation of saints (as if they were mediators, intercessors, and deliverers) and the carrying about of the Sacrament in procession, and if he is willing to discontinue daily Masses, vigils, and Masses for the dead and the consecration of water, salt, and herbs and allow only pure responsories and hymns, Latin and German, in procession, go along in God’s name and carry a silver or gold cross and wear a cope or alb of velvet, silk, or linen. And if one cope or alb is not enough for your lord, the elector, wear three of them, as the high priest Aaron did when he put on three vestments, one on top of the other and all of them beautiful and attractive [cf. Lev. 8:7] (after which ecclesiastical vestments were called ornata in the papacy).

    ...How I would rejoice and thank God if I could persuade the pope and the papists of this! If the pope gave me the freedom to go about and preach and only commanded me (with a dispensation) to hitch on a pair of trousers, I should be glad to do him the favor of wearing them."

  10. Anonymous10:40 AM

    A word of advice Clint,

    If you're getting academic regalia buy quality, and for the school of your highest degree. Don't get a polyester, or blend! Get a good wool set of regalia. It will be expensive, but can be worn for all academic functions and reunions as well as when you're invited to sit in choir. It was also the norm for Lutherans in the US from the founding of the country until about the turn of the last century to wear academic regalia and preaching tabs.

  11. Luther's writing is so very interesting. If only we had the internet in 1539.

    Luther talks about "human additions." Where in Scripture do you find anything about Sacraments? This is from Tradition. Luther simply changed the Tradition. That was a human addition.

    Daily masses abolished. What a tragedy. What a great source of grace is daily mass!

    Invocation of saints. I'll bet over at Guadalupe Lutheran Church they are praying to Mary for intercession.

    Prayers and masses for the dead. After all the crimes Henry VIII committed in the name of religion, I'll bet he could use a few prayers.

    Consecration of water, etc. These things are not "consecrated" -- they are blessed.

    Vigil masses. One of the reasons the Catholic Church continues to thrive is the vigil mass. People do not have to go to church on Sunday morning.

    Let us continue to study.

  12. "...How I would rejoice and thank God if I could persuade the pope and the papists of this! If the pope gave me the freedom to go about and preach and only commanded me (with a dispensation) to hitch on a pair of trousers, I should be glad to do him the favor of wearing them."

    Luther's typical ham-handed sarcasm. Note he uses the "P" Word -- papists. If this were on the internet today, it would be considered hate speech. Teresa of Avila, in her writings, mentions the Lutherans in Germany. She never uses language like this. If Luther were a saint, he would not, either.