The baccalaureate service and dedication of Anderson House were held May 23. Anderson House, named for John F. and Nancy Anderson, is the new residential student apartment. Festivities, including a ribbon cutting, a brief worship service, lunch, and tours of the building were among the events. The baccalaureate service was held at University Presbyterian Church, Austin. Professor Andrew Dearman was the preacher; Professor David W. Johnson and the Rev. Jacquline Saxon presided at the Lord’s Table. The commencement ceremony was held May 24, at University Presbyterian Church, Austin. The speaker was The Rev. Dr. Joseph J. Clifford, pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Dallas, Texas.
Columbia Theological Seminary, Decatur, Ga.
The 2009 baccalaureate service was held May 15 at Columbia Presbyterian Church, adjacent to the seminary. Rick Ufford-Chase preached the baccalaureate sermon. He is executive director of the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship and was moderator of the 216th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Commencement was held May 16 at Peachtree Presbyterian Church, in Atlanta. Seventy-eight students received degrees in five degree programs: Master of Divinity, Master of Arts in Theological Studies, Master of Theology, Doctor of Theology, and Doctor of Ministry.
University of Dubuque Theological Seminary, Dubuque, Iowa
Commencement was held May 9, 9:30 a.m. at Westminster Presbyterian Church, Dubuque. The commencement speaker was the Rev. Grade M. Parsons, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary (part of the Interdenominational Theological Center), Atlanta, Ga.
The Rev. Dr. Claudette A. Copeland, co-founder and pastor of New Creation Christian Fellowship in San Antonio, Texas, delivered the commencement address during graduation exercise for Atlanta’s Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC). It was held May 2 on the campus of Morehouse College in the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel, Atlanta. Dr. Copeland is the founder of Claudette Copeland Ministries, a national empowerment group for women. She has been featured in many journals and magazines, including Gospel Today, Essence Magazine, and Ebony Magazine as one of the notable women preachers in the U.S.
Four honorary degrees were conferred on persons esteemed for their contributions to ministry excellence by ITC’s constituent seminaries. Pastor George Moore from Turner Theological Seminary, the African Methodist Episcopal affiliate; the Rev. Robert Burkins, Johnson C. Smith Seminary, Presbyterian; Elder Enoch Perry III, Esq., from Charles Harrison Mason Seminary, the Church of God in Christ affiliate at ITC; and the Rev. Doctor Cynthia L. Hale.
ITC also awarded a Certificate in Theology to 47 clergy and laity church leaders May 1, during a graduation exercise in the ITC Chapel. The featured speaker was The Honorable Michael L. Thurmond, Commissioner of Labor for the State of Georgia. Mr. Thurmond has made a significant transformation in the Labor Department’s customer service and efficiency. Unemployment offices have been transformed into state-of-the-art Career Centers focused on getting jobless Georgians back to work as quickly as possible. The success of Thurmond’s approach is reflected in Georgia’s number one national ranking in helping the unemployed get back to work.
Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Louisville, Ky.
The baccalaureate service was held May 17 at Caldwell Chapel. The baccalaureate preachers were Professors Christopher Elwood and Elizabeth Walker.
The commencement ceremony was held May 17, at Second Presbyterian Church in Louisville. Linda B. Valentine, executive director, General Assembly Council, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), delivered the commencement address, “Journey Forth.”
McCormick Theological Seminary, Chicago, Ill.
The seminary hosted commencement at the University of Chicago’s Rockefeller Chapel on May 14. The keynote speaker was the Rev. Dr. Brad R. Braxton, newly appointed Senior Minister of The Riverside Church, New York. This year’s graduating classes included 31 Master of Divinity, 12 Master of Theological Studies, 44 Doctor of Ministry for a grand total of 87 graduates.
Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, Pittsburgh, Pa.
The baccalaureate service will be held at 7:30 p.m., May 27 at Hicks Memorial Chapel on the seminary’s campus. The Rev. Dr. Charles Partee, P.C. Rossin Professor of Church History at Pittsburgh Seminary will deliver the sermon. The 213th commencement ceremony will be held May 28 at 7:00 p.m. at East Liberty Presbyterian Church, Pittsburgh. The commencement speaker will be Russell E. Richey, Ph.D., Professor of Church History, Candler School of Theology, Emory University, Atlanta, Ga.
Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, N.J.
Commencement exercises were held May 23, at the Princeton University Chapel. Iain R. Torrance, president and professor of patristics, delivered the commencement address.
San Francisco Theological Seminary, San Anselmo and Pasadena, Calif.
The Reverend Dr. Jana Childers attended her final commencement service as dean of San Francisco Theological Seminary on May 23, and delivered the charge to graduates. Childers has served as dean at SFTS since 2002. Her term concludes June 30. A professor of homiletics and speech communication at SFTS, Childers says she is excited to focus on teaching after nearly eight years as dean.
The SFTS commencement service featured graduates from the seminary’s Northern and Southern California campuses, all gathering at Bouick Field in San Anselmo. Also expected to speak were the recipients of honors: the Rev. Leon Fanniel, honorary doctorate; the Rev. Blaine Vestal, 2009 distinguished alumnus. On May 22, SFTS held its baccalaureate service in San Anselmo at Stewart Chapel. Dr. Polly Coote, registrar, associate dean and associate professor of biblical Greek, delivered the sermon. The SFTS year-end services began on May 16, at the seminary’s Pasadena campus. SFTS President Phil Butin was the keynote speaker.
Union Theological Seminary & Presbyterian School of Christian Education, Richmond, Va. and Charlotte, N.C.
Union-PSCE at Charlotte held its commencement April 25 at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Charlotte. The commencement speaker was William P. Wood Sr., pastor at First Presbyterian Church. His address was “The Hazards and Joys of Christian Ministry.” Union-PSCE, Richmond, will hold its commencement May 30 at Reveille United Methodist Church in Richmond.
The commencement speaker is Virginia Ward Holderness, member of the Board of Trustees. Her address will be “Great.”
Auburn Theological Seminary, New York, N.Y.
Related to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) by covenant agreement, Auburn Seminary shares commencement exercises with Union Theological Seminary. The 2009 commencement was held May 22 at the courtyard quadrangle of Union. Speakers included Serene Jones, Union president speaking at her first commencement in that capacity, and Barbara Wheeler of Auburn, in her last commencement as president before retirement.