This year, 29 seminary students walked the stage in order to receive their degree, 18 received their MA, 8 received their MDiv., 2 received their DMin., and 1 received their PhD.
Steve Brown, President of the Associated Gospel Churches (AGC) with over three decades in the chaplaincy, was presented an honorary doctorate.
Also, two students, Zach Sigmon and Deanna Fry, received a special award during graduation for their exceptional work this past year.
The following challenged was delivered by Dr. Horn earlier in the week to the graduating seminarians:
As we close out the year, I trust you a better equipped for the ministry God is opening up before you, but I want to briefly challenge you.
I desire to exhort you not to rely on the things you’ve learned or the skillsets you’ve developed, but to fully rely on God for every ounce of success in ministry. We’re pushing you to be a part of what God is doing in the world through Christ, and that is a supernatural work. You can’t make blind people see or dead people live, neither can you build the Church–that’s God’s work. We know you are passionate to be used by God, so throw yourself on Him, pleading He work through you. And live a holy live, knowing God answers the cry of the righteous. Those are my two closely tied exhortations for you—be prayerful and be holy.
I say it with the immediate context of the summer in mind but also as a plea for life-long ministry—be prayerful and be holy. For the sake of God’s ministry, your soul, and those you will be reaching, dedicate yourself to these: be a holy ministry, and be prayerful in all things. Remember that God does not need to be served, and that service is most importantly about what He is doing, not you. Therefore, prayer—continually and desperately. Consider that it is more absurd to try tackling ministry in the flesh than it is to give up hours a day in prayer before God. Do not forget this: you need God, and others need God, so be prayerful and be holy.
The seminary is proud of their graduates and wants to reiterate that they desire a life-long partnership with each student. It’s not just about receiving and leaving with tools for ministry, but cultivating and developing relationships that will continue to equip and encourage each other throughout the rest of ministry. As Dr. Pettit mentioned, the function of the relationship may change from primarily instruction and discipleship to encouragement and support, but the relationship still remains.