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The Class of 2018 received their degrees on Monday evening, May 7, in Dimnent Memorial Chapel on the campus of Hope College. Western Theological Seminary awarded 31 Master of Divinity degrees, eight Master of Arts degrees, five Master of Theology degrees, three Doctor of Ministry degrees (one honorary), and one Certificate in Disability and Ministry. Six certificates for the Founding Friends of Friendship House were awarded, also.
The commencement speaker for the evening was Dr. John Swinton, professor in practical theology and pastoral care at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. His work has a dual focus on the relationship between spirituality and health and the theology of disability.
Dr. Swinton advised the graduates to look at themselves as “heroes” of faith rather than “saints.” While saints seem to have a lot of “mountaintop” experiences, heroes engage in God’s sovereign love through the many small day-to-day tasks and interactions that make up a life.
Monday, May 7 Schedule:
8:45am – Opening Worship and Senior Blessing for DL and DMin students, friends and family (Mulder Chapel)
11:45am – Registration & Reunion lunches for the Class of 1958, 1968 and the Class of 1978 (6th floor, Beardslee Library)
1:30pm – Alumni Forum Lecture: Commencement Speaker Professor John Swinton, “What does it mean to know Jesus when you don’t know who Jesus is? Intellectual disability, brain damage and the nature of love.”
2:45pm – Class of 2018 group photo (steps of Mulder Chapel, outside)
3:15pm – Commencement Rehearsal (Dimnent Chapel of Hope College)
5:00pm – Alumni/ae Dinner (The Commons) with celebration of Distinguished Alum David Bast ’76. Contact Tamara for reservations at 616-392-8555, x109. $20/person
7:30pm – 142nd Commencement (Dimnent Chapel of Hope College) with Commencement Speaker Professor John Swinton, “Remembering Vocation: Living Life as Worship.” Doors open at 6:45. No tickets necessary.
Commencement is followed by a receiving line on the lawn of Dimnent Chapel, and there is a reception in the seminary atrium.