Buies Creek, N.C.—Commissioned on Tuesday, Feb. 8, in a moving and meaningful ceremony were 13 new Campbell Divinity School students. Adding poignancy to the service was the observance of the Divinity School’s 15th anniversary as an institution that prepares bright and eager young students like the ones gathered in Butler Chapel for the challenges that confront those who answer God’s call.
Dr. Clella Lee, member of the Divinity School’s charter class and the first woman to earn a Doctor of Ministry degree from Campbell, explained what those early days were like.
“The Divinity School has been so very significant to me from the start,” said Lee, who worked with founding Dean Dr. Michael Cogdill and Associate Dean Dr. Bruce Powers to prepare for the opening of the Divinity School. “This has always been a place of inclusion, a place that values individuals and nourishes the inner life of its students, a place that helps students clarify their call and one that provides the experience he or she needs for a life of Christian service.”
Lee praised the school’s high academic standards, the quality and expertise of the administration and faculty. “The Campbell Divinity School encourages lifelong learning and growth,” said Lee, who also served as the school’s first Director of Admissions and Student Affairs and is now an adjunct professor. “It has been my joy and my privilege to be associated with it for the past 15 years.”
Newly commissioned student Daniel Fairchild, of Goldsboro, N.C. learned of the Campbell Divinity School from the ministers at his church. “I’m very happy to be here,” said Fairchild, who would like to teach high school Bible classes. “It is a great program and it offers a master’s degree in Christian education which is exactly what I was looking for.”
Delivering the traditional charge to the students, Dr. Cameron H. Jorgenson, assistant professor of Christian Theology and Ethics, challenged the new divinity students to approach their time at Campbell in the spirit of a call, not simply a profession.
“If you let it challenge you and take you places you’d rather not go, then this can be a place of spiritual formation,” said Jorgenson. “Some suffer from spiritual lethargy. We are not the first, nor the best to follow this call. Therefore, let us take up the mantle, take up the cross and follow Jesus.”
The new students were pinned with a replica of the Celtic cross, a symbol of the Campbell Divinity School’s commitment to provide theological education that is Christ-centered, Bible-based and ministry-focused.
Established in 1996, the Campbell Divinity School currently has an enrollment of 200 students.
Photo Copy: Campbell Divinity School students enter Butler Chapel for the commissioning of new students on Tuesday, Feb. 8.