Cogdill delivers final commencement message as Divinity dean

Buies Creek, N.C.— Dr. Michael Cogdill, founding dean of the Campbell University Divinity School, delivered the commencement address for the spring graduation ceremony on Friday, May 14 in Turner Auditorium. Cogdill will step down as dean at the end of June, to be succeeded by long-time faculty member, Dr. Andrew Wakefield. Cogdill will remain as part of the Divinity School faculty.

Cogdill was chosen as the Divinity School’s first dean in 1996, having served as the Chair of the department of Religion and Philosophy at Campbell University. Since that time the school has grown to include five disciplines of study: the Master of Divinity degree, Master of Arts in Christian Education, Master of Divinity/Master of Business Administration, Master of Divinity/Master of Arts in Community Counseling and the Doctor of Ministry.

Dr. Jerry Wallace thanked Dr. Cogdill for his vision and direction, as he has lead the Divinity School. “How does one say ‘Thank you’ to someone who has poured out his life so that this school could live?,” asked Wallace. “The Divinity School began with a blank sheet of paper with only the name ‘Dr. Michael Cogdill’ written upon it. There’s no doubt in my mind that decision was profound and providential.”

Addressing the graduates Friday, night, Cogdill encouraged them to remember their call to service as they go out to serve their communities.

“Take your place in ministry tonight with inspiration of God and a genuine love for the people you serve,” said Cogdill. “It has been my honor to walk with you in this place called Campbell Divinity School.”

A native of Spartanburg, S.C., Cogdill graduated from Mars Hill College in 1971 and received a Master of Divinity from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and a certification in Clinical Pastoral Education from North Carolina Baptist Hospital in 1974. He went on to earn a Doctor of Ministry in 1976 from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and a Master of Science in sociology from North Carolina State University in 1983. Prior to joining the Campbell faculty as assistant professor of religion in 1978, Cogdill was pastor of First Baptist Church of Roseboro. In 1984, Cogdill became associate professor of religion and sociology in Campbell’s Department of Religion and Philosophy. He became chair of the department in 1988.While serving in that capacity, he was also named the Lewis Edward Tyner Chair of Bible. He also served as pastor of Spilman Memorial Baptist Church of Kinston, N.C. from 1985-1988.

The Campbell University Divinity School conferred 47 Master of Divinity and 5 Doctor of Ministry degrees at the hooding ceremony on Friday, May 14. A total of 971 degrees (564 undergraduate and 407 graduate and professional) will be awarded this graduation season.

Photo Copy: Dr. Michael Cogdill delivered the commencement address to the graduates of the Campbell University Divinity School.

Bulletin: 16523

Date: May/17/10