Nineteen new Campbell Divinity students celebrated the beginning of their theological education at this morning’s traditional spring commissioning ceremony.
Students gathered in Butler Chapel and received Celtic cross pins to commemorate the start of the educational journey. Their prayer partners, family, friends and faculty advisors stood by to pledge their support.
Two occasions marked today’s ceremony, said Dean Andy Wakefield in his welcoming remarks. For the first time, the Divinity School celebrated students entering the new Master of Arts in Faith and Leadership Formation program, whose charter class consists of eight students who are dedicated to learning to incorporate their faith and personal ministry into their workplace. And for the last time, the students will celebrate their commissioning with a luncheon in Marshbanks cafeteria — next year, the new student union will host the students and their families.
Paul Baxley, executive coordinator at Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, recalled the night he was ordained into gospel ministry himself during his charge to students.
“As an ordained preacher, you are a representative and confirmation of His presence…and if you don’t want that responsibility, get out of ministry,” Baxley told the students amid chuckles from the audience.
“At this pivotal moment in your faith and life, by the grace and mercy overflowing from Christ Jesus, you have been appointed a servant of our Lord,” he said. “Be a prophet. Be a priest. Be a representative of the Resurrection in a world still too overtaken by Good Friday. Be an example.”