Divinity students commissioned in socially-distanced ceremony

Socially-distanced students, faculty and staff gathered in Butler Chapel on August 25 to take part in the Divinity School’s tradition of commissioning new students for lives of meaningful service. 

Safety precautions limited the service to only new master-level students, faculty and staff, but those gathered were able to affirm God’s call in the lives of the new students as they embarked on their journey of graduate theological education.

“Here we are sitting far apart wearing masks and missing all those who would normally gather with us,” said Dean Andy Wakefield in his welcoming remarks. “So much is different, and yet so much is the same. When we look at your faces, hear about your journeys and celebrate the call that God has laid on your lives, we feel the same joy, excitement, wonder and privilege that God has granted to us to be part of that journey.”

The Divinity School commissioned 16 new students at the fall pinning ceremony. Dean Wakefield delivered a Charge to Students based around Romans 12, which encouraged students to be transformed by God rather than to conform to this world.

“Faith means that we are prepared to put our physical and material selves on the line,” Wakefield said. “Our jobs, our money, our relationships, our health, our security. We’re putting it all on the altar for God to do with whatever he chooses.”

Featuring a distinctive spiritual formation curriculum in all of its degree offerings, the Divinity School offers four graduate degree programs: Master of Arts in Christian Ministry, Master of Divinity, Master of Arts in Faith & Leadership Formation and Doctor of Ministry. Academic programs present in other schools of the University enlarge Divinity School course options by allowing for dual-degree programs, cross-discipline concentrations, and a wider degree of elective course offerings.