Tacoma, Wash. – There was much more than pomp and circumstance during the Corban University School of Ministry commencement on June 10.
As 17 attending graduates celebrated the first official School of Ministry graduation, they laughed with family and professors, shed tears over the passing of longtime friend and professor Hermann Austel Ph.D and rejoiced in completing degrees fulfilling God’s calling on their lives.
Three students completed their Master of Ministry degrees. One earned his Master of Theological studies. Twelve students earned Master of Divinity degrees and one earned a Certificate of Theological Studies.
As Dr. Leroy Goertzen, director of the Doctor of Ministry Program at Corban, reflected on time with his graduates, he said he recognized big changes in their personal and spiritual growth.
“I was impressed with how students, professors and staff are forged into a learning, caring family over the course of three years,” he said. “The students I shook hands with at the graduation ceremony are remarkably, stunningly different than the ones that I served coffee to in my home in September of 2008. The academic humility, mental acuity and emotional/relational maturity that took place in their lives is amazing. Most do not leave seminary anywhere near where and who they came in as.”
Many graduates are already serving as senior pastors in churches throughout the Tacoma, Wash. region. Others will serve as overseas missionaries while another intends to plant a new church. Yet another has plans to continue his studies toward a doctorate degree. Goertzen said he is proud of the accomplishments of the first School of Ministry class and how much effort they put into their studies.
“The staff worked diligently all summer long to try to make it possible for every student within a country mile of finishing their degree program to graduate,” he said. “Many students took up the challenge, rolled up their sleeves, and made graduation 2011 a goal. You can see God blessing the fruits of their labor as they are released to share the gospel with others in their chosen ministries.