BUIES CREEK – The 45 students who received their master's and doctoral degrees on Friday, May 10, from the Campbell Divinity School during its spring hooding, graduation and worship service in Turner Auditorium are entering ministry at a "time that has no name,” said Daniel O. Aleshire, executive director of the Association of Theological Schools, the primary accrediting body for graduate theological education in the U.S. and Canada.
“We’re somewhere between the old modern that was and the new future that will be, but we don’t know what it will be,” Aleshire said in his Charge to the Graduates. This means that as the new Divinity graduates pursue their respective callings, they will find “no easy way, no easy answers, and no sure-fire anything,” he said.
Still, he told the graduating students, “I don’t think you should leave this [commencement] service with an ounce of fear.”
Consider days like today, May 10, 2013, when the Divinity School conferred and awarded four Doctor of Ministry, 34 Master of Divinity, one Master of Arts in Christian Ministry, and six Master of Arts in Christian Education degrees. “We don’t know the name of this age, but we know this day like all other days is the day of the Lord,” Aleshire said. “It is the day of the God who has healed us and we are healed and who has saved us and we are saved. This is the day of the Lord who by grace has made you both salt and light that the world might taste and see the Lord is good.”
After Aleshire delivered his message, family members and friends attending the service presented the graduating students with an academic hood. As Divinity faculty members placed the hoods on the students one at a time, other faculty read aloud short notes that relayed what they’ll remember about the students. The students then walked across the stage to receive their diplomas.
“I hope your Campbell experience has made you more aware of the challenge to be committed to a life of service to others as the chief aim of your life,” Campbell President Jerry Wallace said. “In doing so, you can accept the high calling of Jesus to become the salt of the earth and the light of the world.”
Meet three 2013 Divinity graduates
Prior to the commencement and worship service Friday, three members of the Campbell Divinity School’s Class of 2013 talked with Irma Duke of the Divinity School about how the school impacted them and their call to the ministry. Below are excerpts from profiles that Duke wrote on each of them. Read the full profiles on our blog, We Are Campbell.
After Caitlin Jones completed her undergraduate degree at Samford University, she checked out the Campbell Divinity School as well as other divinity schools. While other schools asked her about her GPA and her intended areas of research, Campbell professors asked her what made her heart beat faster. “Campbell professors felt like highly-respected teammates who were in this with you, and I knew that I wanted to be on that team,” she said.
Much of the knowledge and understanding that Jones has gained the last three years has been centered on faith formation, the history and value of the organized church, and the eternal truths of the Bible. She recalls one professor who, after giving his opinion about a portion of scripture, saying, “You don’t have to believe this. Your job is to seek the truth for yourselves.” | Read more
Even as a child, when she attended her home church of Hazelwood Baptist, in Waynesville, N.C., Amy McClure wanted to “connect to what was happening up front.” . . . Thus, in the fall of 2010, she enrolled in the Campbell Divinity School. She still remembers walking into her first Divinity class “excited, nervous, guarded,” she says, and she never imagined how much she and her peers would be so “radically changed in our beliefs and passions, and ultimately learn more about ourselves than we anticipated.
“The Bible came alive in a way I had never experienced,” she adds. “With each step, I learned something new about myself and others, while gaining a broader perspective of the Christian tradition and the character of God and His love for me.” | Read more
In the first 15 years of Lawrence Powers’ life, his family was in a constant state of unsettledness. He attended 10 different schools and lived in 12 different houses. With this kind of childhood instability, community has been a vital element of his Campbell Divinity School experience. Others had told him how valuable this would be for him, but he couldn’t conceive it until he experienced his “family.” . . .
“My community at Campbell has stretched me theologically and academically and has supported me through burn out and ministry changes,” Powers says. “I know that no matter what’s next or where I go, Campbell Divinity School will always be a part of who I am and who I become.” | Read more