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Wesley Theological Seminary Celebrated 132nd Commencement Today

May 12 2014

May 12, 2014, Washington, D.C. – At the seminary’s 132nd commencement ceremony earlier today, Wesley Theological Seminary awarded 159 degrees to 158 students. Wesley President David McAllister-Wilson presented diplomas to the class, with 69 receiving the Master of Divinity degree, 17 receiving the Master of Theological Studies degree, and 16 receiving the Master of Arts. Fifty-seven individuals received their Doctor of Ministry degrees. One student earned both a Master of Arts degree and a Master of Theological Studies degree.

“The challenge to Christian disciples in this generation is to live the Great Commandment and the Great Commission on a global scale,” said McAllister-Wilson. “Meeting this challenge will require hopeful people of character who practice Christian values such as compassion, forgiveness, generosity, justice and humility. The world needs preachers, teachers and leaders who have the conviction and courage of their faith to lead sacrificial lives. That is the class of 2014 and we are proud of them.”

Bishop John Innis, president of the Central Conferences College of Bishops for The United Methodist Church, gave the invocation. The Rev. Dr. Lovett Weems, director of the Lewis Center for Church Leadership and distinguished professor of church leadership at Wesley, gave the commencement address. Bishop Marcus Matthews of the Baltimore-Washington Conference of The United Methodist Church gave the blessing to close the service.

During the ceremony, McAllister-Wilson presented the 2014 Society of John Wesley Award of Merit to the Rev. Dr. Kenda Creasy Dean, the Mary D. Synnott Professor of Youth, Church and Culture at Princeton Theological Seminary. This award recognizes a Wesley graduate who, through sacrificial leadership, exemplifies a high standard of commitment and devotion to God, the church and Wesley Theological Seminary. Recipients are nominated and selected by fellow graduates.

“Ultimately this award is a recognition of an alum who, having embraced God’s call and claim in their life, lives unselfish service inspiring others,” said the Rev. Dr. Timothy Baer, chair of the Wesley Alumni Council. “Over the years, many recipients of the award have been, and continue to be, transformational leaders with vision who challenge others to be transformational as well. In the spirit of John Wesley, this award represents a continuing challenge to each and every graduate to unyieldingly offer his or her best in service to God.”

Dean earned her Master of Divinity summa cum laude at Wesley Theological Seminary in 1988. She is an ordained elder in the Baltimore-Washington Conference of The United Methodist Church.

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