The Seattle School of Theology & Psychology held its 2014 Commencement ceremony last Saturday, June 28, at Town Hall Seattle. The ceremony began at 10 o’clock in the morning as graduates processed into the auditorium, accompanied by Puget Brass. President Keith Anderson, D.Min, welcomed graduates and attendees, followed by the recognition of family and friends who have journeyed with graduates by Meghan Cappon, spouse of MACP graduate Peter Cappon and Bookstore Manager at The Seattle School.
The ceremony continued with an invocation by Founding President and Professor of Counseling Psychology Dan Allender, Ph.D., as well as scripture readings and the singing of a congregational hymn.
Four graduates then took the stage, selected by their peers and faculty—one speaker from each degree program and a musician—addressed their fellow graduates and other attendees around a common theme. This year’s common theme, selected by the speakers and musician, was “Crossings.” MATC graduate Ryan Kuja, MDiv graduate David Jaeger, MACP graduate Jade Brown, shared stories and reflections on this theme. Megan Peters, MATC graduate and musician, sang “Shores of White Sand” by singer and songwriter Emmylou Harris.
The Seattle School presented diplomas to 72 graduates, including 7 Masters in Divinity, 54 Masters of Arts in Counseling Psychology, and 11 Masters of Arts in Theology & Culture. Following the conferring of degrees, President Keith Anderson, D.Min., presented Molly Clarke Kenzler—recently retired front desk manager and beloved member of The Seattle School community for twelve years—with The Seattle School’s first honorary degree in Theology & Culture. A surprised Molly was given a cap, gown, and diploma on stage as members of The Seattle School community celebrated her with a standing ovation.
As the ceremony came to a close, Jo-Ann Badley, Ph.D., gave the charge to the graduating class as her last act as Professor of Biblical Studies after eight years at The Seattle School. Dr. Badley is moving into a new position as Dean of Faculty of Theology at Ambrose University College in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, this fall. Following her charge Dr. Badley was recognized by Vice President of Academic Affairs and Academic Dean J. Derek McNeil, Ph.D. and surprised by the community with a complete set of the a handwritten and illuminated Saint John’s Bible.
Dr. McNeil ended the ceremony with a benediction, sending graduates into the world to carry the mission of The Seattle School and to continue their healing work for the kingdom of God. “It is disturbing to have something that is so comfortable disrupted,” Dr. McNeil exclaimed, referring to the difficult work done by graduates as they were students on behalf of themselves and others, “but that is the place of new birth and new life.”
Watch highlights from this year’s Commencement ceremony below:
Invocation by Dr. Dan Allender, Professor of Counseling Psychology & Founding President
Conferring of Degrees
Molly Clarke Kenzler Receives Honorary Degree
Charge to the Graduating Class by Dr. Jo-Ann Badley, Professor of Biblical Studies, and Special Recognition of Dr. Badley’s Service
Benediction by Dr. J. Derek McNeil, Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs & Academic Dean
Watch Meghan Cappon share her poem in recognition of family and friends of graduates »
Look for videos of the student musician and speakers on Stories in the coming weeks.