The Class of 2021 will celebrate their graduation from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary in a virtual service on Sunday, May 16, beginning at 2:30 p.m. (CDT). The Reverend Dr. Brian K. Blount, President and Professor of New Testament in the Walter W. Moore and Charles E. S. Kraemer Presidential Chairs at Union Presbyterian Seminary, will deliver the Commencement Address. Austin Seminary Board Chair Keatan King will preside over the service and President Theodore J. Wardlaw will deliver the Charge to the Graduates.
The Class of 2021 comprises twenty-nine graduates: one is receiving the Master of Arts in Ministry Practice; three, the Master of Arts (Theological Studies); eight, the Master of Arts in Youth Ministry; and seventeen, the Master of Divinity degree. This year there are no graduates in the Seminary's Doctor of Ministry program. These resilient graduates transitioned to online learning after spring break in March of last year in light of the Covid-19 global pandemic. This educational model continued throughout the 2020-21 academic year will all teaching and learning, all worship, and most community socializing virtual or socially distant. To compound things, Austin was hit with a debilitating winter storm in February and many in the community struggled with power and water outages. Nevertheless, they persisted!
The Baccalaureate Service, on Saturday, May 15, at 6:00 p.m. (CDT), will also be virtual with the Reverend Dr. David W. Johnson, associate professor of church history and Christian spirituality, to preach. All of the events over graduation weekend will take place on the HopIn platform, and all attendees must register to access the services and the fellowship opportunity after Commencement. On Tuesday, May 18, the Seminary will host a drive-through diploma-and-goodies distribution for the graduates.