Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary Conferred Degrees on May 26
Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary conferred degrees on thirty-six masters and doctoral candidates on Sunday, May 26, at University Presbyterian Church in Austin. Board of Trustee Chair Cassandra Carr presided over the ceremony, and the Reverend Trey Little, pastor at First Presbyterian Church in San Antonio, delivered the commencement address. Four candidates received the Master of Arts (Theological Studies) degree; twenty-nine, the Master of Divinity; one candidate received the Master of Arts in Ministry Practice (the first awarded by Austin Seminary); and seven received the Doctor of Ministry.
Eight scholarship and award recipients were also announced at the ceremony. Laura Westerlage of Haltom City, Texas, was the first-ever recipient of the Max Sherman and Barbara Jordan Fellowship for her demonstrated potential to integrate faith and public policy. Garry Roberts of Edna, Texas, was recognized by the homiletics faculty with the Charles L. King Preaching Award.
Chris Dunn of Annapolis, Maryland, received the Rachel Henderlite Award, an honor given to a graduate who has made significant contributions to cross-cultural and interracial relationships while at seminary. The Hendrick-Smith Award for Mission and Evangelism was awarded to Mi-Sook Lee of Austin, Texas, and Seoul, Korea.
The John Spragens Award, given each year to an outstanding graduate to be used for additional education in the field of Christian education was awarded to Cathy Stone of Austin, Texas. Lauren Vernon of Dallas, Texas, received the Donald Capps Award in Pastoral Care. Joseph Tognetti of Kempner, Texas, was awarded the 2013 Carl Kilborn Book Award, and Karen Cotton of Albuquerque, New Mexico, received the Chalice Press Book award.
This diverse graduating class represents ten states, two countries, six Christian denominations, and three faiths, including Muslim and Jewish. More than 70% of the master’s-level graduates have accepted or are intending to seek calls into ordained ministry.