AUSTIN (May 30, 2018) – Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary held its commencement at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 20, at University Presbyterian Church, Austin. The class of 2018 comprises thirty-five students in four degree programs. The Reverend Dr. Carlos Emilio Ham-Stanard, DMin’99) rector (president) of Seminario Evangélico de Teologia (SET) in Matanzas, Cuba, delivered the Commencement Address, and the Reverend Dr. Theodore J. Wardlaw, president of Austin Seminary, gave a charge to the graduates. Mr. G. Archer Frierson II, chair of the Seminary’s Board of Trustees, presided over the ceremony.
Commencement exercises included the granting of special awards to graduating seniors who distinguished themselves during their seminary experience. President Wardlaw announced the 2018 graduate awards approved by the faculty: Laura Messer received the Donald Capps Award in Pastoral Care; Karla Lara received the Carl Kilborn Book Award, Jasiel Hernandez received the Charles L. King Preaching Award, Hierald Osorto was given the Rachel Henderlite Award for contributions to cross-cultural and interracial relationships, Randy Knighten received the Ethel W. Lance Human and Civil Rights Award, Azar Ghanforoush was given the Hendrick-Smith Award for Evangelism and Missions, Pamela Jarvis received the Max Sherman and Barbara Jordan Fellowship for the integration of faith and public policy, and Terese Wier received the John Spragens Award in Christian Education.
Among the announcements made regarding actions concerning faculty, the Austin Seminary Board of Trustees has called The Reverend Bridgett Green as assistant professor of New Testament, effective January 1, 2019, promoted Philip Browning Helsel to associate professor, and granted tenure to Professor Song-Mi Park.
On the eve of commencement, Saturday, May 19, at 6:00 p.m., Austin Seminary held a baccalaureate service, also hosted by University Presbyterian Church. The Reverend Dr. Jennifer Lord delivered the sermon and the Reverend Dr. Lewis Donelson presided at the Lord’s Table.