Last week the 2018 graduates gathered for what has now become an Austin Seminary tradition – our “Threshold” event.
Held the last several years at Austin Country Club, Threshold serves as a symbolic time of transition from student to ministry leader. Students reflect on their years at Austin Seminary, including a slide show of when they arrived on campus. After reflecting backward, they hoped forward with each student writing a letter to her or his “3-year future” self.A panel of three alumni also discuss what life is like “post seminary.” This year, the graduates asked the panel about fundraising challenges in the ministry (and no, the staff did not plant that question in the crowd!), how to find respite amongst the multitude of duties, and what seminary courses they found important as well as those that were not so beneficial. The panelists generally agreed that they felt each course was of value but some do have a bigger impact in the real world of ministry. Your fellow alumni on this year’s panel were Paul Harris (MATS’10), Mitch Kolls (MDiv’12), and Molly Hatchell(MDiv’15).
Another important aspect of Threshold is introducing the graduates to the Austin Seminary Association (ASA) and how they can stay connected to Austin Seminary. They learn how workshops and other events offered by Education Beyond the Walls can impact their ministry. And, they learn about the importance of supporting the Seminary’s Annual Fund and “paying it forward” so future students can pursue their education without acquiring educational debt.
The closing worship service is usually an emotional one as students begin to accept the reality of it being one of the final times that the entire class will be gathered together. A candle lighting time allows each student to light a candle and if moved to do so, share what their candle represents.As noted, this is a rather new event for our seniors. We wonder, how did you cross the threshold from seminary into ministry?
Director of Alumni and Church Relations
Honor our Graduates
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Meet Us in St. Louis!
June 18, 8-10 pm
"Keep Austin Winsome!" Reception
June 20, Noon-1 pm
$15 ticket for the luncheon; register on the GA web site. Questions? Contact us!