The 159th academic year of Concordia Seminary came to a close on Friday, May 22. The day’s activities included a 10 a.m. baccalaureate service in the Seminary’s Chapel of St. Timothy and St. Titus, followed by a special luncheon for graduates and families. Due to weather conditions, The Chapel of St. Timothy and St. Titus also served as the location for the 7 p.m. Commencement exercises.
At the baccalaureate service, Dr. Dean Nadasdy, Associate Professor of Practical Theology and occupant of the Gregg H. Benidt Memorial Chair in Homiletics and Literature, delivered the sermon based on Matthew 5:8, “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.” The theme of the sermon was “A Pure Heart and Eyes That See.” Nadasdy stated, “God gives pastors their integrity. God cleans our hearts of sin and compromise. So cleansed, we see things we never dreamed of seeing – the great works of God, His signature across our people’s lives and our own. In those moments of beholding, we are truly blessed.”
At the Commencement exercises, 107 students were recipients of Master of Divinity degrees. This is the degree which most students who wish to be pastors, missionaries or chaplains in The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod (LCMS) receive.
Other degrees conferred included seven Master of Arts degrees, five Doctor of Ministry degrees, 15 Master of Sacred Theology degrees and one Doctor of Theology degree.
Thirteen students were recognized as candidates for completion of the Alternate Route or Colloquy programs. Completion of these programs does not result in the granting of a degree. Those who successfully complete them, however, are certified as eligible to receive a call and serve on the LCMS clergy roster.
Rev. Eugene Oesch, retiring Chairman of the Seminary’s Board of Regents, served as the Commencement speaker.
During the Commencement exercises, Rev. Arthur C. Dueker from Rochester, New York, was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree in recognition of his service in the office of the public ministry. The Christus Vivit Award was presented to Mr. Kenneth P. Temme in recognition of his years of dedicated service to his congregation and community.