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Concordia Seminary Confers 112 Degrees at 1999 Commencement

The 160th academic year of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis came to a close on Friday, May 21. The day’s activities included a 10:00 a.m. baccalaureate service in the Seminary’s Chapel of St. Timothy and St. Titus, followed by a special luncheon for graduates and their families in the Seminary’s Luther Statue Park. Commencement exercises were held outdoors at 7:00 p.m. in the Seminary’s main quadrangle.

Dr. John F. Johnson, President of Concordia Seminary, delivered the sermon at the baccalaureate service. Following the sermon, students who successfully completed one of the programs of preparation for service in the pastoral ministry in The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod (LCMS) were presented their theological diplomas and diplomas of vocation. In this act, the Seminary faculty fulfilled publicly the responsibility given it by the LCMS to certify those men it determines to be qualified in every respect for service in the pastoral ministry.

At the evening commencement exercises, Dr. Alan F. Harre, President of Valparaiso University, served as commencement speaker. Following the address, 76 students were recipients of master of divinity degrees. This is the degree which most students who desire to be pastors, missionaries or chaplains in the LCMS receive.

Other degrees conferred included seven master of arts degrees, three doctor of ministry degrees, 24 master of sacred theology degrees, and two doctor of philosophy degrees.

Nine students were recognized as candidates for completion of the alternate route (certificate) program. Upon successful completion of a one-year vicarage (internship), these students will be certified as eligible to receive a call and serve as pastors, missionaries or chaplains in the LCMS.

Six individuals were selected by the Concordia Seminary faculty to receive special honors during the commencement exercises. Victor and Millie Dankis received the Christus Vivit award in recognition of their “selfless devotion to their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and to the mission and ministry of His church.”

Dr. Donald K. Muchow received the distinguished alumni award in recognition of his service as “a leader of the church’s ministry to the armed services of our nation…and a distinguished servant of Christ and His church.”

Rev. Luther Poellot and Dr. Chizuo Shibata were both awarded the honorary doctor of letters degree in recognition of their distinguished scholarly service to the church following seminary graduation.

Dr. David Phaladi Tswaedi, Bishop of the Lutheran Church in Southern Africa, was awarded the honorary doctor of divinity degree in recognition of his service as pastor, teacher and church leader.

For more information, contact Rev. Glen Thomas, Vice President for Seminary Relations at (314) 505-7371 or via e-mail (thomasg@csl.edu).