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Five Honored at Concordia Seminary's Commencement

At Concordia Seminary’s Commencement Ceremony on May 17, 2013, five distinguished people were honored with awards.

Mrs. Marlyn E. Graudin (Christus Vivit award)

Mrs. Graudin married her husband, Arthur, professor emeritus at Concordia Seminary, when he was a seminarian in 1949. She worked at the Lutheran Laymen’s League (LLL) when it was located at the current space of Concordia Publishing House (CPH). After living in several locations (Marion, Ind.; Milwaukee, Wis.; Swissvale, Penn.; Seward, Neb.; Claremont, Calif.;), Mrs. and Rev. Graudin moved to St. Louis in July 1974. She volunteered at the Re-Sell It Shop for 20 years, from 1978-1998. In her retirement, she enjoys going to daily chapel at the Seminary and attending Preachers’ basketball games.


Mr. Donald T. and Mrs. Carol J. Petering (Christus Vivit award)

Mr. and Mrs. Petering have been active and faithful members of St. Paul Lutheran Church, Des Peres, Mo., since 1960, and have been teachers and volunteers there for just as long. Mr. Petering served as third and fourth grade teacher, music and art teacher, organist, choir director, artist and building committee member. Mrs. Petering has also served as a teacher, coach, accompanist, and Bible study leader. She is an active member of the Concordia Seminary Guild, the LWML, and the Concordia Historical Institute. Together they started the handbell choir in 1972 at St. Paul and perform as a duo for various music events around St. Louis, including their church.


Rev. David J. Schneider (Distinguished Alumnus Award)

Rev. Schneider graduated from Concordia Seminary in 1960, and received an S.T.M. in 1971.  He served among the Lutheran Church of Philippines (LCP) from 1960-78. He served as pastor of Holy Trinity, Gulfport, Miss., from 1978-85. He was missionary pastor of All Saints in Guadalajara, Mexico from 1985-91. He taught at the Lutheran Seminary Enhlanhleni (Zulu and Tswana students), Pomeroy, South Africa from 1992-2000. After retirement he served at the People of God Evangelical Lutheran Seminary in Almaty, Kazakhstan for one year (2004) and for nearly a year at the Uhuru Highway Lutheran Cathedral in Nairobi, Kenya (2005-06). Between 2003-12, he taught in the Rocky Mountain Theological Institute in Colorado Springs, Colo., teaching “Christian Doctrine I” and coordinated the program from 2008-12.


Dr. Abjar Bahkou  (honorary Doctor of Letters degree)

Dr. Bahkou is currently a resident research fellow with Baylor University’s program on Global Studies of Religion and a lecturer at Baylor in Arabic Literature, Culture and Language. He has two earned doctoral degrees, one from the Pontifical Institute of Arabic and Islamic Studies (2008) and one from the Salesian Pontifical University (1998), both institutions located in Rome, Italy. Dr. Bakhou was first ordained as a Deacon-Monk in the Syrian Orthodox Church in 1993, then as a priest at St. Ephraim Chapel Monastery in Damascus-Syrian in 1997. In 1999 he was called to be youth pastor at St. Ephraim Cathedral in Burbank, Calif. He left ministry work from 2003-05, and then was introduced to People of the Book Lutheran Outreach (POBLO) in Texas. In 2008 he was hired by POBLO to plant the Arabic Church of All Nations in Dallas at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church. Dr. Bahkou has been certified by the colloquy committee of the LCMS, and is awaiting a formal call (in process) with Peace Lutheran Church in Hurst, Texas.