DAYTON, OHIO, May 31, 2017 — United Theological Seminary held its Spring Commencement on May 12, 2017, at Ginghamsburg United Methodist Church, Tipp City, Ohio. Fifty-five masters, doctoral and non-degree graduates received a diploma or certificate after years of hard work, study and spiritual growth and were sent forth to serve as faithful, fruitful leaders of the Church. These students joined the 40 who graduated in December for a total of 95 graduates in the 2016-2017 academic year.
Bishop Gregory V. Palmer, Episcopal Leader of the Ohio West Area of The United Methodist Church, delivered the commencement address entitled “Trustworthy Prophets” and challenged the crowd with a convicting message from 1 Samuel 3, in which God calls a young Samuel into ministry.
“Keep the focus on Jesus,” he encouraged the graduates. “Keep your eyes on the cross. Keep your heart from the inside out filled with a vision of the reign of God until God’s shalom is everywhere.”
United awarded Bishop Palmer the honorary Doctor of Divinity degree in recognition of his outstanding contributions to The United Methodist Church around the world and his commitment to making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Bishop Palmer was elected a bishop of The UMC in 2000. He served in the Iowa Conference and the Illinois Great Rivers Conference before being appointed to the Ohio West Area in 2012. From 2008 to 2010, Bishop Palmer was president of the United Methodist Council of Bishops, and he currently serves on the Commission on a Way Forward.
Born and raised in Philadelphia, PA, Bishop Palmer graduated from George Washington University in Washington, DC and received his Master of Divinity degree from Duke University Divinity School in Durham, NC. Prior to his election to the episcopacy, he served as pastor for Ohio congregations in Cleveland, Canton and Berea and as District Superintendent of the Youngstown District in the East Ohio Conference.
“Bishop Palmer has had a major impact on the world of United Methodism and others around the world, but he has never lost touch with the local congregation,” President Millard said.
During the ceremony, the Seminary also presented special awards to 14 graduates. Click here for a list of all 2016-2017 award recipients and graduates.
To watch the entire Spring Commencement ceremony, click here.
United Theological Seminary is a graduate professional school of The United Methodist Church offering masters and doctoral theological degrees and continuing education with programs offered on campus and online. United’s goal is to prepare faithful, fruitful leaders to make disciples of Jesus Christ.