Postponement of 2020 Commencement
March 27, 2020
Dear United Community:
We are praying daily that God will heal everyone in our community, nation and world who are infected or affected by the COVID-19 coronavirus. In light of this pandemic, we are uncertain when it will be safe to travel or to gather in large groups again.
Therefore, after consulting with Jim Tharp, President of United’s Board of Trustees and the seminary Vice Presidents, we have made the decision to postpone United Theological Seminary’s commencement exercises, which were scheduled for Saturday, May 30, 2020. We will plan to conduct these exercises at a later date when it will be safer to travel and to gather in large groups.
The Seminary will mail out diplomas for those who are graduating this spring when all of their coursework has been successfully completed and all financial commitments are fulfilled.
We know that Commencement is the highlight of a person’s Seminary career when family and friends gather with faculty, mentors and staff to celebrate this milestone in one’s life. We regret that this milestone event has to be postponed, but we hope the day will come soon when we can give proper recognition and celebration to our 2020 graduates.
We thank God for the way all of our student pastors and church leaders are caring for their flocks in creative and compassionate ways while gathering for worship, bible study and small group meetings are being discouraged due to this pandemic.
The words of the classic Isaac Watts hymn give me comfort and hope in times like these: “O God our help in ages past, our hope for years to come, our shelter from the stormy blast, and our eternal home.”
The God who has been our help, comfort and strength in the past is the same God who will give us hope and lead us through this stormy blast of a highly contagious disease. Remember: this, too, will pass.
Grace and Peace,
Dr. Kent Millard
United Theological Seminary