Moravian Theological Seminary celebrates 2013 Commencement
Moravian Theological Seminary celebrated the conclusion of its 206th academic year with a commencement ceremony on May 11, 2013. The service was held in Central Moravian Church in Bethlehem, Pa., with retiring President Christopher M. Thomforde presiding and presenting the Commencement Address.
Twenty-six graduates received master’s degrees and certificates including the Master of Divinity (MDiv), Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling (MAPC), Master of Arts in Theological Studies (MATS), and Certificate in Formative Spirituality.
Elected by his fellow graduates, Ken Klein delivered the Graduate Address. Ken was working in the technology industry when he experienced a growing sense of call to work with youth, a population he volunteered with at his church. Heeding that call, he enrolled full-time in the pastoral counseling program at the Seminary. For his clinical internship he was placed at Valley Youth House, a Lehigh Valley social service agency supporting young people in crisis. A gifted counselor, Ken was offered and accepted a permanent position at Valley Youth House in their Independent Living Program. Ken’s exemplary faith, counseling skills and insight were recognized during the commencement service when he was awarded the Barbara Martin Stout Pastoral Counseling Prize.
Five Moravians were among this year’s graduates, including one from the Southern Province:
Aaron Linville, a member of Union Cross Moravian Church in N.C., earned his MDiv degree. He was also awarded the Herman T. Frueauff Memorial Prize in Moravian History for his outstanding class work and research in the field of Moravian history. Aaron has returned to North Carolina to await a call. He is volunteering for the Board of Cooperative Ministries, doing pulpit supply, serving as a counselor at Laurel Ridge and providing music for Morning Song at Rural Hall Moravian Church.
Graduates from the Northern Province included:
Laura Gordon, from Edgeboro Moravian Church in Bethlehem, Pa., received her MDiv degree with a concentration in Formative Spirituality and was awarded the John David Bishop Memorial Prize. This prize is reserved for a graduating MDiv candidate for ministry who, in the judgment of the faculty, has a superior record in scholarship, development of personality suited to the requirements of the Christian ministry and effective participation in Seminary activities. Laura accepted a call to serve as pastor of Advent Moravian Church in Bethlehem and was ordained on Sunday, June 2.
Rebecca Schoeneberger, a member of Nazareth Moravian Church, also earned the MDiv degree. She completed her Clinical Pastoral Education at Lutheran Home Care & Hospice during the summer and will await a call to serve the Moravian church.
Since 2011 two students from other provinces of the Moravian Unity were enrolled in the theological studies program. Adding to the richness of the classroom and community experience, these students shared unique perspectives on culture, language and Moravian faith tradition. From the Suriname Province, Michael Persaud earned the MATS degree. While completing the program, Michael interned at Tremont Terrace Moravian Church in the Bronx. In June, Michael returned to his family in Suriname where he will serve the Moravian Church in ministry.
Rev. Bevon White attended from the Jamaica and the Cayman Islands Province. During the commencement service he received the Rev. Elmer D. Bender Memorial Award given to an individual preparing for the ministry of the Moravian Church who displays exemplary pastoral skills. Bevon has accepted a call to serve as pastor of Faith Moravian Church in Washington D.C., where he and his family will relocate this summer.
In the ecumenical spirit of the Moravian Church, the students at the Seminary come from an array of denominations and faith traditions. This year’s graduating class included United Methodist, Lutheran, Assemblies of God, United Church of Christ, Episcopalian, Presbyterian, and non-denominational students. These graduates included:
Master of Divinity: Ronald Baker (Wilkes-Barre, Pa.), Raymond Bush (Gratz, Pa.), Jewel Davis (Bethlehem), Kathryn Foster (Whitehall, Pa.), Kayli Freeman (Kutztown, Pa.), Josh Knappenberger (Slatington, Pa.), and Michelle Moyer (Orefield, Pa.).
Master of Arts in Theological Studies: Vincent Gioieni (Bethlehem, Pa.), Deborah Graf with a Certificate in Formative Spirituality (Reading, Pa.), and Erin Maurer (Warwick, Pa.).
Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling: Kathy DeSantis (Schnecksville, Pa.), Lauren Gass (Orefield, Pa.), Kenneth Klein (Durham, Pa.), Susan Nenstiel with a concentration in Formative Spirituality (Macungie, Pa.), Celeste Quinn with a concentration in Formative Spirituality (Quakertown, Pa.), Robin Reinhard (Hopewell, N.J.), Eileen Reuter (Mount Bethel, Pa.), Jill Sober (Allentown, Pa.), and from Bethlehem, Andrea Miles and Elizabeth Songer.
Please join Moravian Theological Seminary in congratulating the Class of 2013 as they begin new ministries and serve their communities!
Colleen Marsh is Assistant to the Director of Administration for Moravian Theological Seminary.
From the August 2013 Moravian Magazine