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156th Graduating Class most diverse in recent history

Jul 01, 2009
Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary held its 156th and Commencement exercises on Sunday, May 17, 2009. The Baccalaureate service, created by members of the graduating class, was held at Louisville Seminary’s Frank H. and Fannie W. Caldwell Chapel, and Commencement was held at Second Presbyterian Church in Louisville, Ky., with whom the Seminary has historic ties.

As part of the morning worship service, Louisville Seminary Dr. Christopher L. Elwood, professor of historical theology, and Dr. Elizabeth Johnson Walker, associate professor of pastoral care and counseling, presented a joint Baccalaureate sermon, “What’s in a Name?,” which focused on the same Scripture Isaiah 62:1-4 and John 15:15-16.

Louisville Seminary conferred the following degrees: Master of Divinity, Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy, Master of Arts in Religion, Master of Theology, and Doctor of Ministry. Of the 37 graduates, 20 are women and 17 are men. Considered one of the most ecumenically and racially diverse classes to graduate from the institution, the Class of 2009 represents a wide range of denominational membership and affiliation, including Presbyterian Church (USA), Roman Catholic, Disciples, Lutheran (ELCA and Missouri Synod), Apostolic/Pentecostal, Christian Methodist Episcopal, United Methodist, Seventh Day Adventist, Unitarian Universalist Association, Non-denominational, Mormon, Baptist, and Episcopal.

During the Commencement exercises, Devoted Service Awards were presented to the Commencement Speaker, Linda B. Valentine, Executive Director of the General Assembly Council of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), who delivered the Commencement Address, “Journey Forth,” and two Presbyterian synod moderators, who represent the two synods with whom Louisville Seminary has covenantal relationships. They are Robert Friley III, Elder at Yokena Presbyterian Church in Vicksburg, Miss., and Moderator of the Synod of Living Waters, and Rev. Katherine Jackson, the current Moderator of the Synod of Mid-America, who also serves as Associate Pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Columbia, Mo. These awards recognize individuals for their dedicated service in the life of the Church.


The following graduate awards were also presented:

    David Bentley Jewel who received The Alum Award for the Outstanding Graduating Senior, which honors the graduate who excels in all facets of his or her education and potential for ministry. Jewel also received the Joseph T. Sudduth Award, which honors the graduating senior who has demonstrated outstanding achievement in biblical studies.

    Candace Yvette Smith was awarded the James W. Tinsley Award, which honors a graduating senior who has demonstrated commitment and perseverance in preparation for congregational ministry.

    Lisa Carol Hermann was the recipient of the Field Education Award, provided by the Presbyterian Women of St. Andrew Presbytery, which is given to a graduating senior who has shown outstanding accomplishments in his or her field education placements while maintaining high marks in other course work.

    The Allen M. Jackson Preaching Award, presented by the Anchorage Presbyterian Church to an outstanding male student preacher, was awarded to Darvin A. Adams I and Larry Craig Tuck.

    Breanne Renee Harmon and Catherine Elizabeth Crandell received the Melanie Lane Preaching Award for outstanding female student preacher.

    Burnetta Elizabeth Barton received the Bernice Bean and Gladys Kendall Prize, which is presented to the graduate who, in the judgment of the faculty, has demonstrated a superior record of academic achievement. Barton also received the Janet Kennedy Patterson Memorial Fellowship in Church History Award, honoring a graduating senior who has exhibited special interest and talent in Church History.

    The Westminster John Knox Press Award for Creative Integration of Theology and Marriage and Family Therapy was presented to Lacey Ryan Kilchenman in recognition of her outstanding creativity and ability to bring together theology, personal faith tradition, and marriage and family therapy theory in the clinical practice of marriage and family therapy.

    Brianne M. Jurs, received the Esther Horner Award, which is the only prize whose recipient is selected by the graduating class. It is given to the graduating senior who has made the greatest contribution to campus community life.

    The Fielding Lewis Walker Award in Doctrinal Theology was awarded to Clemette L. Haskins for demonstrating special interest and competence in doctrinal theology.

    Katie Ann Strednak was the recipient of the George and Jean Edwards Award in the Interpretation of Scripture to Christian Life, which recognizes the ability of a student to relate Scripture to critical issues confronting the church and society, especially in areas of peace and justice, and the Andrew Patterson Memorial Fellowship in Biblical Theology, which honors a graduating senior who has exhibited special interest and talent in Biblical Theology.

    The Dr. George D. Carter Jr. Pastoral Ministry Award was presented to Joshua Samuel Robinson, a graduating Master of Divinity student who demonstrated outstanding promise for pastoral leadership.


The call or placement process for seminary graduates can often take up to 18 months following graduation, with many graduates working on job searches during the summer months. The graduating class of 2009 is listed below by degree received (with hometown, previous degree, and ministry placement), and if known their call or placement has been identified.

Master of Arts (Religion)

    Christopher M. Baker - Lexington, KY, Indiana University Southeast
    Parish Intern, Fourth Avenue United Methodist Church, Louisville, KY

    Fletcher Luka Padoko - Balaka, Malawi
    Director, Kasupe Ministries, Lilongwe, Malawi

Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy

    Navisimo Chifunda - Lusaka, Zambia, Lyon College
    Clinical Therapist, Wells of Wholeness, Inc., Atlanta, GA

    Zachary J. Crouch - Desplaines, IL, Western Kentucky University
    Seeking a Position

    Lyle A. Edwards - Louisville, KY, Western Kentucky University
    Substance Abuse Therapist, Life Skills, Inc., Munfordville, KY

    Brianne M. Jurs - Valparaiso, IN, Indiana University
    Seeking a Position

    Daniel P. Keinath - Cape Girardeau, MO, Concordia University
    Associate Pastor, South Shore Trinity Lutheran, White Bear Lake, MN

    Lacey Ryan Kilchenman - Covington, KY, Eastern Kentucky University
    Clinical Therapist, Maryhurst Family Treatment Homes, Louisville, KY

    Erin Long - Warrensburg, MO, College of Wooster
    Therapist, Strategic Therapy Associates, Lynchburg, VA

Master of Divinity

    Darvin A. Adams I - Hopkinsville, KY, Mid-Continent Baptist Bible College
    PhD student, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Evanston, IL

    Roger C. Au - Columbus, OH, Purdue University
    Seeking a Call

    Burnetta Elizabeth Barton - Asheboro, NC, Western Carolina University
    CPE Residency, Greenville Memorial Hospital, Greenville, SC

    Jimmy Bowling - Gulfport, MS, Mississippi College
    Sexton, Christ Church Episcopal Cathedral, Louisville, KY

    Bruce Wayne Burns Sr. - Buffalo, NY, Campbellsville College
    Pastor, Keas CME Church, Mount Sterling, KY

    Catherine Elizabeth Crandell - Evanston, IL, Purdue University-Calumet
    CPE Residency, Norton Hosptial, Louisville, KY

    Breanne Renee Harmon - Dearborn, MI, Alma College
    Associate Pastor of pastoral care, Christian education, and spiritual formation,
    First Presbyterian Church, Port Huron, MI

    Clemette L. Haskins - Bowling Green, KY, Western Kentucky University
    Pastoral Associate, The Presbyterian Church of Bowling Green, Bowling Green, KY

    Lisa Carol Hermann - Charleston, SC, Newberry College
    Chaplain Residency, Wake Forest/North Carolina Baptist Medical Center, Winston-Salem, NC

    David Bentley Jewel - Bluffton, IN, Indiana University
    CPE Residency, Legacy Healthcare System, Portland, OR

    Marie Louise McCanless - Charlotte, NC, Presbyterian College
    Seeking a Call

    Emily Wadene Miller - Harrisonburg, VA, Bridgewater College
    Seeking a Call

    Gail E. Monsma - Grand Rapids, MI, Calvin College
    Seeking a Call

    Amy L. Pemberton - Louisville, KY, California Institute of Technology
    Planning to pursue PhD, theology

    Joshua Samuel Robinson - Dallas, TX, Austin College
    Associate Pastor, Raleigh Court Presbyterian Church, Roanoke, VA

    Candace Yvette Smith - Lebanon, KY, University of Louisville
    Apostolic/Pentecostal Minister, Greater Bethel Temple, Louisville, KY

    Gala Dawn Spencer - Louisville, KY, University of Louisville
    CPE Residency, Baptist East Hospital, Louisville, KY

    Katie Ann Strednak - Merritt Island, FL, College of Wooster
    Seeking a Call

    Paula A. Tibbs - Superior, WI, University of Wisconsin-Superior
    Seeking a Call

    Ryan Douglas Travis - Lynnville, IN, Purdue University
    CPE Residency, Deaconess Hospital, Evansville, IN

    Larry Craig Tuck - Franklin, KY, Western Kentucky University
    Pastor, Resurrection United Methodist Church, Louisville, KY

    Karin A. Wright - Mayfield, OH, Grove City College
    Pastor, Bellville Presbyterian Church in Bellville, Ohio

Master of Theology

    Adam Fischer - Coeur d'Alene, ID, Albertson College
    Interim Associate Pastor for Youth, Harvey Browne Memorial Presbyterian Church, Louisville, KY
    Thesis: God’s Great Web of Life

    Carl Christopher Perkins - Washington, DC, Davidson College
    Pastor, Enslow Park Presbyterian Church, Huntington, WV
    Thesis: Abundance and Scarcity: God’s Call to Fiscal Stewardship and Environmental Healing

Doctor of Ministry

    Charles Lindsey Andrus - Dayton, OH, Henderson State University
    Pastor, First Presbyterian Church, Harrison, AR
    Thesis: The Great Thanksgiving: Storytelling as Spiritual Formation (joint project)

    Maria M. Bas-Delgado - San Juan, Puerto Rico
    Hispanic Pastor, College Heights United Methodist Church, Elizabethtown, KY
    Thesis: Crossing Borders

    Jonathan Eric Carroll - Chesapeake, VA, King College
    Pastor, First Presbyterian Church, Owensboro, KY
    Thesis: The Great Thanksgiving: Storytelling as Spiritual Formation (joint project)

    Erik Christopher Carter - Loma Linda, CA, Southern Adventist University
    Pastor, Middletown Seventh Day Adventist Church, Louisville, KY
    Thesis: Sabbath for the Soul: A Phenomenological Exploration of the Practice and Experience of the Sabbath Among Seventh-Day Adventist Pastors

    Jack Copley - Lexington, KY, Morehead State University
    Minister, Crestwood Christian Church, Crestwood, KY
    Thesis: Exploring the Relationship Between Embodiment Theology and Sexual Satisfaction in a Small, Suburban, Christian Church

    Frank Pierce Johnson - Ball State University
    Minister, First Christian Church, Sulphur, LA
    Thesis: Emergent design: A History of Interim Ministry Training

    Jeri Lauren Lambert - Louisville, KY, Transylvania University
    Between ministry locations
    Thesis: Re-visioning the Community of Christ Cradle Roll Program

    William Lowrance - University of North Carolina-Charlotte
    Chaplain, Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, Norfolk, VA
    Thesis: The Re-enchantment of Sadness: Storytelling as a Therapeutic/Theological Strategy for Addressing Deep Sadness During the Winter/Advent Season

    Neil Anthony Salvaterra - Johnson & Wales College
    Pastor, Alexandria United Methodist Church, Alexandria, KY
    Thesis: Sacred Space: The Complementary Work of Professional Coaching with Specific Application to the Work of Pastoral Formation

    Michael Vann Stanfield - University of Virginia
    Associate Pastor, Sequoyah Hills Presbyterian Church, Knoxville, TN
    Thesis: The Use of Pilgrimage as an Opportunity to Discern the Preciousness of Life and the Presence of God

The mission of Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary is to follow God’s calling through the church to educate men and women to participate in the redemptive ministry of Jesus Christ in the world. Founded in 1853, The Seminary is one of ten institutions of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and offers an inclusive and diverse community, welcoming individuals from wider ecumenical backgrounds.

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