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Forty Students Receive Degrees at the 159th Commencement of Louisville Seminary

Jul 10, 2013

Four students awarded certificates and individual diplomas; special honors given to outstanding Seminarians

Twenty-seven women and 13 men received degrees at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary’s 159th Commencement, Sunday, May 19 at Second Presbyterian Church in Louisville, Ky. Four students received individual certificates and diplomas. President Michael Jinkins presided and Barbara Brown Taylor, Butman Professor of Religion at Piedmont College, gave the commencement address, titled “Precious Teachers.”

Brown Taylor’s witty and touching lecture encouraged graduates to embrace opportunities to connect with and learn from those who challenge them as they move throughout their ministries. Click here for video of the full address.

President Jinkins’ charge to the graduating class, titled “Ministry: The Stewardship of the Mystery,” challenged graduates to “be mindful of what happens when we invoke holy things,” and charged them “to take seriously the sacred mysteries we handle.” (President Jinkins full charge was distributed via emailed blog post on Tuesday, May 21. Click here to join President Jinkins’ mailing list.)

Click here for photos.

Prior to Commencement, at a morning worship service, Dr. Carol J. Cook, professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling, delivered the Baccalaureate sermon, “A Stretch of the Imagination.” Baccalaureate was held in the Seminary’s Frank H. and Fannie W. Caldwell Chapel. Click here to read Dr. Cook's address.

Each year, members of the graduating class select the Baccalaureate preacher and create a worship service. A member of the Louisville Seminary faculty since 2000, Dr. Cook is a marriage and family therapist, a licensed clinical social worker and a certified pastoral counselor. She has earned degrees from Hope College (BA, cum laude), Michigan State University (MA) Princeton Theological Seminary (MDiv and PhD) and Rutgers University (MSW). Click here for her full biography.

Degrees Conferred

  • Twenty-two students received Master of Divinity degrees: Andrew D. Black, Kara Bussabarger, Charles J.D. Butler, Maureen Louise Clark, Nicole Marie Cooley, David Ronald Fugatt, Renee Elizabeth Hudgell, Janice Dale Jasperse, Alissa D. King, Keatan Anne King, Martha Anne Lasher, Joshua Miles, Christy L. Mitchell, Claudia Nava-Galloway, Schuyler John Olt, Toya Lynn Richards, Andrew T. Smith, John D. Sterrett, Daniel Steven Tipton, Tulio Lima Tourinho and Debra K. Trevino.
  • Nine students received the Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy degree: Dana Leigh Dafoe Butler, Dawn Elaine Ellicott Clinkscale, Marguerite McKinney Duck, Ariel E. Givens, Erin Elizabeth Goss, Michelle Ann Holbrook, Laura Michelle Ivey, Whitney Renee Minor and Jill A. Morgan.
  • Six students received Doctor of Ministry degrees: James N. Cotten, Jamesetta F. Ferguson, JoAnne S. Morris, Robert Taylor Phillips, Sally Bolitho Wicks and Thomas Carl Willadsen.
  • Jennifer Lynn Komis received a dual Master of Marriage and Family Therapy/Divinity degree.
  • Caroline Meyer McGrath and Adam Ryan Quine received dual Master of Divinity/Spirituality degrees from Louisville Seminary and Bellarmine University.
  • Irene Ludji, received the Master of Arts (Religion) degree.
  • Motselisi E. Moseme was awarded a Certificate in Pastoral Counseling Supervision.
  • Joel David Maude and Charles Douglas Pickett were awarded Diplomas in Pastoral Studies.
  • Marian N. Thomas was awarded a Certificate in Black Church Studies.

The Certificate in Pastoral Counseling Supervision is granted to Seminarians who are completing postgraduate training in pastoral counseling supervision. The Certificate in Black Church Studies is granted to those who have completed a two-year course of study in history, theology, worship, education, preaching and ethics in the African-American Church. The Diploma in Pastoral Studies is granted to persons who are preparing to serve as commissioned lay pastors in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and who have completed a two-year course of study in accordance with the Book of Order.

When all graduates had received their respective degrees, Alumni Association board member Sharon Yunker-Deatz (MDiv ‘86) warmly welcomed all graduates to the Alumni Association. 

Awards and Recognition

Several special awards were given to outstanding graduates:

Caroline Meyer Mcgrath was awarded the Alumni Award for Outstanding Graduating Senior, which honors the graduate who exceeds in all facets of his or her education and potential for ministry.

Nicole Marie Cooley was awarded the Bernice Bean and Gladys Kendall Price Award, which is given to an MDiv student who, in the judgment of the faculty, has demonstrated a superior record of academic achievement. Cooley was also awarded the Joseph T. Sudduth Award for her demonstrated outstanding achievement in biblical studies.

Jennifer Lynn Komis was recipient of the George and Jean Edwards Award in the Interpretation of Scripture to Christian Life. This award recognizes the ability of a student to relate Scripture to critical issues confronting the Church and society, especially in the areas of peace and justice.

Keatan Anne King and Daniel Steven Tipton were awarded the Field Education Awards. Provided by the Presbyterian Women of St. Andrew Presbytery, these awards are given to graduating seniors who have shown outstanding accomplishments in field education placements while maintaining a “B” average in other coursework.

Student Body President Renee Elizabeth Hudgell was recipient of 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. Hudgell was also awarded the Dr. George D. Carter, Jr. Pastoral Ministry Award, which honors an MDiv student who has shown outstanding promise for pastoral leadership.

Kara Bussabarger was awarded the Melanie Lane Preaching Award. This award is granted each year to an outstanding female preacher.

Joshua Miles was recipient of the Andrew Patterson Memorial Fellowship in Biblical Study for his exhibited special interest and promise in biblical theology.

Andrew T. Smith was awarded Walter Kennedy Patterson Memorial Fellowship in New Testament Greek. This award goes annually to a graduate who has exhibited special interest in and talent in New Testament Greek.

Toya Lynn Richards was recipient of the James W. Tinsley Award for her demonstrated commitment and perseverance in preparation for congregational ministry.

Dawn Elaine Ellicott Clinkscale was awarded the Westminster John Knox Press Award for Creative Integration of Theology and Marriage and Family Therapy. This award goes each year to a graduate who has demonstrated 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.

Irene Ludji was awarded the James W. Lewis Prize, an award presented to the graduating Master of Arts (Religion) student who has maintained the highest GPA and demonstrated excellence in theological studies.

Devoted Service Awards, which recognize individuals for their dedicated service in the life of the church, were given to Commencement speaker Barbara Brown Taylor, to Moderator of the Synod of Living Waters Oliver Hofmann, and to Moderator of the Synod of Mid-America Jennifer Keim.

About Louisville Seminary
Founded in 1853, Louisville Seminary offers an inclusive and diverse learning community, welcoming students from wide ecumenical backgrounds while maintaining its long, historic commitment to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A). Louisville Seminary is committed to building bridges across the world's religious, racial and cultural divides. It is distinguished by its nationally-recognized marriage and family therapy and field education programs, the scholarship and church service among its faculty and a commitment to training women and men to participate in the continuing ministry of Jesus Christ.



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