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Spalding President Tori Murden McClure to Deliver Louisville Seminary Commencement Address May 18

by Chris Wooton | May 09, 2014
Dr. Diane Reistroffer Selected as Baccalaureate Preacher

Tori Murden McClureLouisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary will hold its 160th Commencement exercises on Sunday, May 18, beginning at 3:30 p.m., at Second Presbyterian Church (3701 Old Brownsboro Road, Louisville, Ky.). Spalding University President Tori Murden McClure will give the Commencement address, “Dare Mighty Things.”

Tori Murden McClure is an explorer and adventurer whose travels have taken her to Kenya, Antarctica, Mt. Rainer, as well as across an ocean. McClure was the first woman to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean, and her adventures are depicted in her memoir, A Pearl in the Storm: How I Found My Heart in the Middle of the Ocean (Harper, 2009). She was also the first woman and first American to travel over land to the geographic South Pole, skiing 750 miles from the ice shelf to the pole. An avid mountaineer, McClure has climbed on several continents. She was the first woman to climb Lewis Nunatuck summit in Antarctica.

McClure has appeared on several national television shows including The Today Show, Late Night with David Letterman, the Oprah Winfrey Show and many features on the Travel Channel and the Discovery Channel.

She believes the lessons learned in the wild have served her in her professional life as an attorney and civic and educational leader. McClure became president of Spalding University in July 2010 and previously served as a trustee and then a vice-president of the institution. She holds degrees from Smith College, Harvard University, University of Louisville and Spalding University.

“Our students prepare for a life of service to communities throughout the world, where the spiritual needs are many and the issues are diverse among people of many faith traditions and cultures,” said Louisville Seminary President Michael Jinkins. “A great deal of challenges come with this commitment. With compassion in her heart, Tori is no stranger to overcoming challenges, and I know her words will affirm our students’ commitment to ministry and service wherever God calls them.”

Commencement Exercises
Louisville Seminary will confer the following degrees: Master of Divinity, Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy, Master of Arts (Religion) and Doctor of Ministry. Of the 54 potential graduates, 35 are women and 19 are men. Ten students will also receive a Certificate in Black Church Studies in recognition of their continuing studies on behalf of the church. One student will receive a Certificate in Educational Ministry.

As part of the ceremony, the Devoted Service Awards, which recognize individuals for their dedicated service in the life of the Church, will be presented to McClure as well as to Cornelius (Neil) Sherman (Moderator, Synod of Living Waters) and Jesse Swanigan (Moderator, Synod of Mid-America).

Graduate awards also will be announced recognizing student accomplishments in a variety of areas including, preaching, theology, the integration of theology with marriage and family therapy, field education and overall academic achievement.

Baccalaureate Service
Dianne ReistrofferPrior to Commencement, at a morning worship service, Dr. Dianne Reistroffer, Louisville Seminary’s professor of Ministry and director of Field Education and Methodist Studies, will deliver the Baccalaureate sermon, “A Harvest of Rejoicing” – Isaiah 6:8 and John 4:30-38. The Baccalaureate service will be held in the Seminary’s Frank H. and Fannie W. Caldwell Chapel at 10:30 a.m. The chapel is located on the seminary’s campus (1044 Alta Vista Road, Louisville, Ky.).

Each year, members of the graduating class select the Baccalaureate preacher and create a worship service. Dr. Reistroffer is an experienced pastor and educator with dual standing as a clergy member in the Wisconsin Conference of the United Methodist Church and the Presbytery of Western Kentucky of the Presbyterian Church (USA). She joined Louisville Seminary’s faculty in 1998 and was the first woman to serve as Dean of Louisville Seminary (1999-2005).

Reistroffer has earned degrees from the College of Saint Teresa (BA), Villanova University (MA), Boston University School of Theology (MTS and MDiv) and University of Wisconsin-Madison (PhD). She has received numerous awards in her career, including the 2000 Metroversity Grawemeyer Special Merit Award for Instructional Development for the course, "Faith and Money," and the 2009 Metroversity Award for Outstanding Faculty of Adult Learners. In 2000, Louisville Seminary received a $300,000 grant from the Luce Foundation in order to establish a comprehensive academic support services program for seminary students, an outgrowth of Reistroffer’s research on the unique needs of seminary students. Reistroffer and Fr. George Kilcourse of Bellarmine University collaborated in the establishment of the Master of Arts in Spirituality degree program a decade ago.

At the conclusion of this academic year, Reistroffer will retire from Louisville Seminary. She plans to continue serving as pastor of Mt. Carmel UMC in Trimble County and to enter the University of Louisville’s Brandeis School of Law this August, specializing in public service and family law. Click here for her full biography.

For more information, contact Louisville Seminary at (502) 895-3411 or toll free at (800) 264-1839.
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