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Barbara Brown Taylor to Speak at Commencement, May 19

by Ashley Schaffner | May 09, 2013

Dr. Carol J. Cook selected as Baccalaureate preacher

Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary will hold its 159th Commencement exercises on Sunday, May 19 at Second Presbyterian Church in Louisville, Ky., at 3:30 p.m. Barbara Brown Taylor, noted Butman Professor of Religion at Piedmont College, will give the Commencement address, titled “Precious Teachers.” 

Brown Taylor is an Episcopal priest and New York Times best-selling author. She has written 12 books, including An Altar in the World. Her first memoir, Leaving Church, was met with widespread critical acclaim and won her the 2006 Author of the Year Award from the Georgia Writers Association.

“Barbara Brown Taylor is one of the most eloquent and passionate writers on Christian faith and the life of the spirit in our time,” said President Michael Jinkins, who will preside at the Commencement ceremony. “She is a compassionate teacher, an original and faithful preacher and a contemplative spirit. Her honesty about her own spiritual journey encourages us all to serve God with joy and to receive with grateful hearts the days God gives us. I know her reflections will serve well our graduates, their families and friends and our seminary community." 

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 40 potential graduates, 27 are women and 13 are men. Two will receive dual degrees with their Master of Divinity degree, both having also earned the Master of Spirituality degree from Bellarmine University. Jennifer Lynn Komis is the only potential graduate to receive a dual degree (MDiv, MAMFT) from Louisville Seminary.

In addition to the graduating class, Marian N. Thomas will receive a Certificate in Black Church Studies in recognition of her continuing studies on behalf of the church. Motselisi E. Moseme will be awarded a Certificate in Pastoral Counseling Supervision, and Joel David Maude and Charles Douglas Pickett will receive Diplomas in Pastoral Studies.

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 Brown Taylor, to Oliver Hofmann (Moderator, Synod of Living Waters) and to Jennifer Keim (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

Prior to Commencement, at a morning worship service, Dr. Carol J. Cook, professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling, will deliver the Baccalaureate sermon, “A Stretch of the Imagination.” The Baccalaureate will be held in the Seminary’s Frank H. and Fannie W. Caldwell Chapel at 10:30 a.m.

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).

Dr. Cook has taught at New Brunswick Theological Seminary and has served as a teaching fellow at Princeton Theological Seminary. Her teaching interests include the integration of psychology and theology, exploration of gender issues in church and society, and utilizing literature and the arts in theological education. Click here for her full biography.

 Caldwell Chapel is located on Louisville Seminary’s campus at 1044 Alta Vista Road, Louisville, Ky., 40205, and Second Presbyterian Church is located at 3701 Old Brownsboro Road. For more information contact Louisville Seminary at 502.895.3411 or toll free at 800.264.1839.

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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