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News Release

Moravian Theological Seminary Commencement to conclude 201st Academic Year

Board of Trustees Chairwoman Wilma Lewis to present the Commencement Address

Bethlehem, Pa., May 6, 2008—Moravian Theological Seminary will celebrate the conclusion of its 201st academic year with a commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 10, at 4 p.m. Master’s degrees will be conferred upon 22 students including 13 Master of Divinity degrees, 7 Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling degrees,  and 2 Master of Arts in Theological Studies degrees. Two students will receive Certificates in Theological Studies.

The commencement ceremony will be held in Central Moravian Church in Bethlehem, Pa., with President Christopher Thomforde presiding. Wilma Lewis, chairperson of the Seminary Board of Trustees, will present the Commencement Address entitled “What Lies Within You.”  Lewis is managing associate general counsel for litigation of the congressionally chartered mortgage corporation, Freddie Mac, headquartered in McClean, Virginia.

Elected by her fellow senior students, Mary Kategile from Tabora, Tanzania will give the Graduate Address, “Marking the New Beginning.”  Kategile who teaches at the Teofilo Kisanji University (TEKU) in Mbeya, Tanzania, has completed 2 years of study at Moravian Theological Seminary earning the Master of Arts in Theological Studies degree. Through a partnership between her home institution and Moravian Theological Seminary, she is the second of four TEKU faculty members who will come to Moravian to earn their Master of Arts in Theological Studies degree in preparation of doctoral studies in Tanzania.

The 2008 honorary Doctor of Divinity degree will be presented to the Rev. Wesley Granberg-Michaelson, general secretary of the Reformed Church of America, for his leadership in the church and a lifetime of advocacy and commitment to social justice and ecumenism. Throughout his 40-plus year career, he has served the world and the Church in a number of ways.

After graduating from Hope College in Holland, Michigan, in 1967, he served for nine years on the staff of United States Senator Mark O. Hatfield of Oregon as chief legislative assistant and legislative strategist on Vietnam. Accepting an opportunity to offer his voice to issues of social justice, Granberg-Michaelson served as managing editor of Sojourners magazine from 1976-79. In 1981, he relocated to Missoula, Montana, where he founded and served as president of the New Creation Institute, working on issues of Christian responsibility for the environment and the church’s role in healing and health.

Granberg-Michaelson served for six years on the World Council of Churches (WCC) staff in Geneva, Switzerland, from 1988-94. His responsibilities included serving as director of Church and Society and serving as moderator of the task force on relations with evangelicals, which seek to strengthen links between the WCC and evangelical communities around the world. In 1994, he was installed as general secretary of the Reformed Church in America (RCA) where he continues to serve. As RCA general secretary, Granberg-Michaelson has led the organization through a major visioning process that has focused the church on new means by which to revitalize existing congregations and multiply new congregations, with emphasis on leadership, discipleship, mission, and a multiracial future for the church.

Michaelson was among a core group of Christian leaders who, in 2001, sought to bring together all families of Christian expression in the US for the purpose of fellowship, unity, and witness. Their efforts launched the creation of Christian Churches Together (CCT), a gathering of all of the major Christian groups — Evangelical, Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Pentecostals, historic Protestant, and Racial and Ethnic churches. He has served two terms as chair of the CCT steering committee since his initial election in 2002. Today, CCT represents over one-hundred-million Christians in our country. He is also a member of the steering committee of the Global Christian Forum, a new worldwide ecumenical initiative gathering a diverse body of Christian churches and interchurch organizations to explore and address common challenges.

Granberg-Michaelson has authored four books, his most recent being Leadership from Inside Out, as well as numerous articles for publications such as Perspectives, Sojourners, Christianity Today, The Christian Century, and Ecumenical Review.

The following are the 2008 graduates of Moravian Theological Seminary:

In preparation for work in professional ministry, 13 students will receive the Master of Divinity degree: Bryant Bossler Brown (Spring Valley, Pa.), Cheryl Green Cottingham (Kernersville, N.C.), Douglas Ward Donigian (Bethlehem, Pa.), Joyce M. Donigian (Bethlehem, Pa.), Joseph Christopher Greene (Spartanburg, S.C.), Robert L. Hachtman, Jr. (Stroudsburg, Pa.), Anthony Earl Hayworth (Winston-Salem, N.C.), Michael W. Hedrick (Souderton, Pa.), Linda L. Leuser (Nazareth, Pa.), Suzanne Elizabeth Parker Miller (Clemmons, N.C.), Mark John Ortwein (Bethlehem, Pa.), Jay Daniel Petrella (New Philadelphia, Ohio), and Adam Spaugh (Winston-Salem, N.C.).

Candidates for the Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling are Harold Kyle Borowski (Warrington, Pa.), Nancy A. Lynch (Macungie, Pa.), Erin McLean (Easton, Pa.), Tara Camille Stephenson (Easton, Pa.), Lenore Edith Stine (Bethlehem, Pa.), Maisha Trineé Surgeon (Plainfield, N.J.), and Elizabeth Ann Vega (Allentown, Pa.).

The degree of Master of Arts in Theological Studies will be awarded to: Deborah S. German (Allentown, Pa.) and Mary L. Kategile (Tabora, Tanzania). 

Those receiving the Certificate in of Theological Studies will be Judith Marie Ganz (DeForest, Wisc.) and Vicki Jens Page (Appleton, Wisc,). 

Moravian Theological Seminary is the seminary of the Moravian Church in the United States. The seminary awards three degrees: Master of Divinity, Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling, and Master of Arts in Theological Studies. The institution also awards certificates in theological studies. For more information visit the Seminary on the Web at: http://www.moravianseminary.edu.