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Bethlehem, Pa., May 9, 2012—Moravian Theological Seminary will celebrate the conclusion of its 205th academic year with a commencement ceremony on May 12, 2012 at 3:00 p.m. The commencement ceremony will be held in Central Moravian Church in Bethlehem, Pa. Christopher M. Thomforde, president of Moravian College and Moravian Theological Seminary will preside over the ceremony as nineteen students receive master’s degrees and certificates including Master of Divinity, Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling, Master of Theological Studies, and Certificate in Moravian Studies.
The Seminary will present John P. Foley, S.J. with an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree for his leadership in developing educational opportunities for economically disadvantaged students. Foley will deliver the commencement address.
Elected by her fellow graduates, Rhonda Robinson, who resides in Bethlehem, Pa., will deliver the Graduate Address. Robinson has been active in the Seminary community, especially contributing to spiritual life activities. She serves with her husband, Rev. Tracy Robinson, with the Esperanza ministry in south Bethlehem.
A native of Chicago, Fr. Foley entered the Society of Jesus in 1954 and was ordained a priest in 1967. Father Foley spent the first thirty-four years of his ministry working in and leading Jesuit schools in Peru. In 1995, Fr. Foley returned to Chicago to be part of a planning team and President of a new Jesuit high school, Cristo Rey, that would serve Mexican immigrant children on Chicago’s south side. Today, he serves as Chair Emeritus and Chief Mission Officer of the Cristo Rey Network of 24 schools in 17 states, providing education to 6,500 young people living in urban communities.
Serving only economically disadvantaged students, Cristo Rey schools welcome youth of various faiths and cultures and offer a curriculum designed for high level engagement in learning. Cristo Rey’s mission centers on offering students the opportunity to become grounded in religious faith, open to growth, intellectually competent, experienced in the world of work, loving, and committed to justice. A hallmark of the educational program centers on each student working five days each month in businesses and non-profit agencies. Students acquire marketable skills, develop a network of contacts and gain exposure to career opportunities.
Father Foley’s work has been acknowledged by six different colleges and universities and numerous national organizations. In 2009, President Bush awarded him the Presidential Citizens Medal, the second highest honor for a civilian, for his commitment to helping his fellow citizens lead lives of integrity and achievement. In 2012, he was honored as part of President Obama’s program recognizing Champions of Change for their service to their communities and to the nation. Eclipsing the awards is the witness of the lives of thousands of young people who have been empowered to assume leadership roles in the civic, religious, business, and cultural life of their communities and nation.
The following are the 2012 graduates of Moravian Theological Seminary. Receiving the Certificate in Moravian Studies are Andrew Heil (Winston-Salem, N.C.) and Virginia Tobiassen (Winston-Salem, N.C.).
The Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling will be presented to Ashley Alexander (Silver Spring, Maryland), Jeannine Fogler (Nazareth, Pa.), Frances Folsom (Emmaus, Pa.), Comfort Fordjour (Accra, Ghana), Patricia Hoyt (Bethlehem, Pa.), Sarah Hubbard (Winston-Salem, N.C.), and Alfred Jones, III (Whitehall, Pa.).
Receiving the Master of Theological Studies are Bruce Marold (Bethlehem, Pa.), Janet Mishkin (Wind Gap, Pa.), and Lori Van Keuren (Allentown, Pa.).
Recipients of the Master of Divinity are Zachary Dease (Winston-Salem, N.C.), Chris Druckenmiller (Bath, Pa.), Sarah Fernsler (Pottsville, Pa.), Comfort Fordjour (with a Concentration in Formative Spirituality).
Moravian Theological Seminary encourages persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. Anyone who anticipates needing any type accommodation or who has questions about the physical access provided should contact Kathi Roman at Katro@moravian.edu or 610 625-7880.
Moravian Theological Seminary offers graduate degrees and continuing education programs to prepare men and women for effective leadership and service in congregational, counseling, teaching, and other ministries. The Seminary is rooted in the Moravian faith tradition — centered in Jesus Christ, grounded in Scripture, ecumenical in spirit, committed to community, and focused on missional leadership. Visit the webste at www.moravianseminary.edu.