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News Release

Moravian Theological Seminary 197th Commencement Ceremony – May 15

First ordained woman in the Moravian Church in South Africa to receive honorary degree

(Bethlehem, Pa.)—Commencement ceremonies marking the conclusion of the 197th academic year of Moravian Theological Seminary will be held on Saturday, May 15, 2004 in Central Moravian Church at 4:00 p.m. Master degrees will be conferred upon seventeen students. Four students completing special programs will receive the Certificate in Theological Studies.

In recognition of her life’s work in education and dedication to the Moravian Church, the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity will be granted to Rev. Frederica M. Goliath, the first ordained woman in the Moravian Church in South Africa.

Rev. Goliath began her career as a teacher of home economics on the primary and secondary levels in Cape Town, South Africa. Recognized for her exemplary teaching, she went on to become a lecturer at two teaching/training institutions. Active in the Moravian Church and committed to the well-being of children, she was instrumental in establishing a Young Women’s Christian Association in her local congregation and chaired the Moravian Youth Council in South Africa where she coordinated many camps for young people.

After retiring from teaching she answered the call to ministry and entered seminary. Ordained a pastor of the South African Moravian Church in 1988, she ministered to Moravian congregations in rural and urban settings. She served in numerous capacities in the church, not only as pastor, but on provincial and regional boards, and has represented the Moravian Church internationally. She was elected as a member and later served as vice-president of the South African Council of Churches.

Rev. Goliath’s stature in the church and as an educator was confirmed as she was invited to represent the Moravian Church at the inauguration of Nelson Mandela as president of South Africa in 1994. At present she is a member of the Advisory Board to the Moravian Theological Seminary in Cape Town. The Seminary is pleased to recognize Rev. Goliath’s Christian leadership, service, and global ministry with the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity.

In preparation for work in professional ministry, eleven students will receive the Master of Divinity: Ian Edwards (Edmonton, Canada), Patricia Honszer (Nazareth, Pa.), Wilma Israel (Asheville, N.C.), Philip Lythcott (Brooklyn, N.Y.), Joseph Meranti (Clarks Summit, Pa.), Mary Louise Plummer (Sturgeon Bay, Wis.), Jennifer Ratcliff (Kernersville, N.C.), Alice Roth (Allentown, Pa.), Ramona Routh (Greensboro, N.C.), Barbara Rutt (Whitehall, Pa.), and Cheryl Stoneback (Quakertown, Pa.).

Students receiving the Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling will be Richard Conant (Ivyland, Pa.), Wellesley Ferguson (Jamaica, West Indies), Rebecca Richie (Weatherly, Pa.), and Marsha Vosburgh (Easton, Pa.).

The degree of Master of Arts in Theological Studies will be conferred upon Douglas Hill (Bloomfield, N.J.) and Anne Nourse (Easton, Pa.).

Four students, who will be receiving the Master of Divinity degree from other institutions but have completed their special studies in Moravian doctrine and history at Moravian Theological Seminary, will be granted the Certificate in Theological Studies. These students are Robert Key (Edmonton, Canada), Jane Wegner (Johnson Creek Wis.) and Jonathan Boling and Margaret Leinbach from Winston-Salem, N.C.

Selected by her classmates, Cheryl Stoneback will be presenting the Senior Address. The Commencement Address will be given by retiring faculty member, Charles Hargis, who has taught in the Doctrinal Theology Department of the Seminary since 1978.

A reception following the graduation ceremony will be held on the green of Bahnson Center at 60 W. Locust Street, Bethlehem.

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: www.moravianseminary.edu.