By LeAnn Snow Flesher, PhD
VP of Academics & Dean of the Faculty
We are quickly approaching the close of spring semester 2020, which means we should be in the throes of planning graduation. However, due to the COVID 19 mandate to “shelter in place”, we will not be able to hold graduation ceremonies on the third Saturday of May as has been our tradition. Instead, we are planning a special combined graduation and convocation on Saturday, September 12, 2020. Please mark that date on your calendars.
Even though the actual ceremony has been postponed, we do want to congratulate the Graduation Class of 2020. This year’s graduation class is small—no more than eight people—but mighty.
Our MDiv graduates are all African American females doing amazing work that includes: prison ministry, pastoring a church in East Oakland, creating and maintaining a 501c3 that supports the income challenged in East Oakland, directing a funeral home, and running a business.
Our DMin graduates are diverse—each one represents a unique demographic and their projects are equally diverse including: creation of a smart phone app to reduce the rate of recidivism, diversity training in local congregations, creation of outreach ministries that support the income challenged in the East Bay, creating a communications plan for historic urban churches, and developing a model for thriving medium sized congregations.
Several from this group will also receive the Public Theology Certificate in addition to their MDiv or DMin degree. Finally, we have one Latino student that will have earned the Certificate in Ministerial Studies.
We celebrate the class of 2020 (while staying “sheltered in place”) as they dot their final “i” and cross their final “t” in time to receive their diploma on May 16, 2020. Congratulations to all.
We look forward to celebrating with these graduates in person on September 12, 2020.