The Graduate Theological Foundation congratulates the Class of 2015! Students often make extraordinary sacrifices in order to earn their degrees. We appreciate the effort they expend to study at the GTF, and we are eager to learn what our students go on to do in their own ministries, whether it means moving onto a new career path or enhancing and deepening the current professional work in which they are engaged.
We welcomed Dr. Gale Yee, Nancy W. King Professor of Biblical Studies at the Episcopal Divinity School, as this year’s Runcie Lecturer in our annual Lord Robert Runcie Convocation Lecture Series. On May 7, Dr. Yee delivered her lecture, entitled, “From the Bottom Up: Poverty and Inequality in Ancient Israel and Today,” to a group of graduating students, faculty and guests of the Graduate Theological Foundation. Those fortunate enough to be in attendance will remember her informative and inspiring Runcie Lecture on inequality in ancient Israel and her encouragement to graduating students to engage in their own “prophetic ministry” around inequality in today’s world.
On May 8 during the graduation ceremony, Dr. Yee was awarded the Krister Stendahl Medal in Biblical Studies in recognition of her outstanding contribution to biblical scholarship through her prolific scholarly and popular writing and its practical application to the spirituality of daily life. The 2015 Runcie Lecture will be made available on our YouTube Channel soon. Learn more about Dr. Yee and her work in this recent interview.
Delivering the 2015 commencement speech was The Rev. Dr. C. Anthony Hunt, E. Franklin Frazier Professor of African American Studies at the GTF and Professor of Systematic, Moral and Practical Theology and a Permanent Dunning Distinguished Lecturer at the Ecumenical Institute of Theology, St. Mary’s Seminary and University in Baltimore, Maryland. Dr. Hunt drew inspiration from a variety of leaders, writers and scholars, including Langston Hughes, Mohandas K. Gandhi, Jürgen Moltmann, and Martin Luther King, Jr., to discuss the importance of hope and the hard work that it requires of us to put hope into action to create change. Inspiring the Class of 2015 and others in attendance during the ceremony, Dr. Hunt invoked the empowering words of Gandhi to “be the change you want to see in the world.” Dr. Hunt was also inducted as a Fellow of the Graduate Theological Foundation in recognition of his outstanding contribution in the fields of systematic, moral, and practical theology as well as in ecumenical studies, and in appreciation for his scholarly role as a member of the GTF faculty.
Dr. Hunt’s commencement speech will be available on our YouTube Channel in the coming days.
Awarded a Doctor of Divinity honoris causa was The Rev. Fr. Francis Leong, MM, Fellow and Bishop Anthony Walsh Professor of Asian Christian Studies and Musicology at the GTF, in recognition of his years of service to the Graduate Theological Foundation as a distinguished Fellow and Professor, and in honor of his life-long commitment as a priest to the Church and his ministry in the field of sacred music. Dr. Leong was born in Malaysia and is based in Singapore where he is active in prison ministry.
Joining honorees and members of the GTF administration on stage were special guests who provided readings as part of the graduation ceremony, including The Rev. Dr. Henry Chan, President Jimmy Carter Professor of Mediation and Pastoral Care, who read from the Christian text of The Gospel of Matthew) and Dr. Omar Shahin, Director of Islamic Studies and Ibn Taymiyya Professor of Islamic Law, who read from the Islamic text of the Holy Qur’an in Arabic, providing a translation into English. Honorary doctorate recipient and GTF professor, The Rev. Dr. Francis Leong, read from the Taoist text of the Tao Te Ching in Mandarin, providing a translation into English, and 2015 Runcie Lecturer and Stendahl Medal recipient, Dr. Gale Yee read from the Jewish text of the Prophet Isaiah. The Community Responsory was read by The Rev. Dr. John Edward Mulvihill, Gratian Professor of Canon Law at the GTF.
We are pleased to announce the awarding of two fellowships and four prizes to graduating students during the commencement on May 8. Fellowships, which constitute the highest academic recognition offered by the Graduate Theological Foundation graduating students, were awarded to Michael Colvard, D.D.S., (Canon John Macquarrie Fellowship in Philosophical Theology) for his doctoral thesis for the Doctor of Philosophy entitled, “Toward a Soporific Ethnomedicine Ministry of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem: ‘Fraternitas Hospitalaria’,” and to Imam Mohamed Sheikh Abdirahman Kariye (Imam Malik Fellowship in Islamic Studies) for his doctoral thesis for the Doctor of Philosophy entitled, “The Western Interpretation of Islam: Comparing to the Four Schools of Fiqh.” Prizes, awarded for distinguished scholarship, were awarded to Dr. Seema A. Imam (Mary McLeod Bethune Prize in Educational Leadership); Dr. Kenneth Kahtan Ayouby (Viktor Frankl Prize in Pastoral Logotherapy); Dr. Alan Mark Wellman (Charles Wesley Prize in Sacred Music and Liturgy); and Dr. Karen Lee Erlichman, LCSW (Mother Teresa Prize in Spirituality and Community Service). Through this link, you may view photos of these fellowship and prize recipients and learn about their doctoral work across a variety of degree programs.
Graduation Photos: Photos from our convocation and graduation on May 7 and 8 are now available for viewing and ordering online from Lissy’s Photography. (Please note that the watermark “Lissy’s Photography” will not appear on the final photos.)