Providing ministry education opportunities since 1962

Graduation 2018

GTF Graduation (87)       GTF Graduation (36)

2018 Convocation and Graduation will be held Thursday May 3rd and Friday May 4th in South Bend, Indiana.   Graduates should arrive on Wednesday, May 2nd, in order to participate in the Day of Convocation activities which begin at 9:00 on Thursday morning, May 3rd.  All graduates will be assigned to a small group in which individuals will share briefly about the work they have done while studying at the GTF.  Prize and Fellowship winners will be honored and the presentation of the GTF Graduation Stole will be made.  The Day of Convocation is the culminating academic event of each graduate’s degree program and is a requirement for all students residing in the United States.  Please visit our website for full details and feel free to contact our offices with any questions.

The Lord Robert Runcie Convocation Lecture

Dr. Mohammad Hatim

We are very happy to announce that Dr. Muhammad Hatim, Imam Warith Deen Muhammad Professor of African American Muslim Studies, will be delivering the Convocation lecture this year. Dr. Hatim is a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and was educated there in the public schools. Dr. Hatim worked in the area of manufacturing and transit management for a private company and as a transportation planner and environmental engineer for the federal government. He has over 20 years’ experience in the informal resolution of equal employment opportunity (EEO) issues.

As an Imam with the Admiral Family Circle Islamic Community (Admiral Family) in New York City, he headed its Justice Ministry, UN Summer Internship Program in Human Rights in Geneva, Switzerland, and is co-founder of the Malik Shabazz (Malcolm X) Human Rights Institute. He sits on several interfaith committees and is a Chaplain with Disaster Chaplain Services in New York City. He holds a BS in Industrial Arts Education, a MS in Transportation Planning and Engineering, a Ph.D. in Civil engineering (Environmental), D.Min from the Graduate Theological Foundation, and is a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC) in New Jersey. He is a board certified clinical chaplain (BCCC), and pastoral counselor (BCPC) with the College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy (CPSP). He is a contributor to the book Disaster Spiritual Care: Practical Clergy Response to Community, Regional and National Tragedy.

Graduation Address:


GTF alumna, Sr. Joanna Okereke, Ph.D., HHCJ, will deliver the 2018 Graduation Address.   Dr. Okereke is a Catholic Nun and a member of the Congregation of the Handmaids of the Holy Child Jesus, from Nigeria.  She is an educator and a pastoral caregiver. She holds a National Certificate in Education from College of Education (Awka, Nigeria); a Bachelor’s Degree in General Studies from Northwestern State University (Louisiana, USA); a Master of Arts in Instructional Technology from Edgewood College (Wisconsin, USA); and also a Master’s Degree in Pastoral Theology from St. Joseph’s College of Maine (USA). Sr. Joanna has a wide range of professional work experience in pastoral care, teaching, administration, formation, office and secretarial management. In 1996, she was commissioned to join in the work of her congregation in the United States. She first served as a pastoral assistant and later as the director of the Kuumba Center, a creative center at St. James and St. Juliana Catholic Church in Alexandria, Louisiana. After that, she became an administrative assistant at the Pastoral Center of the Catholic Diocese of Madison, Wisconsin, as well as the financial administrator of her religious order. In 2002 she was elected the Mission Superior of her congregation here in the United States and served in this capacity until 2005.

Currently, Sr. Joanna is the Program Coordinator for the Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington, DC. As the Program Coordinator, she is charged with the pastoral care of migrants and refugees arriving from foreign lands; three major groups within this area of pastoral care are immigrants from Europe, Africa, and the Caribbean Islands. She facilitates programs for their pastoral wellbeing as well as helps to provide a voice for the hopes, dreams, and struggles that arise from their efforts to achieve full integration into, and active participation in, the life of both the local Church and of society. Part of this effort includes raising awareness of the challenges and opportunities that face immigrants in the United States. She provides assistance, support, counseling and spiritual care, and she initiates, coordinates programs and holds annual gatherings for the various African, Caribbean and European ethnic communities. She assists and supports dioceses, national organizations, and movements in the pastoral care of migrants, refugees and travelers.  Throughout her journey in life, Sr. Joanna has developed a deeper love and faith in God, a stronger commitment to religious life, as well as shared and brought God’s love to all people irrespective of race or nationality.
Sr. Joanna serves as the National President of the African Women Religious Conference (AWRC) in the United States as well as the President of the African Conference of Catholic Clergy and Religious in the United States, Washington, DC Metropolitan Area Local Chapter. She is the Founder of the National Association of African Catholics in the United States. Her professional and work experiences have always been the major source of inspiration, spiritual growth, and social involvement in her life and community.

Deadlines for Graduation:  All academic work must be completed by February 1st, 2018 and all financial obligations fulfilled by March 1st, 2018.  If you have any questions about your eligibility for 2018 graduation, please contact our offices.