Story Magazine - Second Quarter, 2007

Luther Seminary Confers 178 Degrees at 138th Commencement

by Laura Kaslow, Communication Specialist

Luther Seminary conferred degrees on 178 witnesses to Christ's gospel at the 138th Commencement on May 27, at Central Lutheran Church, Minneapolis. The class was the largest in over 10 years.

Walter Sundberg, Professor of Church History, gave the commencement address. He honored the students as disciples of Christ. "Each of you has borne a cross to get to this day so that you can serve Him as a youth worker, church musician, director of Christian  education, teacher, deacon, pastor. You are His disciple."

Sundberg reminded graduates about their mission to make disciples, warned them of the limits of theology to accomplish this task and reminded them that the Spirit is always present, "whispering in your ear, telling you what to do."

As leaders of God's people, Sundberg told graduates that "if you hold to any principle, let it be this one: John 3:16: 'For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.' Be urgent in this principle and make disciples."

The student response was given by Christopher Kramer, who received a Master of Divinity degree. Kramer ncouraged graduates to listen to God in their ministries and to not be afraid because the Lord is with them as they are called to bear Christ in the world.

Among the graduates at the 138th commencement were 22 students from the new Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) programs n Congregational Mission and Leadership and Biblical Preaching. Both D.Min. programs were birthed as a result of the seminary's strategic plan, Serving the Promise of Our Mission.

In addition to the conferring of degrees, the event also recognized a newly tenured faculty member, Matthew Skinner, Assistant Professor of New Testament. Skinner joined the Luther Seminary faculty in 2002 and is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA).

Graduates who received awards for excellence included:
*The G.M. & Minnie Bruce Award in New Testament given to Peter Gerard Speiser
*The A.E. Hanson Prize in Homiletics,given to: Kevin David Bergson,Katie Anne Keller, Heather Rose Spears and Megan Joy Thorvilson
*The John Milton Prize in Old Testament given to: Peter Gerard Speiser and Megan Leigh Torgerson
*The Graduate Preaching Fellowship given to: Megan Leigh Torgerson (2006) and Marc David Ostlie-Olson (2007)