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Concordia Seminary Confers 149 Degrees at Commencement

The 166th academic year of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, concluded on May 20. The day’s activities began at 10:00 a.m. with a baccalaureate service in the Seminary’s Chapel of St. Timothy and St. Titus, followed by a special luncheon for graduates and their families. Commencement exercises were held at 7:00 p.m. in the Seminary’s main quadrangle.

Dr. Bruce M. Hartung, associate professor of practical theology and director of continuing education and parish services at Concordia Seminary, delivered the sermon for the theological diploma service. Following the sermon, students who successfully completed one of the programs of preparation for service in the pastoral ministry in The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) were presented their theological diplomas and diplomas of vocation. In this act, the Seminary faculty fulfilled publicly the responsibility given it by the LCMS to certify those men it determines to be qualified in every respect for service in the pastoral ministry.

At the evening Commencement exercises, Dr. Leo S. Mackay Jr., former deputy secretary of the Department of Veteran Affairs, Washington, D.C., served as Commencement speaker. Following the address, 110 students were recipients of master of divinity degrees. This is the academic degree which most students who desire to be pastors, missionaries or chaplains in the LCMS receive. Other degrees conferred included 17 master of arts degrees, six doctor of ministry degrees, 10 master of sacred theology degrees and six doctor of philosophy degrees.

Six of the master of arts students and one master of sacred theology student previously received their degrees on Aug. 27, 2004. Two master of divinity students, one master of arts student, four master of sacred theology students and one doctor of philosophy student received their degrees on Nov. 15, 2004. One master of divinity student, three master of arts students and three master of sacred theology students received their degrees on Feb. 21, 2005.

Twelve students were recognized as candidates for completion of the certificate program (alternate route). Upon successful completion of a one-year vicarage (internship), these students will be certified as eligible to receive a call and serve as pastors, missionaries or chaplains in the LCMS.

Three individuals were selected by the Concordia Seminary faculty to receive special honors during the Commencement exercises. Mark Bender of Manchester, Mo., received the Christus Vivit Award, granted each year to laity who exemplify a lifetime of distinguished and dedicated service in the LCMS. Dr. Leo S. Mackay Jr. of Atlanta, Ga., was awarded the honorary doctor of laws degree in recognition of his creative application of Christian principles to the administration of civil affairs in the realms of both church and state. Dr. Ernst Koch of Leipzig, Germany, was awarded the honorary doctor of divinity degree in recognition of his scholarship, especially his exceptional contribution to confessional studies, his faithful service to the church as a confessional Lutheran and his witness in a time of extreme duress.

For more information, contact Seminary Relations, 801 Seminary Place, St. Louis, MO 63105; (314) 505-7370;