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Commencement to Be Held May 10

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Bethany Theological Seminary will hold its 109th commencement in Nicarry Chapel on the Bethany campus at 10:00 am on Saturday, May 10. Eight master of divinity degrees will be conferred. Admittance to the academic ceremony is by ticket only.

The public is invited to attend a worship service that afternoon at 2:30, also in Nicarry Chapel. Following tradition, it will be written, planned, and led by graduates and will center around the stories of biblical characters who received new, God-given names.

Christopher BowmanThe 2014 commencement speaker will be Christopher Bowman, pastor of Oakton Church of the Brethren in Vienna, Virginia. His address, drawing from the fourth chapter of Jonah, is entitled “God Ordained a Worm.” A Bethany graduate, Bowman received his doctorate from San Francisco Seminary. His denominational service includes chair of the General Board and moderator of Annual Conference, and he was selected to preach at both the Church of the Brethren’s Christmas Eve service broadcast in 2004 and the 300th Anniversary Celebration in 2008.

Both the commencement ceremony and the worship service will be webcast live and available to view as recordings. Those interested in viewing the events can access the webcasts at

The following seniors will receive master of divinity degrees:

Claire Flowers-Waggener, Albany, IN
Daniel Fullen, Tipp City, OH
James Grossnickle-Batterton, Iowa City, IA
Audrey Hollenberg-Duffey, Richmond, IN
Timothy Hollenberg-Duffey, Richmond IN
Todd Peterson, Loveland, OH
Ronda Scammahorn, Arcanum, OH
Anita Hooley Yoder, Cleveland Heights, OH

Photo: Glen Riegel, © Church of the Brethren

Brandon Hanks
(Master of Divinity)

BrandonI find great comfort in knowing that the gifts of God are irrevocable--that God is faithful even if we are faithless. My faith journey begins with the Church of the Brethren. I was raised in the church by my family going to Sunday school and attending worship each week. But as a teenager I found myself struggling in my understanding of the word of God. I wanted to own my faith. I wanted it to be a real and genuine confession, not one merely adopted through my family's tradition. It was during that time of exploration that God revealed my calling as a minister in God's church.