Nearly 700 students, from 30 nations and 70 denominations, receive degrees this year
Cloudy skies and drizzle did not dampen the enthusiasm of more than 450 graduates and their loved ones at Fuller Theological Seminary’s 60th annual commencement ceremony held Saturday, June 13, at Lake Avenue Church in Pasadena.
With a total of nearly 700 students completing master’s and doctoral degrees at Fuller this year, two-thirds of those attended the festive commencement celebration: 118 who were earning degrees from Fuller’s School of Intercultural Studies, 73 from the School of Psychology, and 264 from the School of Theology. In his opening comments, President Richard J. Mouw listed the remarkable diversity of nations from which those graduates hail—from Bermuda, the Czech Republic and Ethiopia to Rwanda, South Korea and the Ukraine—and many more.
As part of the commencement ceremony, Fuller trustee Danny Villanueva announced John Goldingay , David Allan Hubbard Professor of Old Testament, as recipient of this year’s Weyerhaeuser Award, known to the Fuller community as “faculty of the year.” “You are widely respected as a world leader in Old Testament studies,” said Villanueva to Goldingay, and “deeply committed to the Christian formation of your students.”
Also at the ceremony, Fuller’s annual Distinguished Alumni/ae Award was given to School of Psychology alumnus John Fantuzzo (PhD ’79), who serves as the Albert M. Greenfield Professor of Human Relations at the University of Pennsylvania, where he works to develop strategies to address the needs of at-risk children in urban settings.
In his charge to the graduating class, President Mouw urged the students to “go deep” in the callings they will pursue after graduation. Quoting theologian Frederick Buechner, who defined vocation as “that place where your deepest joy meets the world’s deepest need,” Mouw said: “We hope that as you move on from your seminary experience, that your deepest joy is in knowing the Lord Jesus Christ.”
“I pray that you will never abandon that evangelistic conviction that people need Jesus,” he exhorted. “Go deep in finding your own true joy in Jesus and Jesus alone, so that others may see Jesus in you.”
Fuller Seminary is one of the largest multidenominational seminaries in the world, with more than 4,000 students taking courses this year. In addition to the main campus in Pasadena, Fuller has extension centers in Coastal California; Northern California; Seattle, Washington; Colorado Springs, Colorado; Phoenix, Arizona; and Houston, Texas.
To read about a few of the members of this year’s graduating class, click here .