Graduation has become an international experience at Central Seminary. Its 117th graduating class gathered for commencement May 18, along with a announcement by the board of trustees of gifts establishing two newly endowed faculty chairs.
The 43 graduates gathered from across the United States and overseas. They took classes in person or through distance learning not only on the seminary’s Shawnee, Kan., campus where the graduation was held, but also Dallas, Texas; Nashville, Tenn.; Milwaukee, Wis.; Los Angeles, Calif.; and Ann Arbor, Mich., as well as from the nation of Myanmar and those who have been a part of Central’s Korean Studies Program.
Rev. Dr. Soong-Chan Rah, Milton B. Engebretson Professor of Church Growth and Evangelism at North Park Theological Seminary in Chicago, IL, brought the commencement address, “The Necessity of Lament in Our Broken World.”
Gathering for two days prior to graduation, the seminary’s board of trustees announced gifts on May 16 establishing two newly endowed faculty chairs of biblical studies and peace and justice.
The Landreneau Guillory Chair of Biblical Studies will be funded through a gift from Rev. Angela Lowe, who earned her master of divinity degree from Central in 1999. The chair is named for her maternal grandparents, Paul and Odette Landreneau Guillory. Lowe expressed her gratitude to them, saying, “I will always be grateful to my Mama and Papa for their exemplary faith, steadfast courage, and genuine love for their family, friends, and neighbors.”
The second chair, The Dianne C. Shumaker Chair of Peace and Justice, will be funded through a gift from friend of the seminary, Dianne C. Shumaker. Shumaker previously provided funds for the Shumaker Library on the Central campus in Shawnee, KS, and has helped to support the seminary’s Women’s Leadership Initiative.
“I delight in supporting Central’s forward-looking programs and missions. My relationship with the seminary is what God wants,” said Shumaker. “I feel blessed that I can be a contributor to this greater good.”
These two legacy gifts will help to ensure the seminary’s mission to prepare women and men for seeking God, shaping Church, and serving humanity and all creation.
Founded in 1901, Central Seminary serves more than 30 Christian denominations. Baptist in heritage and ecumenical in practice, Central has been named one of the top 12 fastest growing theological schools in the Association of Theological Schools.