It is a significant and hopeful event when our Theological School has graduation exercises.
Significant it is, for one reason, because our school is small and our students few, and because graduation does not occur very frequently. In this particular case, it was three years since the last graduation exercises were held. Significant it is, too, because of the shortage of ministers in our denomination. This graduation means that soon, the Lord willing, one of our pastor-less churches will have its needs fulfilled. Significant this graduation was, too, because it meant for the graduate, Candidate David J. Engelsma, that he had finished his three years of preparation for the ministry at our seminary, had successfully been examined at our Synod, and was now about to achieve his heart’s desire to enter the ministry. And significant it was, lastly, for the faculty, because particularly they were be holding the fruits of their instruction of one of our young men.
Hopeful this graduation was, not only for the above reasons, but also, and above all, because it is an indication that the blessing of our covenant God rests yet upon our small and struggling denomination and its school. There was a time when graduation was more frequent and when our graduates were more numerous. And undoubtedly we all wish and pray that the Lord will give us more graduates and candidates for the holy ministry. Nevertheless, we thankfully acknowledge that He is still providing for our needs in His faithfulness and love.
The Theological School Committee prepared an appropriate program for the occasion. Besides the addresses by the rector and by the candidate, which will appear in our Standard Bearer, there was music by our Radio Choir and by the Choir of Adams St. School. And a capacity audience gathered in our Southeast Church to celebrate this happy occasion.
In conclusion, we express the hope that also this occasion may serve as an incentive to more of our Protestant Reformed young men. And, may the Lord bless Candidate Engelsma, give him grace, as presently he enters the ministry, to stand fast and to be a faithful Verbi Dei Minister.
That also in our outlying churches our people may somewhat participate in this occasion, the Standard Bearer staff decided to publish the graduation addresses and to present a photograph of Candidate Engelsma.