As reported elsewhere in these columns, our churches now have another candidate for the ministry, brother Dale H. Kuiper.
Ordinarily, I suppose, and for most denominations, this would hardly be the occasion for as much attention as the Standard Bearer gives to it. For us, however, it is worthy of special note, and that for several reasons. In the first place, graduation from our seminary is a comparatively rare event, not even been an annual event, graduation does occur, the graduating class more often than not consists of but one graduate, as it did also this year. In the second place, as already suggested above, this graduation is worthy of note because it means that our churches have available a candidate for the ministry. In view of the existing shortage of ministers in our churches, this alone would be sufficient reason to pay special attention to this event. And not only is it reason for special attention, but it is reason for special rejoicing and thanksgiving because the Lord has provided our churches with another of the so sorely needed and so often prayed for laborers in His vineyard. In the third place, it is worthy of special note, and again, reason for special joy and thanksgiving, because this graduation, by the grace of God, represents achievement,—achievement for the graduate, for the faculty, for our School Committee and Synod, and for all of our churches who jointly operate the Seminary. In the fourth place, I believe, as I intimated when I was privileged to present Mr. Kuiper his diploma, that this is worthy of special note because our new candidate for the ministry graduated from a rare seminary,—rare especially because it is a seminary where our Reformed heritage, according to Scripture and the confessions, is faithfully transmitted to the students, and where all the instruction has a specifically Reformed orientation. Let us never forget in this connection that our churches,—by sovereign grace alone,—occupy a rare position today and are the trustees of a rare and high and serious calling.
Moreover, as I also stressed in my remarks at the presentation of the diploma, Candidate Kuiper must be viewed as a gift of God to our churches. For our churches this means that we must receive him with thanksgiving. For him this means that he must never forget that his is, in the first place, a highly privileged position, attributable to grace only; and, in the second place, that his is a highly serious calling, in which he is answerable to Christ, the King of His church, and to God through Him.
May the Lord bless our new candidate, soon point out to him his particular place in our churches, and then cause him to be a blessing in the ministry which He gives him.
The rest of the editorial space in this issue we devote to the graduation address of my esteemed colleague, Prof. H. Hanko, and that of Candidate Kuiper.