Friday, May 28, was a red-letter day for our Theological School, and especially for the five young men who graduated from our pre-seminary department.
In case you are unacquainted with the way in which our seminary operates and the way in which its curriculum is divided, let me briefly explain. We have two departments in the seminary: the pre-seminary and the seminary departments. These are operated separately, so that a student must complete the pre-seminary course acceptably before he is admitted by our Theological School Committee and our Synod to the seminary department. The pre-seminary department is a 4-year course in which the student must complete work equivalent to that required for a college degree. A large part of this course consists of various prescribed subjects taught at our own school, while the rest of the course consists of credits to be earned in various subjects at some local college. For the young men who graduated, therefore, this was an important way station along the road to their ultimate goal, that of being received into the ministry of our Protestant Reformed Churches. For our school and for our churches it means, in the first place, that we are one step farther along the way toward increasing the number of available ministers. In the second place, it means that for the second time we have fruits from our recently instituted pre-seminary program. We who are closely associated with the work are convinced of the benefits of this program and of the importance of maintaining and enlarging it. We have already seen the concrete benefits in our seminary department. Among those who graduated this year were some who entered the program right from high school and who spent parts of four years with us, therefore.
The graduates were Ronald Cammenga (from Holland, Michigan, and now a member of Southwest Church), Ronald Hanko (Hope Church, Grand Rapids, son of Prof. Hanko and grandson of Rev. C. Hanko), Steven Houck (Hope Church, Grand Rapids), and Carl Haak and David Zandstra (both sons of our South Holland, Illinois congregation). Sorry, a group photo was not available when we went to print; you will have to be satisfied with the names.
The program was held in the seminary’s Assembly Room, with Rev. C. Hanko (president of the Theological School Committee) in charge, and Prof. H. Hanko delivering the graduation address to a goodly gathering of friends and relatives of the graduates. Prof. Hanko’s address will be found elsewhere in this issue.