Not since 1974 has there been a graduate from the seminary department of our Theological School. That in itself was sufficient reason why the commencement program of our seminary constituted a highlight of our recent synodical meetings. Personally, I always find such a graduation program to be a rather pleasant interlude during synod—especially when I can relax and listen to a colleague deliver the address, as was the case this year. And this year was no exception. Three years ago, at the request of the Free Reformed Church of North America, we agreed to train two students from that denomination. Messrs. Carl Schouls and Peter Vander Meyden, both from Canada, also had successfully completed our regular theological course, had also passed several comprehensive written examinations, and therefore were entitled to diplomas as non-licentiate students. Later this year they will undergo further examination in their own denomination with a view to candidacy.
In fact, there was something special about this year’s graduation: it was a first in the history of our Theological School. First of all, Mr. Kenneth Koole (a son of our former Creston Church, and now a member of Hope Church in the Grand Rapids area) successfully completed his course at school, very acceptably passed his examinations at synod, and was declared a candidate for the ministry in our Protestant Reformed Churches. Soon, the Lord willing, another minister of the gospel will be added to the ranks of our Protestant Reformed ministry. That is reason for rejoicing and thanksgiving. In addition to Mr. Koole, however, there were two more graduates.
To a large audience in the beautiful auditorium of our Hudsonville Church—an audience which also included a goodly number of visitors from the Free Reformed Church—Prof. Hanko delivered a very fitting address, a transcript of which you will find elsewhere in this issue.
All in all, it was a memorable evening.
The photo of the graduates (1, to r., Carl Schouls, Peter Vander Meyden, and Kenneth Koole) is courtesy of Rev. Van Baren.
Congratulations and the Lord’s blessing to our graduates!