Commencement will be Aug. 19 for the first graduating class from Saint Paul School of Theology at Oklahoma City University.
Five Master of Divinity students will be hooded in a worship-filled ceremony set for 4 p.m. at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Oklahoma City.
Teri Carbaugh, David Gardner, Anna Marie George, Felicia Hensley, and Nathan Mills will have completed the three-year seminary program. Each will have earned 90 credit hours. All are serving Oklahoma churches.
The commencement celebration is open to everyone. Preacher will be Bishop Robert Hayes Jr., the OKC-Quayle Mass Choir will sing, and organist will be Robert Fasol. Seminary President Myron McCoy of Kansas City, Mo., will preside.
In Fall 2008, Saint Paul School expanded beyond its Kansas City campus to open at OCU. Partnering with the Oklahoma Conference, led by Bishop Hayes, and OCU, steered by Tom McDaniel, made this possible. That first semester, 20 students enrolled.
Leaders of the educational effort have met their goal of a 25-percent graduation rate for that initial group, according to Elaine Robinson, dean of Saint Paul at OCU.
During the 2010-11 academic year, 42 students were enrolled in the divinity school at OCU, Rev. Dr. Robinson reported in May to the 2011 Oklahoma Annual Conference. They came from Arkansas and Kansas, as well as Oklahoma.
In Fall 2011, a specialization in Wesleyan studies will be added to the curriculum for the seminary at OCU. Also, Course of Study classes for part-time local pastors will begin. Additionally, Seminary Lite will launch, a series of six basic courses in Christian theology for anyone interested in a deeper faith understanding but not pursuing professional ministry.