May 12, 2015
On April 24, Grace Christian University graduated the largest class in our history. We rejoice and are amazed at God’s grace as our number of graduates continues to grow. Upon graduation, these men and women, prepared to serve Christ in church and society, are ready to embark on a new journey into God’s plan and purpose for their lives.
The commencement ceremony included graduate addresses by Craig Washington and John Caprari.
Craig Washington, a Bachelor of Science graduate from our adult and online program, addressed the graduates with two main points: trusting God and the mission of Grace Christian University.
“It is time to go out into the marketplace. Enter the world with the spiritual gifts, tools and the knowledge of Christ, the Word of God! Go out with an inspiring attitude, in love! Be ready to meet the broken, hurting, and suffering souls. Mentor them with the grace of God, be compassionate, encourage all by your spiritual walk that demonstrates the confidence of your trust in the Lord! Furthermore, it is evident that we trust, because we are here! God has given us the tenacity to persevere through the many obstacles and challenges that each has faced, and are going to face, because of our trusting in Him!”
Graduate John Caprari, who received a Bachelor of Science in Biblical Studies from our traditional program, added to Craig’s points by focusing on what it means to be prepared to serve Christ.
“Being prepared suggests that there is something to be prepared for! Grace is graduating godly individuals prepared to serve Christ. Our being prepared at Grace does not carry as much significance if it is not done in the context of serving Christ. We have been prepared in a way to take what we have learned into our future ministry, whether that be as a pastor, a businessman, in social work, or as a school teacher. The truth is there are going to be certain circumstances in which we don’t feel we were prepared for. And that’s okay. Part of our being prepared has been to learn to rely and depend on the Holy Spirit. We must always remember that as we serve Christ, we have to let the Spirit take care of business. It’s important to acknowledge that the Spirit of God makes us competent to serve Christ! 2 Corinthians 3:4-6 says, “Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit.” No matter how special or gifted or prepared you feel you are, it’s God who makes you competent for ministry.”
Following the speeches, several awards were presented to worthy graduates.
The Grace Christian University awards were presented by alumni Trent Boedicker, Joshua Kessler, and Dwight Anderson and include (from left to right):
C. F. Baker Biblical Studies Award was awarded to Kyle Vegh
Humanly speaking, Grace Christian University would not be in existence were it not for the vision and commitment of Pastor Charles F. Baker. Mr. Baker was truly a man of God and a man of God’s Book. He authored numerous books, notably A Dispensational Theology, which demonstrates his scholarship in biblical studies. It is therefore fitting that the Biblical Studies Award be named in his honor.
H. B. Prince Homiletics Award was awarded to Adam R. Renberg
This award was established in honor of one of the outstanding preachers of his day. For many years, Pastor H. B. Prince pastored the Bethesda Free Church in Minneapolis and was in demand as a speaker throughout the country. It is in his memory that the H. B. Prince Homiletics Award has been established.
T. R. Huston Christian Service Award was awarded to Kevin D. McKissick
Mr. T. R. Huston was an outstanding layman in Milwaukee who served the Lord in various capacities – notably in the founding of the Fundamental Bible Church under Pastor Charles Baker and as treasurer of the Board of Directors of Milwaukee Bible College.
Dr. Jason Werkema presented the Vernon H. Stromberg Worship Arts Award to Jessica S. Turnbough and Ryan T. Vegh
Vernon H. Stromberg was a graduate of Grace Christian University, Wisconsin conservatory of Music, Western Michigan University, and Michigan State University. Vern served as a member of the faculty of Grace Christian University for 17 years. In addition to his faculty responsibilities at Grace, Vern was an accomplished pianist, director, and composer.
This year, a new award was added in the honor of an outstanding man of God , William Rigg.
The William L. Rigg Youth Ministry Award was awarded by Dr. Mark Carroll to Joseph B. Furno
William Rigg has served in youth ministry at Michigan Grace Youth Camp for over 50 years. He and his wife, Nancy, have served in multiple states and as far as Antalya, Turkey.
We were honored to have Bill with us in attendance at graduation to see this presentation.
Non-Grace Christian University awards included (from left to right):
The Baker Publishing Group Award was awarded by the Baker Publishing Group in honoring a student who has demonstrated achievement in the study of Bible and theology to Kevin D. McKissick.
1. Nominees have achieved an accumulative GPA of 3.3 or higher2. Nominees must exhibit Christian character3. Nominees must exhibit leadership ability
We are proud of all of our 2015 graduates!