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Hood Theological Seminary holds 2019 commencement exercises

Staff report

SALISBURY — Hood Theological Seminary held its graduation Saturday, May 18.

The seminary’s 18th commencement exercises were held in Varick Auditorium on the campus of Livingstone College. The highlight of the graduation service was the conferring of 14 doctor of ministry degrees, 21 master of divinity degrees and two master of theological studies degrees. 

The commencement address was delivered by Bishop Paul Leeland, resident bishop of the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church. 

In his address, Bishop Leeland stressed to the graduates the importance of having time to integrate their educational experience with the practical experience of actually doing ministry once they step out of the academic halls.

“Moving from an academic atmosphere through the difficulties of ministries will take time,” Leeland said. “You will move through this time with much more ease and much more peace of mind if you immerse yourself, bathe yourself, saturate yourself in what the church has called the means of grace that lead us to the means of mercy.

He referenced the Gospel of John, Chapter 6, when Jesus said to his disciples, “Do not work for the food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life.”

He went on to counsel them to avoid climbing the ladder of success and to instead climb the ladder of character.

Honorary degrees of Doctor of Humane Letters were conferred upon Leeland as well as Doris Robinson Asbury, of Charlotte, and Reginald W. Brown, of Salisbury.

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