MB Biblical Seminary graduates thirty-four students

By Megan E. Richard

Rebecca Stanley is taking her Master of Arts in Christian Studies degree to Vancouver where she and her husband will serve as church planters with the British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches. Gabriel and Marie-Noëlle Yoder will use their Master of Arts in Marriage, Family and Child Counseling degrees to serve those in need in their home country of France, and Nathaniel Mullen will continue his position on the pastoral staff of a local Fresno, California congregation. Other new graduates will serve in lead or supporting roles in churches, counseling, continue their education, and in the marketplace. In all, thirty-four students made the transition to alumni of MB Biblical Seminary during the spring 2008 commencement ceremonies in Langley, British Columbia and Fresno, California.

MB Biblical Seminary’s Langley, British Columbia campus graduated fourteen students with their Master of Arts degrees during a ceremony at South Delta Baptist church in Delta, BC on April 19. Larry Perkins, President of Northwest Baptist Seminary, a member of Associated Canadian Theological Schools (ACTS), and a part of the team that helped develop the consortium, gave the graduation address. Using the new ACTS theme of “Come Together, Go Further,” Perkins used 1 Peter 2:5,9 as his text to encourage graduates that, “By living consciously as part of the body of Christ, we maximize our ministry and together can do great things for God.” MB Biblical Seminary graduate Rebecca Stanley received the Governor General’s Gold Medal for the highest Grade Point Average out of her seventy-five person graduating class at ACTS.

The Fresno commencement ceremony was held Sunday, May 18 at Fresno First Baptist Church. Twenty students graduated with Master or Diploma degrees. Retired MB Biblical Seminary Professor of Pastoral Ministries, Dr. Raymond O. Bystrom, returned to Fresno to give the commencement address. Entitled The Dance of the Liberated, Bystrom encouraged the graduates to be free from the need to justify their time in seminary or their future work or ministry. Because of what God has done, through their calling to seminary and in their lives, he implored the new alumni to “Bring a little bit of heaven to birth on earth.” Student responses to the graduating class were given by Greg Ehlert (Master of Divinity) of Fresno and Sarah Spurlock (Master of Arts in Marriage, Family and Child Counseling) of Indianapolis, Indiana.

The Fresno Campus' annual Community Service Award was presented to Fresno First Baptist Church for their ongoing work in serving their local neighborhood and the city at large. A handful of MB Biblical Seminary graduates and students attend or serve in this congregation.

Posted: June 02, 2008