An Historic Week

Carroll’s Convocation and Graduation on the evening of May 22 was the culmination of an eventful week for the Institute. Earlier in the week, PhD and DMin students gathered for a three-day Spring Colloquy held at the new Carroll Center in Irving. Students participated in workshops organized by PhD Program Director Karen Bullock and DMin Program Director Larry Ashlock. Topics ranged from Prospectus and Dissertation Writing to Navigating the Electronic Library. PhD student Randall Worley led the worship sessions. Paper presentations were given by Justin Tollison (PhD student) and James Wilder (DMin student). The colloquy included a student panel discussion on the topic “Stewards of the Discipline – What Will I Do with This Degree?” Doctoral students especially enjoyed times of fellowship at the coffee bar.

On Thursday, May 21, the Carroll administrative staff hosted an Open House at the Carroll Center from 10:00 am to 4 pm. Over 50 visitors toured the new facility and enjoyed coffee and cookies at the coffee bar. It was a time of excitement and emotion for the HUB staff to share with the guests what the Lord has done to provide a new space for serving students and carrying out the mission and vision of the institute.

During the ninth Convocation and Graduation ceremony on Friday evening at First Baptist Church, Arlington, Carroll Institute awarded diplomas and celebrated significant events in the life of the institute. During the service, special recognitions were presented by Dr. Gene Wilkes, President of Carroll. Dr. Budd Smith was recognized for his retirement as Senior Fellow, and Dr. Norma Hedin was installed as the new Senior Fellow for the Ministry and Formation cluster. A Professorship of Pastoral Ministry was established in honor of Dr. Jimmie Nelson, Distinguished Fellow of Preaching and Old Testament. Dr. Burton and Ginger Patterson were recognized for their generous donation in setting up the Frank and Pauline Patterson Endowed Colloquy Fund that will provide ongoing financial support for Carroll’s doctoral colloquies that are held twice a year.

The President’s Award is given each year by Carroll Institute as a way to thank and honor significant persons who have demonstrated commitment to the Institute through their generosity and encouragement. This year’s recipients are John and Ruth Wilkerson from Lubbock, TX. John and Ruth were instrumental not only through their generous donation of time and resources to the purchase of the new Carroll Center, but also through their skillful direction of the entire build-out process. This special time of recognitions was concluded with a prayer of gratitude offered by Dr. Richard Jackson, newly elected chair of Carroll’s Board of Governors.

Dr. Wilkes delivered the convocation message entitled “Bread and Circuses” based on the passage Matthew 5: 13-16. He challenged the graduates with the concept that rather than offering quick slogans (cheap bread) and entertaining worship (circuses), they should lead the church to be focused on providing “sacrificial, authentic care in the name of Jesus” and to be “salt and light servants.” As Kingdom people, the church can create “bridges of influence upon which the message of Jesus enters the hearts of people.”

The Singing Men of North Central Texas, directed by Don Blackley, has provided inspirational music at six of Carroll’s Convocation services. From the rousing “Praise You” to the reflective hope of “Your God Will Come,” the men’s group stirred the hearts of all who were present.

Students receiving diplomas and degrees during the graduation ceremony are as follows:

  • Doctor of Philosophy
    • Jeremy S. Greer, Arkadelphia, Arkansas – Supervisor: Scott Duvall
      Dissertation: A Key to Matthew’s Gospel: The Story of Israel in Matthew 1:21
    • Justin Nealson Tollison, Fort Worth, Texas – Supervisor: Jim Spivey
      Dissertation: Sola Scriptura as a Foundational Cause for Redefining Marriage in the Magisterial Reformation
  • Master of Divinity
    • David Jackson Gusewelle, Bryan, Texas
  • Master of Arts in Theology
    • Joshua L. McCarty, Walnut Ridge, Arkansas (GRADUATED NOVEMBER 26, 2014)
    • Christopher David Rose, Fort Worth, Texas
    • Benjamin Rosenberger, Temple, Texas
  • Master of Arts in Counseling
    • Scott T. Cox, Fort Worth, Texas (IN ABSENTIA)
    • Clinton Taylor Donaldson, Grand Prairie, Texas (GRADUATED NOVEMBER 26, 2014)
    • Sarah Lanier Mathews, Hurst, Texas
    • Steven Kent McClatchy, Garland, Texas
    • Jason Alan Shirley, Kirbyville, Texas (IN ABSENTIA; GRADUATED NOVEMBER 26, 2014)
  • Master of Arts in Christian Education
    • Phillip A. Larsen, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (GRADUATED NOVEMBER 26, 2014)
  • Master of Arts in Religion
    • Jared Farley, Arkadelphia, Arkansas (GRADUATED FEBRUARY 27, 2015)
    • Dennis W. Neal, Iowa Park, Texas
    • Thomas O. Robeson, Elgin, Texas (IN ABSENTIA; GRADUATED OCTOBER 1, 2014)
  • Advanced Diploma in Christian Ministry
    • Joseph Grant Ward, Cypress, Texas (GRADUATED FEBRUARY 27, 2015)
  • Diploma in Christian Ministry
    • Matthew Todd Cason, Lewisville, Texas (GRADUATED FEBRUARY 27, 2015)

In addition to these graduates, Carroll Institute awarded degrees to 22 students with a Master of Arts in Theology at a ceremony in Camagüey, Cuba in October 2014 and to four students with a Master of Arts in Theology at an October 2014 ceremony in St. Petersburg, Russia.

A reception followed in the Fellowship Hall of First Baptist Arlington to honor the graduates and their families.

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