Carroll Institute Graduates 22 Students

B. H. Carroll Theological Institute celebrated its 12th Convocation and 11th Graduation ceremony on Friday, May 26, at First Baptist Church, Grand Prairie, Texas. Four doctoral degrees, 17 master’s degrees, and one Diploma & Advanced Diploma in Christian Ministry were awarded during the evening.

The Singing Men of North Central Texas, directed by Don Blackley, provided uplifting and inspirational music for the evening. Church choirs from FBC Grand Prairie, Agape Baptist Church (Fort Worth), FBC Arlington, FBC Crowley, FBC Willow Park, and Haltom Road Baptist Church joined with the Singing Men on the song “I Will Not Be Shaken” along with soloists Aaron Kenagy and Michael Bridges.

During the time of Thanksgiving and Blessings, President Gene Wilkes stated that from the start, the design of Carroll Institute has been based on the standards of accreditation with the Association of Theological Schools. This past April, Carroll hosted the ATS Evaluation Committee which delivered their report to the Commission on Accreditation in June to vote on Carroll’s initial accreditation. The official word will come sometime later this month, but Dr. Wilkes was encouraged by the favorable remarks of the evaluation team. In February of this year, the Association of Biblical Higher Education reaffirmed Carroll Institute’s accreditation for a ten-year period. Dr. Wilkes thanked the staff of Carroll Institute for their tireless efforts during the accreditation process.

The president remarked how Carroll Institute has had the support of significant people who have walked alongside the institute from the beginning. Among those are two Distinguished Fellows who passed away during this past academic year, Dr. Carl Wrotenbery and Dr. Carl Elder. Dr. Wilkes gave thanks for their years of faithful service to Carroll Institute.

Dr. Wilkes recognized Dr. Scott Floyd as the new Senior Fellow in the area of Ministry and Formation, a position formerly held by Dr. Budd Smith who retired at the end of 2015 and holds the title of Senior Fellow Emeritus. Dr. Floyd is Professor of Psychology & Counseling and Director of the Master of Arts in Counseling degree program. He was officially conferred the Medallion of the Office of Senior Fellow by Dr. Smith. Gene Wilkes and the other Senior Fellows laid hands on Scott Floyd as Dr. Smith offered a prayer of blessing in his new leadership position.

Dr. Wilkes shared that Senior Fellow and former President, Dr. Bruce Corley, had announced his retirement at the spring meeting of the Board of Governors and will leave his position at the end of June. Gene Wilkes expressed gratitude for Bruce Corley’s life and influence and his example of sacrifice to bring Carroll Institute to this point in time. Dr. Corley mentioned that one of the greatest blessings of his life has been the over 10,000 students that have been in his classes throughout his career. He commented, “Many of my students have become involved with Carroll, and it is a joy to see how the Lord is using them in His service.”

Gene Wilkes announced the launch of B. H. Carroll’s Capital Campaign “Training Leaders…Transforming Lives” to take the institute into the next decade of theological training. For more information about the campaign, go to

Dr. Darin Wood, pastor of First Baptist Church in Midland, Texas and Resident Fellow at Carroll, delivered the Convocation message entitled “We HAD Hoped” based on the passage from Luke 24:13-32 in which two of Christ’s disciples, who were traveling the road to Emmaus, were discussing the events surrounding Christ’s crucifixion. Their expectations that he would be the one to redeem Israel had been shattered. Dr. Wood brought out the fact that sometimes our expectations can lead us to the wrong end and cause us to miss what God is doing and what his plans are for our lives. The disciples had put their hope in their own expectations rather than in the promise of what Jesus said he would do. In his earlier comments, Dr. Wood told the students that the evening wasn’t just about receiving a diploma. It went back to the calling the graduates had received when they started this journey. They were called by the Spirit of God to train and equip themselves theologically. He said, “It is no small thing to endure the cost and the journey it takes. You started with a calling not to a theological degree but to a Savior.” As he concluded his message, Dr. Wood challenged the graduates with these words:

Step out boldly and realize the opportunity that God has given you. It is no small thing to serve the Lord in whatever capacity he has given you. It is no small thing to recognize that your primary call is to the Savior. Don’t put your hopes somewhere else; put them in Jesus.

Following the convocation message came the conferring of degrees. The students were presented by the corresponding directors of their programs of study. The following graduates received their diplomas:

Diploma & Advanced Diploma in Christian Ministry

Teresa Gail Monk

Alvarado, Texas

Master of Arts (Religion)

Jerald David Garner

Denton, Texas (Graduated November 23, 2016)

Portland Jane Mithen

Richardson, Texas

Master of Arts in Christian Education

Steven Scott Gaskill

Sonora, Texas (Graduated November 23, 2016)

Master of Arts in Counseling

Justin Derrick Lemons

Saginaw, Texas (In Absentia; Graduated November 23, 2016)

Rebekah C. Mullins

Wylie, Texas (Graduated March 3, 2017)

Joshua Aaron Stowe

Fort Worth, Texas (Graduated September 28, 2016)

Master of Arts in Worship

Daniel Paul Baker

Amarillo, Texas

Sherin Sara Jacob

Bangalore, India (In Absentia)

Master of Arts (Theology)

Ekaterina Ageychenkova

Dmitrov, Russia (In Absentia; Graduated June 19, 2016)

Grant Leonard Harrison

North Little Rock, Arkansas (In Absentia)

Nathan David James

Little Rock, Arkansas (In Absentia)

Nikolay Kadochnikov

Nikoldskoye, Russia (In Absentia; Graduated October 15, 2016)

Elena Kostina

Novosibirsk Oblast, Russia (In Absentia; Graduated October 15, 2016)

Carmen Peralta Mesú

Camagüey, Cuba (In Absentia; Graduated May 27, 2016)

Elena Simankova, Narva

Estonia (In Absentia; Graduated June 19, 2016)

Master of Divinity

David M. Ham

Jefferson, Texas (In Absentia)

Kimberly McClung Texidor

The Woodlands, Texas (In Absentia; Graduated July 29, 2016)

Doctor of Ministry

James Shelton Wilder

Purcell, Oklahoma (Graduated November 23, 2016); Supervisor: Clyde Glazener
D.Min. Project: Introducing Biblical Servant Leadership as a Methodology for Deacon Ministry to the Congregation at First Baptist Church, Purcell, Oklahoma

Degrees Earned:
D.Min., B. H. Carroll Theological Institute, Ministry and Formation
M.Div. with Biblical Languages, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (2008)
B.A. Religion, Oklahoma Baptist University (1997)

Doctor of Philosophy

Christopher Scott Jones

Rockport, Texas (Graduated November 23, 2016); Supervisor: Gene Wilkes
Dissertation: Pastoral Leadership for Congregational Change: An Evaluation of
Edwin Friedman’s Theory of Nonanxious Leadership in Congregations

Degrees Earned:
Ph.D., B. H. Carroll Theological Institute, Ministry and Formation
M.Div. with Biblical Languages, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (2008) English and Speech, Howard Payne University (1993)

Joshua Michael Rose

Mansfield, Texas; Supervisor: Norma Hedin
Dissertation: The Impact of Length of Time in Small Groups on Faith Maturity in Church-based Small Groups

Degrees Earned:
Ph.D., B. H. Carroll Theological Institute, Ministry and Formation
M.A. in Christian Education, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (2007)
B.A. in History, University of Texas at Arlington (2005)

Lori Annette Horner Ryan

Burleson, Texas; Supervisor: Scott Floyd
Dissertation: A Child’s Capacity to Produce Resilience After Parental Divorce

Degrees Earned:
Ph.D., B. H. Carroll Theological Institute, Ministry and Formation
M.A. in Counseling, Dallas Baptist University (2009)
B.S. in Biology and Chemistry, University of Mary Hardin-Baylor (1991)

An interesting feature about this year’s graduation is that Carroll Institute had one student from India who received her Master of Arts in Worship degree via video conferencing. Sherin Jacobs had completed all of her coursework online while living in Bangalore, India, and had planned on traveling to the United States for graduation, but she was denied a visa. She watched the video of Convocation on Carroll Institute’s live streaming channel. When the time came for Sherin’s name to be announced, her photo was projected on the large screens. Michelle Martin, Carroll student and office assistant, walked across the stage showing Sherin live on an iPad screen so that Dr. Wilkes could show Sherin her diploma and offer his congratulations. Sherin responded with words of gratitude that were heard by the entire audience.

Following Convocation, a reception was held in the foyer of FBC Grand Prairie to honor the graduates and their families. A livestream recording of the Convocation and Graduation is available here.

Published: Jun 19, 2017


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