Whereas many institutions confer degrees only two or three times a year, Carroll Institute confers degrees five times each academic year when course requirements are completed for each term — Alpha, Emmanuel, Paschal, Omega, and Summer. Students have the option of attending the commencement exercises held once each year at the end of the Omega term in May. If a student is unable to participate in the graduation ceremony, he or she has other options for being presented a diploma.
One of Carroll’s domestic students, Kimberly Texidor, was granted a Master of Divinity degree in July of 2016, making her eligible to participate in the May 2017 Convocation and Graduation ceremony. As much as Kimberly wanted to be present at the ceremony to receive her diploma, she had a conflict with the graduation date. Kimberly was already scheduled to go on a mission trip to Peru with 20 members of The Woodlands First Baptist Church. She led a 2-day leadership conference for 60 children’s ministry leaders from around the country of Peru. Kimberly took along a Carroll flag and was happy for the opportunity to represent the Institute in South America. Since Kimberly was unable to attend Carroll’s graduation, her diploma was mailed to her earlier in the month. On May 10, Kimberly was ordained to the ministry. As a surprise for her, Dr. Don Barrick, worship pastor at The Woodlands and Resident Fellow at Carroll Institute in the area of worship theology, came out in full regalia to present Kimberly with her M.Div. diploma. Kimberly commented, “ What a special treat on an already special night! I know it would have been great to participate in the Convocation at Carroll, but being handed your diploma by your worship pastor/professor in full regalia was an exciting moment that could be shared with all of the congregation.” Kimberly also remarked,
I wish I could adequately express my gratitude to BH Carroll faculty and staff for the amazing education I received. It meant so much to me to be able to complete my education while in full-time ministry. My professors gave me a voice as a woman in ministry, as a biblicist, and as a life-long learner. It was bittersweet to finish last July-in some ways I feel like I’m just now learning and becoming the minister God has called me to be, thanks to my time at Carroll. Who knows? Maybe I’ll be back for a doctorate one day!
Another interesting feature about this year’s Convocation and Graduation ceremony is that Carroll Institute had one student from India who received her Master of Arts in Worship degree via video conferencing. Sherin Jacob had completed all of her coursework online while living in Bangalore, India where she uses music to build bridges with non-Christians there. She had planned on traveling to the United States for graduation, but she was denied a visa. She watched the 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’s executive assistant and a Master of Arts in Counseling student, walked across the stage carrying an iPad which showed Sherin live on the screen so that Dr. Wilkes could virtually present Sherin her diploma and offer his congratulations. Sherin responded with words of gratitude that were heard by the entire audience.