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Winter 2002 Rapport: AGTS Awards first doctorate degrees in Assemblies of God History

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On June 8, 2001, the Assemblies of God fellowship reached a milestone in education at the Seminary’s graduation ceremony. The 28th Annual Commencement of the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary marked the first year that a Doctor of Ministry degree was awarded by an Assemblies of God institution worldwide. “The first doctoral class of an Assemblies of God institution of higher education demonstrates the strides that have been made in higher education since the founding of the Fellowship in 1914,” said AGTS professor Gary McGee. Rev. Thomas E. Trask, general superintendent of the Assemblies of God, delivered the keynote address.

One hundred degrees–including Doctor of Ministry, Master of Divinity, and Master of Arts–were awarded at the AGTS commencement to graduates from 28 states and eight foreign countries.

2001 Doctor of Ministry class makes history. Front row (L to R): Gary Allen, Steve Lim, President Byron D. Klaus, Earl Creps, and Sol Codillo. Back row (L to R): Bob Rose, Steve Allen, Gary Denbow, Jim McCorkle, Doug Norwood, and Jay Taylor. (James Davis not pictured.)

Highlights of this year’s graduation activities began with a public symposium, which featured the nine D.Min. graduates, on Thursday, June 7, 2001, in the AGTS chapel. “The D.Min. in Pentecostal Leadership is a professional, in-service degree program designed to shape leaders who will change the world in the power of the Spirit,” said AGTS president Byron D. Klaus. “One phase of the program is the writing of a doctoral project embodying field research from the participant’s own ministry context. The symposium was an opportunity for each of our graduates to present a brief report of this important research, followed by a reflective response.”

AGTS baccalaureate speaker Randy Jumper and wife Heidi celebrate after both received diplomas at the 2001 graduation.

“We rejoice in this accomplishment,” said Trask, “but our anticipation is even greater that the grass roots research represented in the work of the graduates will energize and enrich our Fellowship’s ministry around the world. As we move into the third millennium, vital and growing churches are demanding Spirit- anointed and effective leadership. The Doctor of Ministry program in Pentecostal Leadership at AGTS is one significant step in making sure the 21st century will resonate with an ever-deepening biblical and theological awareness from the vantage point of the Pentecostal tradition. The Assemblies of God will be increasingly enriched with leadership avowing a distinctively Pentecostal theology of ministry.”

Other graduation activities included an evening banquet on June 7 at the John Q. Hammons Tower Club which honored all the graduates. The baccalaureate service, held the morning of June 8 in the AGTS chapel, featured 2001 graduate Randy Jumper who gave a sermon entitled “The Ministry of Reconciliation: Bridge Building in the 21st Century.” Commencement followed that afternoon with speaker Thomas E. Trask’s sermon entitled “The Thrill of Victory—The Agony of Defeat.”

Updated: Thursday, August 7, 2003 3:26 PM


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