Boyce College Graduates Declare Their Commitment to Ministry and Service as Followers of the Lord Jesus Christ
“As graduates of Boyce College, we hereby declare to the watching world that we are followers of the Lord Jesus Christ who are called to ministry and service by the power of the Holy Spirit.” This first line of the Boyce College Graduate Pledge captures the essence of what makes the Commencement Ceremony at Boyce College so praiseworthy – each of the graduates of the Boyce College Class of 2023 is committed to the Lord Jesus Christ and stands ready to “commit the length of our days to the service of our Savior.”
On Thursday, May 11, the 2023 Graduating Class of Boyce College assembled on the Seminary Lawn to celebrate the 25th commencement of Boyce College, marking a significant milestone for the graduates as they embark on a new chapter in their lives, equipped with knowledge, skills, and experiences gained throughout their time at Boyce College. Faculty, family, and friends witnessed as 167 students graduated, with 139 participating in the ceremony and 28 receiving their degrees in absentia on a beautiful May morning.
The ceremony, according to President R. Albert Mohler, Jr., is more than just a ceremony to honor graduates. It is a worship service for the God who called them and prepared them for all that they are commissioned to go do in the name of Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit. Scripture readings, prayers for the church and for the nations, the singing of hymns, and recitation of the Apostles' Creed marked this distinctly Christian commencement ceremony and reminded graduates that whatever their vocation, they stand on the Word of God and are commissioned in service of the Lord Jesus Christ and for the building up of his church.
Drawing on 2 Timothy 3: 10-27, Mohler charged the students to continue in what they have learned from parents, pastors, and most assuredly from the faculty of Boyce College. Mohler emphasized that it is God's plan that the eternal truths of his Word would be transferred through relationships with others, highlighting that at Boyce College, students have not only received gospel knowledge from their professors but also gospel passion and are commissioned to go out as the people of that passion.
"Continue in what you have learned," charged Mohler. "We firmly believe that the gospel, the Scripture, the truth infused in you in the curriculum of this college will be invaluable for you to your faithfulness for the decades to come." Mohler continued, "We believe that God has called you for this time, to this purpose, and will give you all things necessary in order to be faithful." He concluded, "May your faithfulness be extended from this class to the church and from the church to the world."
Dean Dustin Bruce encouraged graduates from Matthew 10:26-33 to not misplace aspects of their Christian discipleship. By holding fast to a proper fear of the Lord, a proper understanding of their value to their heavenly Father, and a proper steadfastness in their confession, Bruce presented a way for graduates to remain strong in their faithfulness to Christ regardless of the pressures of life to come.
"My exhortation to you is to continue for all of your days, maintaining that confession that Jesus is Lord, that you believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead so that you might be saved." Bruce exhorted, "Fear God alone, trust him, and confess that Jesus is Lord to the glory of God the Father."
During their time at Boyce College, graduates have been prepared for this moment since they first stepped onto campus. The faculty and administration have worked to endow students with the requisite knowledge and form students into whole-hearted disciples of Christ. With this preparation, graduates are now ready for all that lies ahead. And prepared they are. Many in this graduating class have already secured career placement in fields ranging from church ministry to accounting, with job titles from teacher to news producer. Others have been admitted into post-graduate programs to pursue advanced degrees. Regardless of the specific vocational pursuits, each graduate stands ready, equipped, and "determined to serve wherever God may call us, knowing that by the power of the resurrected Christ, our labor is not in vain.”
Tyler Flatt, associate professor of Humanities and Co-Director of the Augustine Honors Collegium, received the Charles W. Draper Faculty Award. The annual award is named in honor of longtime Boyce professor Charles W. Draper, who died in 2017 after many years of faithful service on the Boyce faculty. Flatt has served on Boyce College's faculty since 2016.