By Davy Ellison
The world has looked very different over the past six months. We have witnessed Welsh villages invaded by Kashmiri mountain goats, watched airports grind to a halt with runways full of grounded planes, and observed a sharp fall in air pollution leaving the night sky apparently shining brighter.
Things look different for the College too, no less because we had to cancel our Graduation Service in May. This provided the opportunity to combine Graduation with our Recognition Service in September. Despite the recognition service looking and feeling different it remained a joy to celebrate the achievement of our students.
Moira Baptist kindly hosted the event on Saturday 5th September which recognised the university awards achieved by our undergraduate students and celebrated the graduation of undergraduate and evening class students from College courses.
Ten students graduated from the Preparation for Ministry course achieving either a certificate or diploma in Ministry Studies alongside their Bachelor of Divinity or Bachelor of Theology from the University of Chester. This year these students were joined by a small number of the 22 students graduating from the Christian Education Courses in Ballymena, Moira, and Strandtown or through the Women’s Ministry Course, Ladies Study Fellowship, or Baptist Youth Internship.
We enjoyed a service in which Dr Peter Firth outlined the task undertaken in achieving such awards, Dr Sarah Dalrymple prayed for the students, and Dr David Luke gave an address on the true nature of Christian leadership from 1 Peter 4:19–5:4. Afterwards many remained behind to enjoy a socially-distanced picnic lunch.
It is both a pleasure and a privilege to be involved in the training of men and women for gospel service, and to see students graduate after months and years of hard work. Please pray for all of the graduating students, particularly that God would use them for the extension of his kingdom in their various walks of life.