Biggest Class of Graduates in School History
Prepares for Ministries
ST. LOUIS, MO [05/08/06]--Eighty-eight women and men will earn master’s
degrees, graduate certificates, and doctoral degrees from Aquinas
Institute of Theology on May 12. They are members of the largest
class in the school’s 81-year history.
Aquinas Institute is a seminary and graduate school of theology
affiliated with Saint Louis University. Its graduates assume careers
as campus ministers, hospital chaplains, high school theology teachers,
and directors of parishes without resident priests, to name a few.
One member of this class soon will be ordained a priest.
Fifteen graduates are executives in Catholic health care who share
responsibility for maintaining their health systems as ministries;
they are the school’s second group of graduates earning a
Master of Arts in Health Care Mission.
Twenty-eight others will come from Oklahoma City, Kansas City, Mo.,
and Kansas City, Kansas. They are recipients of the school’s
Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry, a degree designed to accommodate
students who work in parishes or diocesan offices and cannot relocate
to study. Faculty travel to the dioceses to teach, and students
complete coursework online.
The class also includes recipients of a doctoral degree in preaching,
the only Roman Catholic degree of its kind in the United States.
Members in this graduating class were born in places as far away
as India, Nicaragua and Togo and as near as the Central West End.
Seventy-five graduates are Catholic, and 13 others come from traditions
such as Episcopalian, Lutheran or Free Methodist.
Sr. Barbara Reid, Ph.D., will deliver the commencement address.
She is a Dominican sister from Grand Rapids, Mich., and a professor
of New Testament at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. She is
author of several books, including The Gospel According to Matthew,
and Choosing the Better Part? Women in the Gospel of Luke. Much
of her work in biblical scholarship is devoted to making scripture
accessible and useful to those who preach.
Aquinas Institute will award honorary doctorate degrees to: Gloria
Lee, executive director of Our Lady’s Inn, a pro-life ministry
offering pregnant women temporary housing and services that will
help them deliver a healthy baby, find employment and secure housing;
Frederick Danker, Ph.D, an accomplished expert on translating ancient
Greek and the only contemporary contributor to a Greek-English lexicon
of the New Testament; Sr. Bernice Coreil, D.C., senior executive
advisor to the president for Ascension Health; and Archbishop Thomas
Cajetan Kelly, O.P., bishop of the Archdiocese of Louisville, Ky.,
Graduation is 7:30 p.m. May 12 at St. Francis Xavier "College"
Church in St. Louis. The school also will honor graduates during
a baccalaureate ceremony at 11 a.m. May 12 at College Church.