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Drew Theological School Students Begin Their Journey

 “You will not go home the same way you came”

February 2024 – Drew Theological School welcomed 19 new students to the spring semester during the traditional matriculation ceremony where students sign the historic 150-year-old matriculation book—a rite of passage for all new Theological School students.

The incoming class joins Drew from four states; Kansas, Missouri, New Jersey, and Ohio; and represents eight countries spanning four continents.

The students were greeted by University President Hilary Link, Theological School Dean Edwin David Aponte, Provost Jessica Lakin, Associate Dean Robert Seesengood, and Associate Dean Tanya Linn Bennett. 

“We celebrate this path of learning together,” said Aponte during his welcoming remarks.

“Here at Drew, the spirit of acceptance, inclusion, respect—even as we differ—comes through in everything we do,” said Link. “There is a desire to do the right thing by others and to hold space for others.”

Professor of Church Music and Director of Craig Chapel Mark A. Miller delivered a moving matriculation address, “Born Again: The Challenge and Honor of Theological Education.” He shared moments from his recent sabbatical, including a remarkable evening in Paris with world-renowned organist and composer Thierry Escaich.

Miller also shared personal reflections of the love and acceptance provided by his parents, and how it was integral to him becoming the best version of himself today. 

“Being born again is not a once in a lifetime event,” said Miller. “It is an ongoing, lifelong, and transformative process. It’s an opportunity for us to be vulnerable, to tell our stories, to let our truth be known, to be open to the unpredictable wind of the spirit, a chance to be surprised by grace.”

“We want you to learn all that you can while you’re here with us, and we will surely learn from you as well,” continued Miller. “My hope for you is that you will see both the hope and the challenge and promise of this theological education. You will not go home the same way you came.”

“We have been training clergy for over 150 years and we show no signs of getting tired,” said Seesengood prior to inviting the students to sign the matriculation book.

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