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CTS Announces 2021 Commencement Speaker and Degree Recipients

By May 4, 2021December 1st, 2021No Comments
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After having to move its 2020 commencement ceremony online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, CTS is excited to host its 2021 commencement in person on Saturday, May 22, 2021. The ceremony is a private, ticketed event in order to protect the safety of everyone in attendance. It will be held outdoors on the CTS campus under a tent and invited guests and families will be seated in pods in order to properly social distance.

CTS recently announced its 2021 honorary degree recipients: Judge Sarah Evans Barker will be awarded the Doctor of Humanities and serve as commencement speaker, and Rev. Dwight Holland will be awarded the Doctor of Divinity. “Both honorees are trail blazers with impressive records of caring for others and serving the wider community. Their personal and professional commitments reflect the values we embody at CTS,” said President David M. Mellott.

Barker is the first woman to sit the bench of the US District Court, Southern District of Indiana. From 1994 to 2001, she served as its chief judge. Barker has also long been committed to civic, cultural, and religious organizations that promote the common good. She has served on boards of Indiana University Health, Inc., Conner Prairie Museum, Spirit and Place Festival, Christian Theological Seminary, and the Indiana Historical Society.

“CTS is privileged to welcome Judge Barker to campus and we are eager to hear her challenge us all to higher service,” said Dr. Leah Gunning Francis, Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty at CTS. “The Class of 2021 is graduating at a pivotal moment in our national and world history, and Barker is perfect for graduates embarking on leadership roles in the church, the community, and the world at large.”

Holland, a CTS alumnus, is a business owner and psychotherapist with many years of experience working collaboratively with community businesses, churches, and mental health agencies. Currently he is agency leader with Family and Community Partners in Indianapolis. In addition to individual and family counseling, Holland provides consultation and training to various churches and community organizations that strive for continuous improvement and systemic change.

“Rev. Holland’s leadership acumen and pastoral empathy are a rare but increasingly needed combination for church and community life,” said Mellott. “We are honored to honor him.”