Skip to main content
Back to News →

A Commencement to Celebrate in 2024


Christian Theological Seminary (CTS) is proud to announce its Commencement 2024, a significant milestone in the academic journey of its graduating students. This year’s commencement ceremony holds special significance as it celebrates the achievements of a diverse group of candidates across various degree programs, marking both individual accomplishments and historic milestones for the institution.

The graduating class of 2024 comprises 47 candidates from different degree programs, each representing a unique journey of academic and personal growth. Among the notable highlights of this year’s commencement are the achievements of students from the School of Theology and the School of Counseling:

  • Doctor of Ministry (DMin): Eight dedicated students will be defending their dissertations, marking the largest DMin class since 1988. The DMin program equips experienced leaders with advanced skills and insights to enhance their practice of ministry. Noteworthy dissertation topics include Jessica LeCrone’s exploration of information literacy in ministry, Lynn Martin’s study on narrative practice in pastoral care, and Tawanda Wallace’s investigation into spirituality and trauma response.
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in African American Preaching and Sacred Rhetoric: CTS celebrates the first-ever graduates from this groundbreaking program, with four candidates poised to make history. Under the visionary leadership of Dr. Frank A. Thomas and Dr. Courtney V. Buggs, the PhD program aims to elevate African American preaching to the highest levels of academia. The graduating cohort includes Nicole McDonald, Justin West, Eugene Gibson, and Jennifer Carner, whose research topics range from the prophetic rhetoric of Minister Louis Farrakhan to the folk preaching tradition in African American churches.

In addition to these significant achievements, CTS will also confer degrees upon candidates from various master’s programs, including Theological Studies, Divinity, and Counseling. Each graduate represents a testament to CTS’s commitment to academic excellence, vocational preparation, and social justice.

Furthermore, the commencement ceremony will honor the Class of 1974 and the Class of 1999 for celebrating their 50th and 25th anniversaries, respectively. These alumni serve as inspirations to current and future generations of CTS students, embodying the seminary’s values of lifelong learning and service.

Special recognition will also be bestowed upon distinguished individuals who have made significant contributions to their communities and the field of theology:

  • Dr. Fernando F. Segovia: Receiving an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters in recognition of his groundbreaking scholarship in biblical studies and his dedication to advancing theological education.
  • Rev. Dr. Joretta L. Marshall: Receiving an honorary Doctor of Divinity for her exemplary leadership in pastoral ministry, counseling, and theological education.
  • Rev. Dr. Preston T. Adams, III: Receiving the Presidential Award of Excellence in honor of his outstanding service to CTS and his unwavering commitment to social justice and community empowerment.

Dr. David M. Mellott, President of CTS, expressed his pride and gratitude for the graduating class, stating, “Commencement 2024 is a celebration of the dedication, resilience, and passion of our students. As they embark on the next chapter of their journeys, I am confident that they will continue to make meaningful contributions to their communities and the world.”

The commencement ceremony serves as a momentous occasion to honor the achievements of graduates and celebrate the collective impact of the CTS community. It represents a culmination of years of hard work, perseverance, and transformative learning experiences. CTS extends its heartfelt congratulations to all graduates of the Class of 2024 and looks forward to witnessing the profound impact they will undoubtedly make in their respective fields and communities.

For more information about Christian Theological Seminary and its degree programs, please visit