Graduation celebrations for ALC
17 January 2011
Hundreds of parents, friends, family and supporters crowded into the Concordia College Chapel in Highgate, SA, on 27 November 2010 to witness the Australian Lutheran College graduation.
ALC students receive their awards
‘Our students are women and men of extraordinary calibre and potential, and you have willingly undertaken the study of sacred theology to explore and expand your calling,’ said ALC Principal Pastor John Henderson.
‘Your study will not usually result in immediate personal profit, but equip you for ongoing ministry and service. I stand in awe of your desire and commitment to be part of this great adventure of faith. The church needs you, the world needs you, and I pray that God may give you strength and courage wherever and whenever you need it.
‘I pray that, when you are called to give account of your faith, what you have learned and experienced at ALC will stand you in good stead as you make your good confession. I offer my warm congratulations to today’s graduands, those of you who are here, and those who are unable to be present.
‘Throughout this year it has been a privilege for me to serve this community as Principal. Thank you to everybody—students, families, staff, church, supporters, and friends—for all your contributions, for being part of who we are, and for believing in what we do and who we can be in Christ.’
Of the 51 students being recognised at the ceremony, 27 attended to receive their certificates, diplomas or degrees. 35 students received vocational certificates at the ceremony.
Head of the School of Educational Theology, Rev Dr Malcolm Bartsch, who will be retiring in February, presented 23 Lutheran Strand students with their vocational certificates, which indicate eligibility to be considered for accreditation as a teacher in a Lutheran school during the first year of teaching in a Lutheran school.
LCA President Rev’d Dr Michael Semmler thanked the parishes who regularly pray for and support the staff and students of ALC on behalf of the LCA. To the graduates, he said, ‘Expectations will occupy your thoughts. Your own expectations of yourself, the expectations of those around you, real or perceived—these will conflict and threaten and rob you of peace. At times you will reach a compromise or even a balance—but then you will have doubts again.
‘Your consolation is in what God expects. In Christ you have the status of a child of God. That is given to you. Such news is too good not to share.’
Pastor John Henderson began his report by defining the role of ALC. ‘Australian Lutheran College is a prelude act in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ through his Church today,’ he said.
‘We establish credentials. We ensure the reading of Scripture and the learning of Christian faith and tradition. We develop intellectual, practical, and personal engagement with the Word, the world, and the purposes of God.’
It was also a day of quiet reflection, punctuated by a performance of Mozart’s ‘Eine kleine Nachtmusik’ performed by the Pietsch Family String Duo, on how far each student, as well as the College, has come over the past few years. In his address, Pastor John reflected on ALC’s many achievements for 2010.
‘ALC has continued to pursue the goal of providing and facilitating Lutheran theologically-based educational services across all streams of post-secondary education,’ Pastor John said. ‘This is the vision set out in our 2009–2015 Strategic Plan. We have arrived at more than one major milestone along the path to this vision.
‘2010 has been the first year of operation of our new Academic Board, replacing the previous Academic Standards Advisory Committee. In October we hosted a visit of the Audit Panel of the Australian Universities Quality Agency. Early indications are that the report finds us in a good state of health, with productive work behind us, and fruitful work to go on with.
‘This year we have celebrated the 50 year jubilee of the Löhe Memorial Library, opened on 2 October 1960. Thousands of students have now explored its expanding contents.
‘Through a partnership with Delta Ministries, ALC introduced Vocational Education and Training to its mix of offerings. People are starting to hear about Grassroots Training as an operational arm of ALC. Several LCA departments and boards have shown enthusiasm for the opportunity this presents. In 2011 we will continue to consolidate this initiative, and celebrate and explore the potential and intricacies this introduces to our community and our service to the church.’
Pastor John also farewelled three senior teaching staff members who are retiring this year: Dr Meryl Jennings; Dr Greg Lockwood; and Dr Malcolm Bartsch.
Updated: 17/01/2011 [1.00]
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