Graduations are bittersweet. On the one hand, I love celebrating what God has done in and through the lives of our incredible students. And, I’m always excited about the possibilities that lie ahead for them. But, on the other hand, it’s always a bit sad to say goodbye. And, that’s doubly true for me with our Th.M. students since they’re the ones that I get to work most closely with.
At Western Seminary‘s graduation ceremony today, we got to celebrate the achievements of three of our Th.M. students. They’ve all done a great job in the program, and have some outstanding possibilities before them.
- Adam Bottiglia. Adam has done an outstanding job working through his Th.M. in theology. With a wide range of writing and research interests (in addition to running his yo-yo company), Adam could have gone in several different directions after his program. But, he had to pick one. So, this fall he’ll be headed to Trinity Evangelical Divinity School where he will be doing doctoral work in church history with Dr. John Woodbridge.
- Billy Cash. In addition to finishing a Th.M. in theology, Billy has served as my grad fellow for the last two years. So, I’m particularly sad to see him go, since now I need to train a new grad fellow. Billy’s done a particularly fine job with his studies in systematic and historical theology, for which he received the Church History Award and the Kerr Award in Theology at today’s ceremony. Billy and his wife are currently looking at a couple of options for next year, including pursuing doctoral studies in systematic theology.
- Dave Barnhart. I’m always excited when a student pursues a Th.M. in order to deepen their ministry in and for the local church. And, Dave stands as an excellent example of this desire. While working on his Th.M., Dave has also been serving as a full-time missions pastor at a church in Montana. So, he’s had to write his thesis around his various ministry responsibilities and in-between his trips all over the world. I’m never sure where Dave is at any particular moment, but I know he’s doing ministry somewhere. And, having completed his Th.M., I know that he’ll continue to serve the church faithfully as he has for so many years.
Outstanding students, godly leaders, and really nice guys. It’s sad to see them go, but exciting to see where they’re headed.
Congratulations! Our prayers go with you.