"Let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest-time, if we will not give up." Galatians 6:9

2014 ABSW Commencement

ABSW Class of 2014

The 2014 ABSW commencement celebration was held at Lakeshore Avenue Baptist Church in Oakland, where Rev. Dr. H. James Hopkins, ABSW alum and Trustee chair, is the pastor. The commencment address was delivered by Rev. Dr. Debora Jackson, Executive Director of the Ministers Council ABC USA. The honorary doctorate recipient was Congresswoman Barbara Lee who represents the 13th Congressional District. At this year's ceremony the first Certification in Ministerial Studies was awarded to a graduate of the Latino/a Initiative. Karen Okusu delivered the student reflection.

The graduates were inspired and encouraged by the words of Rev. Dr. Jackson. Below are excerpts from her address:

“We need women and men with a burning desire to discern God's plan. We need women and men with a hunger and willingness to blaze new trails in the wilderness. We need women and men who will fearlessly and boldly step forward saying, 'Here am I send me!' You are those men and women. You are those leaders. You are the ones who won't see the limits. You are the ones who will see the possibilities.”

“Your ministry may not look like mine. Your experiences won't be just like mine. Your call is not exactly like mine. But that is a good thing because God is doing a new thing . . . You may feel a call for a role that you’ve never heard of before, but be emboldened by simply saying, ‘I’ll go where you want me to go and I’ll do what you want me to do.’”

Click here to access a link to audio of the service.

Following is a list of the graduates and the awards presented at the ceremony. To view and/or purchase pictures from the commencement, 
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Honorary Doctorate
Congresswoman Barbara J. Lee

Certificate in Ministerial Studies (Latino/a Initiative)
José Roberto Alejo

Master of Divinity

John Milton Adams 
Ministry Project:  Developing Boyz into Men:  A Program for African American Youth 

Loretta Belton
Ministry Project: Prelude to Church Planting: Leadership Team Development

Jess Delegencia

Ronald E. Dillingham
Ministry Project:  Hunger, Homelessness, and Health

Andrew F. Josey
Ministry Project: Clinical Pastoral Education Residency at St. Francis Memorial Hospital, San Francisco

Karen Keiko Okusu
Ministry Project:  Prayer Journal Process for Protected Inmates at Elmwood Correctional Complex, Milpitas, CA

Michael Sumrall
Ministry Project:  Where is My Father? The State of African American Fatherhood


Rodrigo Garcia, Jr.
Internship:  Traveling Pentecostal Evangelist, Northern California

Jae Eun Kim
Internship:  Tri-Cities Salvation Army Corps Community Center and Church, Newark, CA

Young Ok Kwak
Internship: Albany United Methodist Church, Albany, CA 

Eun Jeong Lee
Internship:  Logos Church, Fremont, CA

Reginald W. Lyles
Internship:  Brother-to-Brother, Oakland, CA 


Barbara Elaine Jim-George
Dissertation Title:  Examining the Efficacy of a Faith-Based Rite of Passage Program to Mitigate the Risks of Human Trafficking for Teen Girls


Kwangjin Raymond Kim
Dissertation Title:  Conflict and Reconciliation: Dynamics of the Korean Community in the USA


Miguel Alfonso Fernandez Rojas
Dissertation Title: SPR Reading of the Book of Job: Life Celebration of People in the Town of Agua de Dios in Colombia


The L. Doward McBain Preaching Prize for relevancy, content and delivery

John Adams


The J. Alfred Smith, Sr. Award for outstanding ministry in the Black Church

Reginald Lyles


The Jessie Day Drexler Award for Pastoral Ministries

Ronald Dillingham


The Jessie Day Drexler Award for competence in the field of Bible and Theology


The Marian E. Bratcher Scholarship Prize in Functional Theology

Rodrigo Garcia


The Robert B. Laurin Scholarship Prize in Old Testament

Reginald Lyles


The Alexis Fields History Award

Karen Okusu


The Keith A. Russell Award for Prophetic Leadership in Community Ministry

Barbara Jim George


The Claiborne M. Hill Award for highest academic standing for an MDiv student

Karen Okusu


The Jessie Day Drexler Award for highest academic standing for a Masters degree student

Young Ok Kwak