Beaming soon-to-be graduates entered Maranatha Baptist University’s gym for a special evening celebration—the Baccalaureate service, which is a time of recognition and encouragement for the graduates as they commence the rest of their lives.
A highlight of this ceremony is the announcing of awards and accomplishments of students, which came right after the Heritage Singers ensemble sang “He Died For Me.”
After their special music, Dr. William Licht announced the students with the highest GPAs: Kathryn Borud, highest, and Charis Hammermeister, second highest.
The chair members announced the individual awards for their schools and colleges.
- Outstanding Science Student: Alison Renz
- Outstanding Online Student: Jason Dennis
- Outstanding College Student in Greek: Timothy Potter
- School of Business Student Achievement Award: Kate Halsey
- Outstanding Future Teacher: Kathryn Borud
- Outstanding Humanities Student: Caleb Prigge
- Outstanding Senior Musician: Mia Ray
- Florence Nightingale Best Bedside Nurse Award: Susan Brown
- Outstanding Seminary Student in Theology Award: Riley Brown, who earned a Master of Divinity
After the announcement of awards, two graduating seniors performed during the ceremony. Bethany Schimkus played “Grace Greater than Our Sins” on the violin for the offertory, accompanied by Mia Ray, also graduating.
“O give me grace to follow my Master and Friend,” sang graduating senior Brady Grismore in a song entitled “O Jesus, I Have Promised.”
In between the two specials, Dr. Bryan Brock, associate professor in Bible and Church Ministries, read II Timothy 3:1-17, a passage of scripture that talks of wisdom and where to find it: in the inspired Word of God.
Baccalaureate Message: Moses’ Journey of Faith
Dr. Matt Davis, Executive Vice President of MBU, delivered his sermon “Cycle of Faith,” which came from Hebrews 11:23-30. He illustrated Moses’ journey of faith.
“Authenticity has become the mantra of your generation,” Davis said in his opening statements. However, he warned against the world’s definition of authenticity, which is unbiblical, and puts the individual and their feelings as the definition of what is authentic. In contrast, he challenged the prospective graduates to embrace the biblical definition.
He depicted sin and its first great lie, which is that the pleasure of sin will last forever. But, using the illustration of Moses, he showed that the pleasure is temporary and consequences permanent. Davis appealed to the students that they carefully evaluate and count the cost of sin, and he urged them to choose to live for God.
“Take decisive action to abandon the world,” Davis said toward the conclusion of his sermon. “Launch out for God by faith and in obedience to His Word.”
Moses, raised by Pharaoh’s daughter “refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter.” He chose instead to suffer with God’s people.
Furthermore, Davis paralleled that scripture with 1 John 2:15-17, which states, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.”
“You cannot live by faith and dip one toe back in the world,” Davis said.
“We now see with perfect clarity God’s provision of the promised Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ—something Moses never saw in his years on earth,” Davis said in his closing remarks. “You can live a life of faith—a faith that abandons the world, commits fully to living for God, and has an eternal impact on others.”
In conclusion, Bob Loggans, pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Watertown, WI, offered the benediction, closing the Baccalaureate ceremony.