Topic outline

  • GCS Graduation 2013

    On August 4, 2013, Grace Communion Seminary conducted its first-ever graduation ceremony in conjunction with the international meeting of Grace Communion International in Orlando, Florida. Here are some of the photos taken by Doug Johannsen and Janet Morrison.


  • Processional

    While Phyllis Duke played "Pomp and Circumstance," the Board of Directors, the faculty and the students filed in. President Russell Duke led the procession, followed by Chairman of the Board Joseph Tkach and board member Dan Rogers. 

    Phyllis Duke and Jeremy Ketchum Russell Duke leads the processional 

    Mike Morrison, Susan Earle, Ron Kelly, John McKenna, Mike Feazell, and Gary Deddo

    Right to left: Dean of Faculty Mike Morrison, Registrar Susan Earle, Board members Ron Kelly, John McKenna, Mike Feazell (emeritus), and Gary Deddo (faculty).

    John Huffman, Bill Ford, Bonnie Fairchild, and Sam ButlerKen Williams, Mike Swagerty, and Karl Reinagel

    Graduating students, right to left: Ken Williams, Mike Swagerty, Karl Reinagel, John Huffman, Bill Ford, Bonnie Fairchild, and Sam Butler. Each graduate carries the academic hood on the right arm.

    students and faculty on the first row

    Students and faculty lined up on the first row. To the right of the seven graduates are faculty members Eric Wilding, Ted Johnston, Neil Earle, Gary Deddo, then Mike Feazell, John McKenna, and Ron Kelly.

    • Part 1

      Sandy Swagerty, wife of graduate Mike Swagerty, gave the invocation. Then everyone joined in singing "Holy, Holy, Holy" and "Amazing Grace - My Chains Are Gone."

      Sandy Swagerty Russell Duke, Joseph Tkach, Dan Rogers, Pat Shaw, Mike Morrison

      After faculty member Pat Shaw read Matthew 17:1-8, Russell Duke gave the commencement address, titled "Reconciliation in Transfiguration."

      Pat Shaw Russell Duke

      • Part 2: Awarding degrees

        After Dean of Faculty Mike Morrison presented the candidates for the Master of Pastoral Studies degree, and President Russell Duke accepted the candidates, they came forward in alphabetical order. Joseph Tkach and Dan Rogers placed the hood over their heads, and Russell Duke gave them the diplomas.

        Sam Butler gives his hood to Dan Rogers Russell Duke gives the diploma to Sam Butler

        Sam Butler. His thesis was titled "Church and Community: Staying Relevant in a Changing World."

        Bonnie Fairchild Bonnie Fairchild

        Bonnie Fairchild. Thesis: "Persons of All Races Are Included in God’s Plan to Adopt Humanity"

        Bill Ford Bill Ford

        Bill Ford, "Thomas F. Torrance and the Problem of Limited Atonement: Faith Seeking Understanding for a Pastor’s Theology of Ministry"

         John Huffman John Huffman

        John Huffman, "An Argument Against the Teachings of the Immortal Soul"

        Karl Reinagel Karl Reinagel

        Karl Reinagel, "The Role of Encouragement in Pastoral Ministry"

        Mike Swagerty Mike Swagerty

        Mike Swagerty, "Church Growth in America: Whose Responsibility Is It?"

        Russell Duke, Merv Walton and Mike Morrison

        Merv Walton, with a thesis titled "Ethics in the Prison Epistles," lives in Singapore and was unable to attend in Orlando. We gave him his diploma when he was in California in June.

        Ken Williams Ken Williams

        Ken Williams, "Marriage Is Good, But Is It a Sacrament?"

        GCS students may read the theses online at

        • After the ceremony

          all participants

          Front row: Board of directors: Russell Duke, Dan Rogers, Ron Kelly, Joseph Tkach, Mike Feazell (emeritus), Pat Shaw, and John McKenna.

          Center row: Graduates: Bonnie Fairchild, Mike Swagerty, Karl Reinagel, Ken Williams, Bill Ford, John Huffman, and Sam Butler.

          Back row: Faculty and staff: Susan Earle, Neil Earle, Ted Johnston, Mike Morrison, Eric Wilding, and Gary Deddo.

          seven graduates

          Graduates: Karl Reinagel, Ken Williams, Mike Swagerty, Bonnie Fairchild, Sam Butler, John Huffman, and Bill Ford

          Sam Butler Bonnie Fairchild Bill Ford John Huffman Karl Reinagel Mike Swagerty Ken Williams