6/4/13 ASHLAND, Ohio - Ashland Theological Seminary will confer 146 degrees to the 144 members of 2013 graduating class at the commencement ceremony to be held Saturday, June 8, at 10 a.m. in the John C. Myers Convocation Center on the Ashland University campus.
The Reverend Dr. Leah Gaskin Fitchue will deliver the ceremony’s commencement address, which she has titled “Welcome to Perfect Timing.”
Dr. Fitchue is the first woman to serve as president of Payne Theological Seminary, a 166 year-old institution sponsored by the African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church. She is the first African American woman president of the 254 Association of Theological Schools (ATS) and the first woman to serve as president of any historically black theological seminary.
Prior to her historical election, Dr. Fitchue was professor of religious studies at Hampton University, Hampton, Va., and served as executive vice president and academic dean of the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC) in Atlanta, Ga.
In addition, she was president of the Gaskin Fitchue Group, a consulting firm specializing in leadership development, organizational and community transformation for church and faith-based organizations.
Dr. Fitchue holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech Pathology from Douglass College of Rutgers University, a Master’s of Science degree in Speech Pathology from the University of Michigan, a Master’s of Divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary, and an Ed.D. in Administration, Planning & Social Policy from Harvard University.
She also has completed post-graduate training at the Institute for Educational Management, Harvard University. She is an ordained Itinerant Elder in the A.M.E. Church and serves as Associate Minister of Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church, Philadelphia, Pa., and has served in this capacity at Jones Tabernacle A.M.E. Church, Philadelphia, Pa., and Mt. Zion A.M.E. Church, Trenton, N.J.
The degrees to be conferred at the seminary commencement include doctor of ministry; master of divinity; master of arts in clinical mental health counseling; master of arts in counseling; master of arts in religion; master of arts in practical theology; master of arts in biblical, historical and theological studies; diploma of theology in black church studies; and diploma of theology in Hispanic studies.
Ashland Theological Seminary is a graduate division of Ashland University. With campuses in Ashland, Detroit, Cleveland and Columbus, Ashland Theological Seminary integrates theological education with Christ-centered transformation as it equips men and women for ministry in the church and the world. ###