5/15/17 ASHLAND, Ohio – Ashland Theological Seminary will confer 134 degrees to the members of 2017 graduating class at the commencement ceremony to be held Saturday, May 20, at 10 a.m. in the John C. Myers Convocation Center on the Ashland University campus. This year's Commencement Speaker is the Rev. Efrem Smith.
Rev. Smith is an internationally recognized leader who uses motivational speaking and preaching to equip people for a life of transformation. He also consults on issues of multi-ethnicity, leadership and community development for churches, educational institutions and other organizations.
Rev. Smith served as founding pastor of The Sanctuary Covenant Church and president of The Sanctuary Community Development Corporation in Minneapolis, Minn. He also served as the superintendent of the Pacific Southwest Conference of the Evangelical Covenant Church. Currently, he is the president and CEO of World Impact, an urban mission organization focusing on evangelism among the unreached urban poor, leadership development and church planting. He is also a teaching pastor at Bayside Church- Midtown in Sacramento, Calif. He is the author of the books, “The Hip Hop Church,” “Jump,” “The Post-Black and Post-White Church,” and Killing Us Softly.”
Rev. Smith is a graduate of Saint John’s University and Luther Theological Seminary. Currently, he is a doctoral student at Fuller Seminary in Pasadena, Calif. He is also a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, where he served as vice-chair of the National Chaplain’s Committee from 2007 to 2011. Rev. Smith is married to Donecia and has two daughters: Jaeda and Mireya.
The degrees to be conferred this year at the Seminary include Doctor of Ministry, Master of Arts (Biblical Studies), Master of Arts (Historical/Theological Studies), Master of Arts in Biblical Studies, Master of Arts in Black Church Studies, Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Master of Arts in Counseling, Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Care, Master of Arts in Practical Theology, Master of Divinity, Master of Divinity in Chaplaincy, and Diploma of Theology (Black Church 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.