Gateway holds commencement ceremony for ’20 and ’21

Jun 7, 2021

Nine students graduated in the commencement ceremony of Gateway Seminary held May 29 at CalvaryPHX Church in Phoenix. In addition, three others who earned degrees in 2020 — when commencement was not held due to the pandemic — returned to walk across the stage this year.

Dallas Bivins, director of Gateway’s Arizona Campus presided over the ceremony. Jeff Iorg, president of Gateway Seminary, conferred the degrees and gave a charge to the graduating class.

The degrees and their recipients (2020 graduates noted with an asterisk) were:

— Doctor of Ministry: James Alden Brown, whose project was “Evangelism Methods and Processes Within Army Special Forces During Deployments”; David Gainey, whose project was “A Plan for Equipping Parents At Oasis”

— Master of Divinity: Michael Grigsby

— Master of Theological Studies: David Buiten, Terrance Charles Ellman Sr.*, John David Filoteo, Joshua Hogue, Darrell Ingram*, Dillon Le, Erik Maness*, Leslie Martin and Laura Parisi Thomas

— Master of Global Engagement: Gregory Paul Salyer II.

Debra Wolfrey, adjunct professor at the Arizona Campus, presented the 2021 Dan & Harriet Stringer Award to Leslie Martin. This award recognizes a graduate who has persevered through significant personal hardship to pursue his or her seminary education. Dan Stringer was a former executive director of the Arizona Southern Baptist Convention and was instrumental in establishing the Arizona Campus. The recipient of this award is selected by the faculty of the Arizona Campus.

Iorg urged the graduates to find people who will faithfully pray for them, to surround and support their future ministries. They will not yield kingdom fruit if not for the faithful prayers of those around them, he said.

Josh Hogue, executive pastor at First Southern Baptist Church of Scottsdale, said, “Graduating this year and being able to walk with the 2020 class was a perfect celebration of accomplishment and overcoming difficulty for many of us. My graduation ended a 14-year journey of my seminary education from start to finish. I am grateful that God allowed me the opportunity to finish my degree at Gateway Seminary’s Arizona Campus.”

2020 graduate Michael Grigsby, North Phoenix Baptist Church Flagstaff campus pastor, said, “Having the opportunity to walk with the class of 2021 was an incredible capstone on my studies here at Gateway. I am excited to see what the Lord is going to do with this education and the sacrifice of my family — especially my wife, Alicia — and friends to make it happen.”

Scott Gourley, a 2019 doctor of ministry graduate from Gateway, gave the invocation. David Johnson, executive director of the Arizona Southern Baptist Convention and a Gateway adjunct professor, gave the benediction.

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