Our fourth joint venture with colleagues from Potchefstroom was marked with the usual mixture of anticipation of a thoroughly enjoyable day and sense of dread that it could all go horribly wrong. Our fears were altogether misplaced, as the ceremony held on Saturday 7th October 2006 proved to be as delightful as any of its predecessors. Indeed, its success is a testament to the incredibly hard work at the planning (and pestering) stage by Mrs Peg Evans on behalf of GST and Ms Annelize Liebenberg at NWU. It will not be widely known that the preparation for the next Convocation begins virtually as soon as the last one is over.
Once again, the venue was South Africa House, Trafalgar Square, London. We are indebted to the hospitality of the staff for ensuring such an occasion was allowed to run trouble free and for allowing us to use the splendid facilities on offer, not only for the ceremony itself, but also for the various other meetings that take place beforehand. We must also thank Mr Johan Govea for his efforts in liaising between the establishments involved.
The ceremony itself, of course, belongs to the students and we were pleased that so many of them could be there to share the occasion with family and friends. Having been welcomed by Dr Stuart Sime, read to by Prof Roger Grainger from Acts 10:9-29 and prayed for by Prof Byron Evans, Dr Theuns Eloff addressed the congregation in his role as Vice-Chancellor of the University. Given that the majority of our students progress through their programmes as exclusively distance-learners, it is always a joy to put faces to names that have become so familiar over the years. Each student having been commended to Dr Eloff for the conferring of degrees, all that remained prior to the closing remarks and Benediction was for the award of the by now familiar prizes to those students who have demonstrated an especial level of academic excellence in their respective fields of study.
Profs Lee Longden and Ian Roche once again provided the piano accompaniment throughout the ceremony, which was followed by an informal afternoon tea and the opportunity to both renew old acquaintances and introduce more recent additions to the GST ‘family’.
DipTh (Diploma in Theology)
D Bryan Doxey: Bryan was our first Diploma graduand and has already signed up to continue his studies with us at Bachelors level.
Guy Alan Davies: Guy submitted a mini-dissertation entitled:
‘The Meaning and Significance of the Resurrection of Jesus.’
Trisha Susan Tindall (in absentia): Trisha’s mini-dissertation was entitled:
‘Repentance: Divine Enterprise or Just a Change of Mind?.’
William Winn (in absentia): Bill’s mini-dissertation was on:
‘William Tyndale: Rebel With A Cause.’
This Masters degree requires first the submission for approval of a Research Proposal followed by a dissertation of 35-40,000 words.
Ronald Martin Munro: Developing the work he began at Bachelors level, Ron earned a cum laude for his dissertation in Church and Dogma History:
‘The Effects, Influence & Legacy of the Reformation on Scottish History.’
Enrique Ramos (in absentia): Ricky is now progressing with PhD studies, having successfully submitted his dissertation for the MTh degree:
‘Traditional and Evangelical Adventism: A Comparative Study of the Two Main Theological Perspectives Among the Seventh-Day Adventists.’
Only those who already hold theology qualifications at Bachelors and research Masters degree level may embark on this degree programme, which requires a research thesis of approximately 60-80,000 words.
David Prothero: Pastor of the newly-formed Cornerstone Evangelical Church in Abergavenny, South Wales, David is only the second student to complete all three degrees with GST in association with NWU (formerly PUCHE). He submitted a thesis in Church and Dogma History entitled:
‘An Analysis and Theological Evaluation of Revival and Revivalism in America from 1730-1860’
Colin Philip Ryan: Also joining the elite band of GST students to have earned BA (Honours), MA and PhD through NWU (formerly PUCHE), Colin’s thesis in Church and Dogma History focused on:
‘Augustus M Toplady and John Wesley: Their Theological Controversy on Predestination.’
James Scott: Making up the quartet of students to have earned all three degrees with GST since our association with PUCHE/NWU, James’ doctoral thesis was:
‘An Evaluation of the Doctrine of Miraculous Healing within the Roman Catholic Tradition.’
Robert George Winston: From his home in Essex, where he is currently the minister of an Independent Baptist Church, Rob successfully submitted his thesis on:
‘Martin Bucer: His Influence on the English Reformation and Anglicanism.’
GST awarded the following prizes:
Revd Prof D Byron Evans Award: Mr Ronald Martin Munro
Prof Stephen W Need Award: Dr David Prothero
Dr Rupert Judge Memorial Award: Mrs Trisha Susan Tindall
As ever, our congratulations go to all successful graduands. We would also like to take this opportunity to thank all those involved in the process of ensuring that students reached the required standard in time to meet submission deadlines: Byron Evans, Peg Evans, Philip Eveson, Roger Grainger, Gerald Hughes, Robert Kennedy, Annelize Liebenberg, Derrick Mashau, Stephen Need, Ben Rees, Herrie van Rooy, Koos Vorster and Chris Woodall.