Historic milestones mark 2019 Spring Commencement at Trinity International University

  • Professor Peter Cha leads the processional at spring graduation on the Trinity International University campus in Deerfield.David Beirne, Trinity International University

    Professor Peter Cha leads the processional at spring graduation on the Trinity International University campus in Deerfield.David Beirne, Trinity International University

Communication and Creative Services - Trinity International University
Updated 5/14/2019 11:11 AM

Trinity International University conferred about 420 degrees to undergraduate, graduate, law, and divinity students during Spring Commencement ceremonies this month in Florida, Illinois and California.

When added to the totals from Fall Graduation, TIU has awarded just more than 500 degrees during the 2018-19 academic year.


In Deerfield, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (TEDS), Trinity Graduate School and the undergraduate college conferred degrees during ceremonies May 10-11 in Van Dixhorn Arena.

"We are grateful for all of the students recognized at this commencement service," president David S. Dockery said. "We applaud their hard work and pray for God's gracious blessings and guidance on their lives."

Within this 122nd annual commencement, the graduates hold citizenship in at least 18 nations. They come from as far away as India, Nigeria and Germany.

The ceremonies marked several historic institutional milestones:

• TEDS welcomed its first Korean Doctor of Ministry graduating class from Seoul. The 17 graduates took their entire course of study in Korean and flew to Deerfield to receive their degrees.

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• A degree granted in absentia to Terry Allen represents the first Master of Arts in Theological Studies at TEDS completed fully online. Allen lives in Coffs Harbour, Australia, about 9,000 miles from TIU.

• Bramwell Wekesa Simiyu participated in the ceremony and received the Master of Arts in Bioethics through the new Kenya program. It is the third international location for bioethics education at Trinity, joining India and China.

• Three members of the TEDS faculty retire at the end of the 2018-19 academic year. They are Bruce L. Fields, professor of faith and culture; James K. Hoffmeier, professor of Old Testament and ancient Near Eastern history and archaeology; and John F. Kilner, director of bioethics programs, professor of bioethics and contemporary culture, and the Franklin and Dorothy Forman chair of Christian ethics and theology. Together, their careers represent 77 years of experience at TEDS and Trinity Graduate School. Each has been named an emeritus professor.

Daniel Dong-won Lee delivered the Deerfield commencement addresses from Jeremiah 33:1-3 and Luke 15:25-29. His address, titled "Vision and Obedience," focused on the importance of global evangelism at this moment in history.


"Lift your eyes to see the entire global village that God loves so much," Lee said. "There are so many unreached people who are still waiting for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Lift your eyes and see that the fields are white unto harvest."

Lee, an author who also has pastored large congregations in South Korea and the United States, earned a Doctor of Missiology degree in 1994 from TEDS. During campus recognitions, TEDS recognized him as the 2019 Alumnus of the Year.

"We are thrilled to have someone of Dr. Lee's stature and influence to speak to this year's graduates and their families," Dockery said.

In two separate ceremonies, TIU awarded 78 law degrees in Fullerton, California, and 42 undergraduate and graduate degrees at TIU-Florida in Fort Lauderdale.

The Deerfield ceremonies streamed live on the internet, and archived recordings of each service are available for viewing at stream.tiu.edu in the "on demand" section.

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