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Congratulations to the BST Class of 2021

Join with us virtually at 9am on May 15, 2021 as we celebrate our graduates and their remarkable accomplishments with our online commencement. The commencement video will be posted on our website and our Facebook page. We are so proud of all our Class of ‘21 graduates and look forward to this wonderful (virtual) celebration! Congratulations BST Class of ‘21!

BST to honor three at Commencement

On Saturday May 15th in the virtual commencement service, Berkeley School of Theology will honor three distinguished persons for their contributions to the church and society.

Dr. Kenneth Van Bik (BST ‘93) is the alumnus of the year. He serves as Assistant Professor of Linguistics at California State University, Fullerton and has done extensive research on historical languages in his native Burma.

Rev. Dr. Carolyn McKinstry is a recipient of BST’s Honorary Doctorate of Divinity and the featured commencement speaker. She survived the tragic bombing of the 16th St Baptist Church in Birmingham, AL in 1963 and used that experience to lead a life dedicated to enacting racial justice and reconciliation. She has remained active in Birmingham, serving in various community and religious roles.

Mr. Louis Barbarin is a recipient of BST’s Honorary Doctorate of Divinity and serves as the chief executive officer of Ministers and Missionaries Benefit Board (MMBB) Financial Services. He initially joined MMBB’s staff as assistant treasurer and has since served as treasurer, CFO, and deputy executive director before assuming the role of chief executive officer. He is on several boards and is active in various non-profits while also serving in the music ministry at his church.

Thank you to each of our honorees for their significant contributions to help make our world a better place!

Rev. Dr. J. Alfred Smith on Hope

Lamentations 4:17 (The Message) describes the Black experience of waiting for sleeping justice to wipe sleep from her eyes. ’’We watched and watched, wore our eyes out looking for help. And nothing. We mounted our lookouts and looked for the help that never showed up.’’ It never showed up for many others, specifically Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, but on April 20, 2021 dead hope was resurrected to a living reality with the verdict of Chauvin being guilty on all three counts. The Message Bible reminded us in the faith community that ‘’God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out, his/her merciful love couldn’t have dried up. They are created new every morning’’.

The saying, “God moves in mysterious ways” ceases to be trite and threadbare when we reflect on the teenager who filmed George Floyd’s death. Without her deep sense of right and wrong and her quick thinking of recording the video and sharing it on social media justice would not have been served.

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Happy 100th Birthday Hobart Hall!

This week is the 100th anniversary of the dedication and opening of Hobart Hall as part of the commencement festivities that weekend. It was hailed as a landmark event in Berkeley’s educational history and the dedication was attended by the mayor and various other local dignitaries. Designed by renowned architect Julia Morgan and constructed at a cost of $105,000, Hobart Hall immediately stood out as a shining example of an educational building. Rev. Charles H. Hobart, who the building is named after, gave the benediction at the dedication ceremony. Berkeley School of Theology is thankful for the many people that made the building of Hobart Hall possible and the countless number of people that have passed through the hallways in the past 100 years.

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