LTS celebrates 146th Commencement

DSC08796 2 LTS celebrates 146th Commencement
LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 11, 2012) – Recognized as a trailblazer in modern theological education, Lexington Theological Seminary paid tribute to its traditional roots today in the observance of the school’s 146th graduation service.

A piper, as he has many times before, led the procession across the seminary lawn to the mellow tones of a bagpipe. Hymns were sung, prayers were offered. Words of thanks were given for those who have contributed to the life of the seminary and the well-being of the students over the years. Students received hoods, diplomas, and a red flower. Words of encouragement filled the air as the Rev. Dr. Frank A. Thomas, senior pastor of Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church in Memphis, Tenn., delivered the keynote address, “Living Inside Out.” Traditions were carried out.

In doing so, LTS laid the foundation for new traditions as well. It was the first graduation ceremony presided over by the Seminary’s first female and African American president, Dr. Charisse L. Gillett. It was also the second graduation ceremony since the school underwent a radical shift to online classrooms and greater involvement of individual congregations in preparing students for ministry.

“It has been our privilege to journey with these students and families, and we believe they will make valuable contributions to the community as pastors, educators, chaplains and leaders,” said Dr. Gillett.

Two new traditions established today include:

• The first Presidential Award, which went to Dr. James M. “Sonny” Wray, Vice President of Advancement. Wray is an LTS graduate who has been a dedicated member of the LTS staff for 35 years and plans to retire in June. He also has served the church as a pastor, educator and lay leader.

• Special recognition of a teaching congregation. This year, President Gillett presented the award to Crestwood Christian Church of Lexington, Ky., in recognition of its role in helping to shape students for ministry and for its partnership with the Seminary to provide annual scholarships.

The 2012 graduating class of Lexington Theological Seminary includes:

• Paul Semisch, Morehead, Ky., Master of Arts

• Antoinette M. Hummeldorf, Lexington, Ky., Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies

• Kristine S. Ehlert, Lexington, Ky., Master of Divinity

• Cynthia Jones, Fort Thomas, Ky., Master of Divinity

• Jonathon Moyers, Pleasant Hill, Ill., Master of Divinity

• Steven Edward Sherman, Brandon, Fla., Master of Divinity

• Mark Benson, Kinston, N.C., Doctor of Ministry


Lexington Theological Seminary is an accredited graduate theological institution of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Consistent with the Disciples’ historic commitment to Christian unity, the Seminary is intentionally ecumenical with students, faculty, staff and trustees of various denominations. The Seminary has been preparing leaders for the church since 1865. For more information, visit

Homecoming 2012

Please join us for homecoming June 22 and 23, 2012. It will be great to see beloved, familiar faces from across the years!

Interested in downloading the full program of activities for Homecoming 2012: Click Here

You may register online here.


NOTE: We have secured a block of rooms at the following hotels.
Please indicate you are with Lexington Theological Seminary to receive the discounted rate.

 Holiday Inn Express
1000 Export Street
Lexington, KY  40504
(859) 389-6800
$89 a night

Residence Inn Beaumont
3110 Wall Street
Lexington, KY  40513
(859) 296-0460
$119.99 a night


Schedule of activities:

Register online for events here.

Friday, June 22

9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.:  Registration/Visiting/Coffee & Pastries
10:15 a.m.:  Gathering, Fellowship Hall
—————- •  Welcome and Seminary Greetings
—————- •  LTS on the Map
—————- •  Decade Stories: Wayne Bell – The Forties / Tanya Tyler – 2000′s

11:20 a.m.:  Break

12:00 p.m.:  Student Chapel

12:30 p.m.:  Lunch, Fellowship Hall
————–  • Welcome
————–  • Student Presentations
————–  • Decade Stories

1:15 p.m.:  Break

2:00 p.m.:  LTS Online:  Yes It Works:  Dr. Emily Askew

3:00 p.m.:  Technology in the Classroom:  It’s Not So Scary:  Ben Wyatt

3:30 p.m.:  Break and Opportunity to Join a Class (Limited Spaces)

5:30 p.m.:  Memorial Service, Sanders Chapel

6 p.m.:  Dinner, Fellowship Hall


Saturday, June 23 Cane Ridge Day      
**Wear your LTS t-shirt to Cane Ridge**

8 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.:  Breakfast and roundtable discussion with President Charisse Gillett
                                    • “Embracing a New Narrative:  LTS in the 21st Century”           

9:30 a.m.:  Gather at Cane Ridge

10 a.m.:  Early Cane Ridge and Religious Traditions:  Ellen Eslinger

12 p.m.:  Lunch (Box Lunches)

1 p.m.:  The Mode and Manner of Indian Warfare According to James Smith
and Other Captives: 
Ellen Eslinger

3 p.m.:  Return to Lexington & Break and Free Time

5:30 p.m.:  Gather at Crestwood

6 p.m.:  Retirement Dinner for Sonny Wray
———-  • Crestwood Christian Church

Noted preacher, author to speak at 146th graduation

Dr. Frank Thomas Noted preacher, author to speak at 146th graduation
LEXINGTON, KY, April 17, 2012 – The Rev. Dr. Frank A. Thomas, senior pastor of Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church in Memphis, Tenn., and author of multiple books including the upcoming American Dream 2.0: A Christian Way Out of the Great Recession, will deliver the keynote address at Lexington Theological Seminary’s 146th graduation service on Friday, May 11.

Thomas holds a Ph.D. in Communications (Rhetoric) from the University of Memphis, Doctor of Ministry degrees from Chicago Theological Seminary and United Theological Seminary, a Master of Divinity degree from Chicago Theological Seminary and a Master of Arts degree in African-Caribbean Studies from Northeastern Illinois University.  He serves as adjunct professor in the Doctor of Ministry in Preaching and Master of Divinity programs at McCormick Theological Seminary, adjunct professor of preaching at Memphis Theological Seminary and teaches preaching in churches, ministerial associations, and denominational groups all over the country.

Thomas also is a professional coach who preaches and teaches nationally and internationally. Additionally, he hosts 15 Minutes of Faith with Dr. Frank A. Thomas, a weekly radio ministry that speaks to the well being of body, mind and soul.

The graduation service is at 10 a.m. at Memorial Hall on the University of Kentucky campus adjacent to Lexington Theological Seminary. A bagpipe processional will precede the service.

Scheduled graduation events are:

* Wednesday, April 25:
6 p.m. 21st annual rose ceremony and dinner honoring women graduates, in memory of the late Rev. Karen Stroup

* Thursday, May 10:
11:45 a.m. Lunch and Awards (LTS Fellowship Hall)
1:30 p.m. Senior Communion (Sanders Chapel)
2:45 p.m. Graduation rehearsal

** Friday, May 11:
10 a.m. Graduation (Memorial Hall), reception to follow in LTS Fellowship Hall

* Private events   ** Open to the public

Lexington Theological Seminary is an accredited graduate theological institution of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).  Consistent with the Disciples’ historic commitment to Christian unity, the Seminary is intentionally ecumenical with students, faculty, staff and trustees of various denominations. The Seminary has been preparing leaders for the church since 1865. For more information, visit

A Way with Words: Alumni Find Voices as Authors

“Inspiration comes from many sources, but in general I think of it as a kind of intent awareness of the world, listening for the possibilities of stories in the events and circumstances of every day life,” author Kim Edwards says.

Edwards, whose first novel, The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, spent 20 weeks at number one on the New York Times Best Seller list, notes that her world view was influenced by her years as a student at LTS from 2004 to 2006.

“Dr. (William O.) Paulsell (former president of LTS) once said in class that there’s no way of knowing how reading a book will resonate for a person or help shape that person’s perspective, and this is true.  Certainly, the classes I took at LTS continue to influence the way I see the world.  More specifically, my most recent novel, The Lake of Dreams, is structured as a quest story, where the narrator seeks to … resolve various issues of brokenness that have kept her stuck in old patterns, unable to live fully.  There’s also an important theme in regard to the position of women in the church. … I wanted to explore the ways in which the silencing of women’s stories creates imbalances and dysfunctions that resonate through time.

“Many of the authors I first read and studied during my time at LTS informed my thinking as I wrote.  These are authors I continue to read and return to again and again, for pleasure and for wisdom,” Edwards says.

Jane Myers Perrine, ‘87, author of seven previous books, publishes the first in a new series this spring.  The Welcome Committee of Butternut Creek tells the story of a how a young minister who attended an “unnamed seminary in Lexington” is called to serve the Christian Church in Butternut Creek, Tex. Rev. Perrine and her husband, George, ‘67, met at LTS (she first attended from 1964-66) and have served Disciples churches for nearly 50 years.  “Those experiences have influenced me as an author,” Perrine says.

Tom Money, ‘58, taps into his life experiences outside his 50 years in pastoral ministry. An avid golfer, Money’s latest book, One Shot of Murder, focuses on the thrilling journey of a professional golfer who unwillingly becomes involved in murder and international intrigue. The book is published by Friesen Press, the publishers of the Harry Potter series.

Jewish Views of Jesus/Jews, Christians and Israel: Lecture Series

The theological boundaries and historical relationship between Jews and Christians is the focus of a pair of back-to-back lectures offered by rabbi, speaker, author, and professor David Sandmel this month.

The lectures are part of the Moosnick Lectureship in Judaic Studies, sponsored by the Moosnick Endowment. Sandmel’s lectures are presented by Transylvania University, Lexington Theological Seminary, Ohavay Zion Synagogue, and Temple Adath Israel. Both lectures are free and open to the public.

Sandmel will present the first lecture, “Jewish Views of Jesus,” Thursday, March 29, at 7 p.m. in Strickland Auditorium on the Transylvania University campus.

The second lecture, “Jews, Christians, and Israel” is March 30 at 5 p.m. at Temple Adath Israel.

Sandmel is the Crown-Ryan Professor of Jewish Studies at the Catholic Theological Union and Rabbi Educator at Temple Sholom, both in Chicago. He is a former director of the National Jewish Scholars Project, a major initiative to promote discussion within the Jewish community and between Jews and Christians about the differences and similarities between the two traditions. He is the co-editor of Christianity in Jewish Terms.  In addition, he is the lead editor of Irreconcilable Differences? A Learning Resource for Jews and Christians Press, which focuses on core theological issues on the boundary between Judaism and Christianity. Sandmel is also involved in Jewish-Muslim dialogue and in the tri-lateral dialogue between Jews, Christians, and Muslims.

Sandmel chairs the Committee on Interfaith Activities of the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) and is a CCAR Representative to the Joint UAHC-CCAR Commission on Interfaith Relations, the National Council of Synagogues, and The International Jewish Committee on Interfaith Consultations.

Seminary announces $50,000 matching gift challenge

Lexington, Ky., March 13, 2012 – Lexington Theological Seminary President Charisse L. Gillett announced today a $50,000 matching gift challenge. A group of faithful donors will match all qualifying gifts received by July 31, 2012, up to $50,000.

“Supporting this dollar-for-dollar Mission and Ministry Challenge provides LTS with the ability to continue to fulfill its mission to prepare faithful leaders for the church,” said Dr. Gillett. “We are grateful for the generosity of our donors and trustees and the hard work of our development office that made this possible.”

Donations help support the new model of theological education that LTS launched in 2010. The groundbreaking program shifts the center of education from the classroom to the church and allows students to pursue a Master of Divinity degree by taking classes online and on campus.

Gillett noted that the program:

• places high value on the role of the congregation in helping form students
for ministry
• teams students with experienced pastors as mentors
• integrates the academic and congregational experiences
• cultivates meaningful relationships with peers in covenant groups
• endeavors to sustain graduates in ministry by encouraging an ongoing
relationship with the Seminary

“Seventh Street Christian Church Foundation is pleased to partner with our Seminary to encourage support for its new program.  We invite Disciples to join us in this important work,” said foundation trustee Wayne Light. “Your increased gift will help us mentor and nurture students into the pastoral life,” Gillett said. Interested donors may contact Sonny Wray or Mark Blankenship in the Office of Advancement and Development at (859) 280-1245.


Lexington Theological Seminary is an accredited graduate theological institution of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).  Consistent with the Disciples’ historic commitment to Christian unity, the Seminary is intentionally ecumenical with students, faculty, staff and trustees of various denominations. The Seminary has been preparing leaders for the church since 1865. For more information, visit

The Bulletin, Spring 2012, Vol. 48, No. 1

Download the pdf here.

Face to face: Michael Junkroski

M.Div. student Michael Junkroski talks candidly about the online program at Lexington Theological Seminary, his fellow students and what it means to his congregation and ministry.

Dr. Richard Weis installed as Dean and VP

DSC02018 Dr. Richard Weis installed as Dean and VPSee the installation service for Dr. Richard Weis by clicking the link to the left.

Dr. Weis was installed Sunday, Jan. 22, as the 17th Dean and Vice President of Academic Affairs at Lexington Theological Seminary.

Library hours change

Beginning January 30, Bosworth Memorial Library will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (rather than 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) Monday through Friday. The library will be closed on Saturdays.