LTS Class of 2014 Marks New Page in Seminary’s History

Lexington, Ky., June 20, 2014 – Lexington Theological Seminary’s class of 2014 turned a new page in the Seminary’s history and in their own lives as they crossed the stage at Crestwood Christian Church today at the 148th Commencement.

The move from the old campus to the new was complete as LTS President Charisse L. Gillett conferred graduate and terminal degrees including Doctor of Ministry and Master of Divinity, with some students receiving certificates in ministry.

In an effort to more efficiently use the Seminary’s resources and to better focus on its mission – to prepare students for ministry – the Seminary in December moved from its home for the past 65 years on S. Limestone to the modern Lexington Green Circle complex. The Seminary plans to remain there during the transition from the old campus while considering what sort of permanent campus the institution will need going forward.

Today’s graduates are the final class to have completed their education at the S. Limestone site, but they are among the first to also study via the online delivery of many classes as they were immersed in the practice of ministry at churches and outreach ministries around the nation. Some students were bi-vocational – for example, working as a school secretary or a bookkeeper by day, ministering and studying by night and weekends. Others are longtime pastors who wanted to complete their education and enhance their ministry skills.

The class of 2014 includes:

Beth Ann Rupe, Moline, IL, D.Min.

Julia C. Cory, Chillicothe, OH, M.Div.

Tomeka Camille Jacobs, Frankfort, KY, M.Div.

Sarah Elizabeth Kingsbery, Charlotte, NC, M.Div.

Laurie Ann Metzko, Mantua, OH, M.Div.

Jacquelin Eileen Parlato, Ashland, KY, M.Div.

Nancy E. Zink, Smyrna, DE, M.Div.

Kim Gibson, Prestonsburg, KY, Certificate in Pastoral Ministry

Darlena Carol Wieger, Shepherdsville, KY, Certificate in Pastoral Ministry

Steven Todd Willis, Hot Springs, AR, Certificate in Pastoral Ministry

Lee Ann Higgins, Mount Olive, NC, Certificate in Pastoral Ministry

Peggy L. Pepers, Mesa, AZ, Certificate in Pastoral Ministry

The Rev. Dr. William Edwards, Regional Pastor and President of the Christian Church in Ohio (Disciples of Christ), delivered the keynote address. The President’s Award went to outgoing Board of Trustees chairman Rev. Gary Kidwell, and the Congregational Partner award went to Beargrass Christian Church in Louisville.

On Thursday, graduates were honored for their academic achievements. Award recipients are:

A. J. Whitehouse Pastoral Care Award – Laurie Metzko

George V. Moore Field Education Award – Laurie Metzko

Hal & Evelyn Watkins Field Education Award – Tomeka Jacobs

Sharyn Dowd Biblical Studies Award – Nancy Zink

W.A. and Billie Ruth Welsh New Testament Award – Jacque Parlato

Newton Fowler Ethics and Society Award – Laurie Metzko

Ronald Graham Senior Symposium Award – Julia Cory

Riley Montgomery – Carol Wieger

Robert & Linda Cueni Homiletics Award – Sarah Kingsbery

Richard Pope Church History Award – Sarah Kingsbery

Kitchen-Adams Pastor/Scholar Award – Beth Rupe


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