Past Events

April 14, 2016

Northeastern Seminary holds 16th Annual Commencement

On Saturday, May 14, 2016, over 40 graduates celebrate the completion of their advanced degrees from Northeastern Seminary in the Cultural Life Center at Roberts Wesleyan College. Dr. Dennis C. Dickerson, James M. Lawson, Jr. professor of history at Vanderbilt University gives the keynote address.

Graduates earn degrees from a variety of programs including Doctor of Ministry, Master of Divinity, and Master of Arts, and will be joined by 15 additional students who will be awarded certificates from two Christian ministry programs. Graduates come from across New York State and from as far away as Texas, Iowa and Kentucky. They represent diverse church backgrounds including Baptist, Catholic, Episcopal, Free Methodist, Independent, Presbyterian, United Methodist, and Wesleyan and their plans for service include placements in church ministry, child protection ministries, and chaplaincy settings, to name a few.

Doctor of Ministry graduates Esther Gillie, Roberta Mosier-Peterson, Nathan Sanders, and Marlowe Washington have successfully defended their dissertations on the topics spiritual nurture for cancer patients, the experiences of female pastors in the Free Methodist Church, developing a program of advocacy and restorative ministry for Christian leaders in crisis of transition, and the nature of urban poverty and the progressive mission of the neighborhood church.

Unique to this year’s graduating class is a married couple, Jeffrey and Margaret Cappello, of Avon , N.Y. They are both graduating with Master of Divinity degrees, Jeff with a concentration in Transformational Leadership and Margaret with a concentration in Spiritual Formation. Their student reflections on the seminary experience will be part of the commencement ceremony.

As the featured speaker and a scholar of African American religious history, American labor history, and the history of the U. S. Civil Rights Movement, Dr. Dickerson has much in common with the Seminary’s legacy of activism among the impoverished and enslaved as framed by B.T. Roberts. Dickerson is also interested in the social history of American medicine and Wesleyan Studies. He wrote“Out of the Crucible,” which examines in depth the century-long struggle of Black laborers in the iron and steel industry of western Pennsylvania. His most recent book, “African American Preachers and Politics: The Careys of Chicago,” details the story of two African American ministers and their struggle to balance both sacred and secular worlds. Dr. Dickerson served as historiographer of the African Methodist Episcopal Church from 1988 to 2012 and as president of the American Society of Church History from 2004 to 2005.

For a full schedule and details visit or call 585.594.6420