Past Events

May 12, 2017

Northeastern Seminary holds 17th Annual Commencement

Thirty-four graduates celebrate the completion of their advanced degrees from Northeastern Seminary on Saturday, May 13, 2017, in the Cultural Life Center at Roberts Wesleyan College. Rev. Mark Webb, bishop of the Upper New York Conference of The United Methodist Church gives the keynote address, titled “Essentials.”

Bishop Webb, who served in multiple pastoral positions, now provides general oversight to the worldly and spiritual interests of 867 local United Methodist churches and 65 new faith communities, and its 168,000 members, in 12 districts, in 49 of the 62 counties in New York state. His participation in this ceremony coincides with the approval by the University Senate of The United Methodist Church for Northeastern Seminary’s Master of Divinity to be recognized as preparation for ordination in The United Methodist Church. Also participating in the ceremony is Rev. Vonda Fossitt, district superintendent of the Genesee Valley District, based in Rochester.

Graduates earn degrees from five programs: Doctor of Ministry, Master of Divinity, and Master of Arts Theological Studies, Master of Arts in Transformational Leadership, Master of Arts in Theology and Social Justice. They are joined by three certificate of advanced pastoral studies graduates, who completed post-graduate coursework in ministry studies, and seven certificate in Christian ministry recipients from three distinct Christian ministry programs: Northeastern’s Center for Theological Studies, the Rochester Institute of Christian Education, and New Hope Bible Institute.

Graduates come from across New York State and from as far away as Arizona, Jamaica, and California. They reflect the diversity of the Seminary serving in such denominations and traditions as African Methodist Episcopal, Christian Methodist Episcopal, Church of God in Christ, Free Methodist, Independent, Missionary Baptist, Presbyterian, United Methodist, and Wesleyan. Their plans for service include placements in church ministry, chaplaincy settings, new ministries, and social work as well as lay leadership roles.

Doctor of Ministry graduates James Corbin, Kevin Cotter, Sabrina D’Rozario, Ajilon Ferdinand, and Robert Spratt have successfully defended their dissertations on the topics of worship renewal, kindness initiatives, the spiritual impact of a church’s physical and geographical location, a Caribbean  theological perspective, and church growth.

For a full schedule and details visit or call 585.594.6420. To live stream the ceremony visit on Saturday, May 13, 2017 at 1:30 p.m.