Hatch to address divinity students during school's opening convocation

By Jacob McConnico
Aug. 22, 2005

Wake Forest University's newly appointed president, Nathan O. Hatch, will help the Divinity School kick off its seventh academic year by delivering the school's opening convocation address at 11 a.m. Aug. 30. The event is free and open to the public.

Hatch will deliver the address "On Being Deliberate" during a ceremony which includes a welcome from Divinity School Associate Dean Katherine E. Amos, a call to confession and assurance of God's grace from Associate Dean Jill Y. Crainshaw, an introduction of the speaker and benediction by Divinity School Dean Bill J. Leonard, scripture readings, and musical selections from Johann Sebastian Bach. Musical selections will be performed by Donald L. Armitage, the university's organist.

The event marks a new year for the Divinity School and its 100 students. The school, which opened in 1999 and graduated its first class in 2002, will welcome 41 first-year students this year. The new students come to Wake Forest from 14 different states and represent seven religious denominations.

The Wake Forest Divinity School offers the three-year master of divinity degree in an ecumenical, full-time program. The school's graduates have gone on to serve in a variety of fields including the ministry and in the nonprofit sector.

The divinity program at Wake Forest offers a curriculum that includes instruction in traditional seminary subjects like biblical studies, church history, theology, homiletics (the art of preaching), spirituality and pastoral care taught by full-time Divinity School faculty.

Hatch, previously provost at the University of Notre Dame, took office as the 13th president of Wake Forest July 1, after being elected by Wake Forest's board of trustees last January. Regularly cited as one of the most influential scholars in the study of the history of religion in America, Hatch won national acclaim for his 1989 book, "The Democratization of American Christianity."

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