SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Evangel University and its seminary will see a total of 509 degrees conferred this spring in two graduation ceremonies.
The 59th Annual Commencement ceremony for Evangel University will be held on Friday, May 5, 2017, at 9:30 a.m. in the James River Church auditorium in Ozark, Mo. The speaker will be Hal Donaldson, president of Convoy of Hope.
More than 4,000 family and friends from around the world will celebrate 456 Evangel graduates earning 361 bachelors’, 58 master’s and 37 associate’s degrees, 32 of which are from EU’s James River Leadership Campus.
In addition, the 44th Annual Commencement for the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary will be held on Saturday morning, May 6, in the Robert H. Spence Chapel auditorium. Three 2017 graduates will share their stories as a part of the ceremony.
There will be 53 degrees conferred by AGTS, of which 33 are master’s and 20 are doctoral degrees.
Evangel and AGTS will honor the Class of 2017 with a series of events and activities from Wednesday, May 3, to Saturday, May 6.
Hal Donaldson, Hall of Fame Humanitarian
“Evangel University helped shape my priorities and expand my vision for mobilizing the church to bring help and hope to millions of hurting people,” said Hal Donaldson, president and co-founder of Convoy of Hope, a faith-based, non-profit organization that leads humanitarian initiatives across the United States and around the world.
Donaldson will be the speaker for Evangel’s graduation on Friday morning.
“We are honored to count Hal Donaldson as an alumnus of Evangel,” said Dr. Carol Taylor, president of the University.
“Hal and his brothers established Convoy of Hope in 1994, and in the ensuing years, nearly $1 billion (retail value) worth of food and supplies have been distributed to more than 80 million people in need. They embody Evangel’s core value of service and community in an extraordinary and inspiring way,” she said.
On April 13, 2017, Donaldson was inducted into the Missouri Public Affairs Hall of Fame. The hall was recently established by Missouri State University to honor individuals, who through their academic, personal or professional achievements, demonstrate active civic engagement to improve the lives of others.
Charity Navigator, America’s largest and most-utilized independent evaluator of charities, has awarded Convoy of Hope the prestigious 4-star rating for 13 consecutive years. Only 1 percent of charities in the United States have reached this achievement.
Donaldson is an award-winning journalist and speaker, and he has authored more than 30 books, including his latest, Your Next 24 Hours: One Day of Kindness Can Change Everything.
Hal has a bachelor’s in journalism from San Jose State University and a bachelor’s in biblical studies from Bethany University. He met his wife, Doree (Waggoner ’82) when he came to Evangel for additional education. Together, they have four daughters, two of which are also Evangel graduates: Lindsay ’11, Erin-Rae ’14, Lauren and Haly.
AGTS grad stories
The graduation theme for the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary is “For I know the plans I have for you,” based on Jeremiah 29:11. This year’s commencement will highlight three degree candidates, their stories and their vision for the future.
First will be Yisrael Vincent, who will be awarded a Masters of Divinity degree. He currently serves as associate pastor of young adults at Evangel Temple in Springfield, Mo.
Next will be Paul Kazim, who is earning a Ph.D. in Intercultural Studies. He serves as the Assemblies of God World Missions area director for Mexico.
The alumni presentations will conclude with Shannon Polk, who is earning a Doctor of Ministry. She is an attorney with Polk Legal, PLLC. She serves as a consultant with Leadership Solutions, LLC, and as a ministry assistant to the pastor at Riverside Tabernacle in Flint, Mich.
The full AGTS Commencement story for 2017 can be read here. *
Evangel and AGTS serve more than 2,100 students from all 50 states and numerous foreign countries, offering 65 undergraduate majors and 17 master’s and doctoral degrees.