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The Master's College holds 86th commencement

Graduation ceremony held at College of the Canyons

Posted: May 10, 2013 10:53 p.m.
Updated: May 10, 2013 10:53 p.m.

The Master's College graduate Carrie Foldberg, middle, expresses excitement as Biblical Studies chair Thomas Halstead, left, and faculty member Ernie Baker award her a degree on Friday at College of the Canyons.

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About 300 students from The Master’s College marked the end of their college days during a Friday commencement ceremony at College of the Canyons in Valencia.

Family, friends and alumni cheered on the graduates as they filed onto the field of Cougar Stadium sporting smiles with their caps and gowns. Friday’s ceremony marked the 86th commencement ceremony and featured graduates from The Master’s Institute, Master of Arts in Biblical Counseling, Master of Arts in Biblical Studies, Master of Arts in Education and the undergraduate program. The Master’s College is a small, private liberal arts school in Placerita Canyon.

“Congratulations! You made it,” commencement speaker Tom Pennington said on stage before the crowd of graduates. “We so celebrate with you.”

Pennington gave special recognition to the audience and thanked them for their prayers and guidance to the graduates.

“I know (the students) would want me to thank you on their behalf,” he said, as parents cheered and held up signs of congratulations and love for their students.

In his address, Pennington encouraged students to follow God’s revelations and not to give in to their own reasoning.

“As you leave this place, what will be your foundational authority?” he asked the students.

Throughout his address, Pennington quoted the Bible to show the need and power of God in the lives of students.

“If you don’t trust God’s word, you don’t trust him,” Pennington said. “You must trust God’s word for everything.”

In addition to the conferring of degrees, school President John MacArthur gave special recognition to college alumni, faculty and supporters who have dedicated their lives to serving God and promoting Christianity around the world.

The President’s Award was given to John G. Hotchkiss, who has taught at The Master’s College for more than 40 years. MacArthur praised Hotchkiss’ wisdom, kindness to students and love for Christianity. Students gave Hotchkiss a standing ovation as he accepted the award.

In addition, MacArthur awarded Pennington and William Schlegel honorary Doctors of Divinity for their dedication to the Lord. Schlegel has been on the faculty since 1995 through his leadership of The Master’s College IBEX Program.

The Master’s College is the only American institute to have a full campus in Israel, MacArthur said. Schlegel was unable to accept the award because he was in Israel, where he has lived since 1984.

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