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The California University of Theology hosted its first commencement ceremony on July 21, and nearly 100 students in the Class of 2012 earned Doctorate, Master’s, Bachelor’s, and Associate degrees as well as Certificates and Diplomas for their religious studies.
Specializing in Christian Counseling Degrees, California University of Theology offers a broad and comprehensive range of religious studies that range from Arts in Biblical Studies and Church Administration to Sacred Music and a Master in Divinity.
The theme for the commencement program was ‘Your Growth is Our Passion,’ with the invocation provided by Dr. James P. Norman, a scripture offered by Dr. Kathy Norman and welcome remarks from Brenda Warrick-Tyler. After the University Board members were introduced, graduate students Shavon Springfield, Dr. Ronda Quarles, Dr. William Benson and Dr. Rochelle Benson presented their words of inspiration to their fellow graduates.
Following a spirited musical selection from the Church of Apostolicity Praise Team, Dr. Paulette Douglas, whose anointed vision contributed to her co-founding the California University of Theology, introduced the keynote speaker, the Honorable Congresswoman Maxine Waters, who, serving her 11th term in the United States House of Representatives, is indisputably the most powerful woman n American politics today.
In her inimitable, yet familiar style, the Congresswoman offered her inspirational message of hope and achievement to the graduates who had arrived at this pinnacle of their spiritual education. As a fearless and outspoken advocate for women, children, people of color and the poor, Waters’ remarks helped to affirm the graduates’ quest for a better world based upon a spiritual foundation.
The graduates received even more words of encouragement and uplift from Jerome E. Horton, chair of the California Board of Equalization. Horton, a former Inglewood City Council Member and two-term member of the California State Assembly, is the first African-American Constitutional Officer on the elite Board of Equalization, the most powerful tax administration agency in the United States.
With the earned reputation as a tireless advocate for California taxpayers, Horton punctuated his remarks with biblical missives and reflections on his own experiences that were pure encouragement for the graduates. He urged them to embrace their spiritual anointing and allow it to set the course for the spiritual leadership they will provide in the churches, communities and neighborhoods in which they choose to serve.
Among the honored graduates was Cora Jackson-Fossett, currently employed as the Public Information Director for the Los Angeles Department of Public Works and a significant member of the communications team that deals with over four million Los Angeles residents.
In addition to her broad community and religious activities, Jackson-Fossett, is the editor of the Los Angeles Sentinel’s Religion Section. Her honors and awards including being named among ‘Who’s Who in Black Los Angeles’ and being inducted into the National Association of University Women’s Hall of Fame. Her accomplishments are too numerous to mention, however, what is fitting, with the attainment of her Ph.D. credential, is her lifelong motto: “Have faith in God, treat others with respect, approach life with enthusiasm, and never stop learning.”
The ceremony was topped-off with remarks from Bishop Robert T. Douglas, Sr., Ph. D., and University President, Chancellor and Professor. He implored the graduates to “grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and forever, Amen.”
The Los Angeles Sentinel salutes the graduates, the university, Congresswoman Waters, Chairman Horton, and the family of the graduates who made this day possible.