Pittsburgh Theological Seminary will celebrate its 214th commencement activities Fri., June 4 at 7:00 p.m. at East Liberty Presbyterian Church. Baccalaureate services will be held Thurs., June 3 at 6:30 p.m. in the Seminary’s Hicks Memorial Chapel.
Chaplain Barry C. Black, chaplain of the United States Senate, will speak at commencement. The Rev. Dr. M. Craig Barnes, Robert Meneilly Professor of Leadership and Ministry at PTS and pastor of Shadyside Presbyterian Church, will preach the baccalaureate sermon.
Prior to coming to Capitol Hill, Black served in the U.S. Navy for more than 27 years, ending his distinguished career as the Chief of Navy Chaplains. Commissioned as a Navy Chaplain in 1976, Black has been stationed in a number of areas include his first duty on the Fleet Religious Support Activity in Norfolk, Va. As Rear Admiral, his personal decorations included the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal (two medals), Meritorious Service Medals (two awards), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals (two awards), and numerous unit awards, campaign, and service medals. Black is an alumnus of Oakwood College, Andrews University, North Carolina Central University, Eastern Baptist Seminary, Salve Regina University, and United States International University. In addition to earning M.Div. and master’s in counseling and management, Black has a D.Min. and Ph.D. He has been selected for many outstanding achievements. Of particular note, he was chosen from 127 nominees for the 1995 NAACP Renowned Service Award for his contribution to equal opportunity and civil rights.
Barnes was raised on Long Island, N.Y. He earned his bachelor’s from The King’s College in New York and his M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary. At the University of Chicago he received his doctorate in the history of Christianity. In 1981 he was ordained a Minister of Word and Sacrament by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). He served nine years as senior pastor of The National Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C. before coming to Pittsburgh Seminary in 2002. His published books include Yearning, When God Interrupts, Hustling God, Sacred Thirst, An Extravagant Mercy, Searching for Home, and The Pastor as Minor Poet. He is also the author of numerous articles and is in demand as a preacher and lecturer at churches, denominational events, and seminaries. His current research interest is focused on the parish as a theological context.
Pittsburgh Theological Seminary is a graduate professional institution of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A). Founded in 1794, the Seminary is located in Pittsburgh, Pa. and approximately 320 students are enrolled yearly in the degree programs. The Seminary prepares leaders who proclaim with great joy God’s message of good news in both word and deed. PTS is rooted in the Reformed history of faithfulness to Scripture and commitment to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.