Palmer Theological Seminary Commencement May 17

St. Davids, PA, April 11, 2014: Palmer Theological Seminary of Eastern University will hold its 89th annual Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 17, at 10 AM. The Commencement will take place at Enon Baptist Tabernacle Church East located at 2800 W. Cheltenham Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19150. 

Palmer students will receive the following degrees, certificates or diplomas as follows:


35 Master of Divinity

22 Master of Theological Studies

18 Doctor of Ministry


6 Eastern School of Christian Ministry Diplomas

7 Priscilla Institute Diplomas

The Commencement speaker will be the Rev. Dr. A. Roy Medley, general secretary of American Baptist Churches USA, (ABCUSA) the pastoral and administrative leader of the 1.5-million-member denomination and over 5200 congregations. He has led the denomination in the Transformed by the Spirit initiative, which invites congregations into prayerful discernment and committed action in their communities and the world.  “The church cannot live as a gated community,” says the Rev. Dr. Medley.  American Baptists’ history of peacemaking has led him to be in the forefront of building relationships of mutual respect and understanding between Baptists and Muslims. As an advocate for human rights and religious liberty, the Rev. Dr. Medley was invited to address an interfaith audience in Beirut, Lebanon in 2010. 

Having grown up in segregation, he was drawn to the American Baptist heritage of pursuing justice and equality that began with Roger Williams’ concern for Native Americans in colonial America, and continued through American Baptists standing against slavery, for Japanese-Americans in WW II, and with African-Americans in the civil rights struggle. American Baptists have also been in the forefront of women’s rights, ordaining women since the 1800’s and electing Helen Barrett Montgomery as their national president in 1921.  

The Rev. Dr. Medley serves as chair of the National Council of Churches and carries a number of responsibilities with the Baptist World Alliance. He previously served as executive minister of the American Baptist Churches of New Jersey, national director of the Neighborhood Action Program of American Baptist National Ministries, and as a pastor.            

The Rev. Dr. Medley holds the AB degree in psychology from the University of Chattanooga, the MDiv degree from Princeton Theological Seminary, and is a graduate of the Ecumenical Institute of the World Council of Churches in Switzerland.  He has received honorary degrees from Alderson-Broaddus College, Central Baptist Theological Seminary, Central Philippine University, and Franklin College in recognition of his service to Christ and the world.

 The Rev. Dr. Medley is married to the Rev. Dr. Patricia Stauffer Medley, an ordained Lutheran pastor serving Hope Lutheran Church, Freehold, NJ. They have two sons, Ethan and Jordan, a daughter-in-law Urbi Utley Medley, and a grandson, Isaiah. The Rev. Dr. Medley is a member of First Baptist Church, Freehold, NJ.

Any Palmer Seminary alumni who would like to attend this Commencement, please contact and specify the number of tickets desired and provide your mailing address.

Palmer Theological Seminary of Eastern University is located at 588 North Gulph Road in King of Prussia, PA 19406. Its motto is The Whole Gospel for the Whole World through Whole Persons. Palmer Theological Seminary is committed to the preparation of persons for Christ's ministry in the Church throughout the world in a variety of forms and institutions, with strong emphasis on ministry in and through local churches, in both the American Baptist and other denominations. Learn more at

Eastern University is a Philadelphia Christian university that transforms its students' lives. It prepares and inspires them to go out and make a difference in their communities and the world. All education at Eastern is rooted in its core values of faith, reason and justice. The main campus is located at 1300 Eagle Road in St. Davids, PA. Eastern enrolls about 4,300 students in its undergraduate, graduate, Seminary, professional, urban, doctoral and international programs. 

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