Congratulations to the
GTU's Class of 2021

scroll down
for more

The Graduate Theological Union honors thirty-six graduates at its virtual 2021 Commencement Exercises


Rev. CJ Dunford, graduate of the MA program in Buddhist Studies with a certificate in Buddhist Chaplaincy, shares a painting named “Limitless Love” and reflections. Click on Rev. Dunford’s painting to read their reflections.


Dr. Uriah Kim, President, offers welcome remarks.


Play Video
Play Video

Greetings and Announcements

Dr. Elizabeth Peña, Interim Dean and Vice President of Academic Affairs, offers greetings and is pleased to announce the recipient of the 2021 GTU Excellence in Teaching Award:

Dr. Mary McGann.

Read the full story here. 

Remarks by Faculty Member

Dr. Cynthia Moe-Lobeda, Professor of Theological and Social Ethics at the Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary and Church Divinity School of the Pacific, offers remarks.

Read More about the Speaker and Read the Remarks Here.

Play Video
Play Video

Conferral of Degrees

William Glenn, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Graduate Theological Union, virtually confers the degrees of Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy.

We invite visitors to click on the photographs of our graduates below to review the graduate’s abstract, committee members, reflections going forward and a faculty tribute.

Master of Arts

Jeffrey Michael Adams
Arcana in Plain Sight: The Influence of Emanuel Swedenborg's 'New Christianity' on Maurice Nicoll's Esoteric Christianity
Mark Andrew Brustman
Hypotheses for the Pre-Islamic Calendar
Katherine (Katy)
Van Gilder Dickinson
Range of Chaplain Engagement with Prisoners

Christopher (CJ)
Dunford, Jr.
Radical Acceptance as a Shin Buddhist Theology of Liberation for LGBTQ+ People
Harumichi Fukaya
Across the Sea: A Study of Tenrikyo's North American Mission before World War II
Felicia Clare Good
Now is the Time for
Intercommunion: An Invitation for Catholics
Elea Ingman
The "Divine Mission of America": Herem and American Christian Colonization in Sitka, AK
Kamran Nihal Khan
Demonizing Islam with Islam: Political Motives and the Proliferation of Anti-Islamic Rhetoric

Mary Kathleen (Katie) Kilby
Retrieving Ricoeur: Toward a Poetic Narrative Theology
Thomas Ethan Lowery
Bricoleurs Religieux: Suburban Lived Religion in Sacred/Secular Modes
Patrick Francis McIlhone
A Contested Legacy: John Brown in American Art
Yae In Min
Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola Suitable for Koreans: Focusing on Korean Han with the Inspiration of the Liberative Model
Taqwa Mahrani Surapati
Human Suffering in Perspective: Understanding Islamic Teachings on Life and Death
Margaret Anne Warner
Beauty Ever Ancient and New: Inculturating the Roman Rite in the Twenty-First Century United States
Ping-Chung Wong
Augustine's Development of the Virtues as a Response to Neoliberalism
Benjamin Woollard
Mirrors of Glory: Humanity and Creation According to Gregory of Nyssa

Doctor of Philosophy

Paul Houston Blankenship
Christian Spirituality
Soul Woundedness
Cogen Bohanec
Historical and Cultural Studies of Religions
Process and Dialectic in Hindu Thought: Gauīya Vaiṇava Systematic Theology and Ethics
Thomas Ross Calobrisi
Historical and Cultural Studies of Religions

Beyond Belief: How a French Text on Indian Buddhism Changed American Culture

Keng Fan (Marinda) Chan
Religion and Practice
Culture and Devotion at the Service of Mission: A Study of Catholic Women's Domestic Religious Practices in Macau
Mahjabeen Dhala
Sacred Texts and Their Interpretation
The Sermon of Fatima: Retrieving the Female Scholar-Activist Voice Amidst Patriarchal, Secular, and Sectarian Biases
Woori Han
Religion and Practice
A Transformative Homiletic for Contemporary Assemblies of God of Korea: Insights from the Hermeneutics and Theology of Paul Ricoeur and St. Bernard Clairvaux
Sheryl Heather Elizabeth Johnson
Theology and Ethics
"All the believers had everything in common" (Acts 2:44): Ecclesial Economic Ethics in North American Mainline Protestant Churches
Beena Poulose Kallely
Theology and Ethics
A Theology-Informed Restorative Justice Model for Addressing Domestic Violence in India
Ahmed Mahmoud Khater
Cultural and Historical Studies of Religions
The Development of Islamic Law in the West: The Legal Operational Principles of Western Fiqh Councils
Insoo Kim
Theology and Ethics
Christological Dimensions of Spirituality and Praxis: A Journey for Rediscovering the Relationship of Doctrine with Spiritual Practice through Patristics and Contemporary Thought
Mariska Lauterboom
Religion and Practice
Decolonizing Christian Religious Education through a Ritual-Based Visceral Pedagogy in Maluku, Indonesia
Aline Gram Lewis
Historical and Cultural Studies of Religions
Passionate Reading: The Spirituality of Reading and the Body of Christ in Augustine's Confessions, Teresa of Avila's La Vida, and Dorothy Day's Spiritual Autobiographies
Zachary Markwith
Cultural and Historical Studies of Religions
And When I Love Him: The Ḥadīth al-Nawāfil and the Formation of Sufism
Ki Wook Min
Systematic and Philosophical Theology
Eschatological Trinity and the Contemporary Sciences: A Trinitarian Understanding of Quantum Physics and the Special Theory of Relativity 
C. Alixxandr Ortiz-Roberts
Biblical Studies
The Agency of Daughters in the Hebrew Bible
Pravina Leo Rodrigues
Theology and Ethics
Upside Down, Inside Out: A Śākta Mnemopraxial Methodology of Comparative Theology
Jaesung Ryu
Theology and Ethics
Grace and Nature in John Wesley and Thomas Aquinas
Myoung-Ho Sin
Theology and Ethics
Homo Oikos Sacralis: Redefining Human Being in the Face of the Environmental Crisis
Harley Jay Siskin
Jews Talking Funny: The Re-presentation of Jewish Speech in Old French
Kristin Gill Stoneking
Interdisciplinary Studies
A Multifaith Pedagogy for Peace: Experiential Learning in Multifaith Residential Communities through Comparative Theology and Nonviolence
Play Video

Remarks by Graduate

Dr. Beena Poulose Kallely, completed her Ph.D. in Theology and Ethics. She offers remarks entitled “Be Witnesses of Divine Compassion.”

Read More about the Speaker and Read the Remarks Here.


Dr. Ahmed Khater, completed his Ph.D. in Cultural and Historical Studies of Religions. He offers a benediction entitled “The Torch Has Been Passed” to bless the GTU 2021 Commencement Exercises. Please click on the image to read his remarks. 

Congratulations to the
GTU's Class of 2021