NBTS Inauguration, Baccalaureate, and Commencement 2018
June 7, 2018
On May 18 & 19, 2018, New Brunswick Theological Seminary’s trustees, faculty, staff, and students joyously welcomed Rev. Micah McCreary, Ph.D. as the twelfth president of NBTS, and celebrated the Class of 2018’s Commencement!
Rev. McCreary joined the seminary on July 15, 2017, succeeding Rev. Gregg Mast, Ph.D. who served as president for 11 years.
Rev. Anna Jackson, co-moderator of the board’s Presidential Search Committee, introduced Rev. McCreary by sharing impressions from the search process. Trustees sought a person of vitality and vision with impressive credentials. In Rev. McCreary they also found a leader with “a deep sense of calling, a people-person with vision, who could bring NBTS with him” into the future of theological education. According to Jackson, McCreary has done “phenomenal” things already.
In his inaugural address, “Our Sankofa Flight,” Rev. McCreary honored the rich history and traditions of New Brunswick Theological Seminary, envisioning the founders who built a resilient institution and fostered global missions which continue to this day. As he traveled through the decades, he recounted the addition of evening classes and the welcoming of students of color and women to the student body. In recent years, the board of trustees established an anti-racism commitment and have since worked to foster an environment welcoming to all. According to McCreary, the NBTS missions is still relevant and powerful today. He enthusiastically invited all in attendance to join in the mission of the “new” New Brunswick Theological Seminary, “a seminary with a heart for metro-urban ministry, spirituality and community transformation.”
Dr. McCreary comes to NBTS from Richmond, Virginia, where he led McCreary and Madison Associates, Incorporated, a psychological and human resources consulting firm. Dr. McCreary also worked as a tenured Associate Professor of Psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) for 21 years. Dr. McCreary holds a Bachelor of Science in engineering from the University of Michigan, a Master of Divinity degree from the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University, and a Master of Science and Ph.D. in counseling psychology from VCU. Dr. McCreary and his wife, the Reverend Dr. Jacqueline E. Madison-McCreary, have pastored the Spring Creek Baptist Church in Moseley, Virginia, for 16 years. The McCrearys are the parents of one adult daughter.
The following day, Saturday, May 19, the celebratory atmosphere continued with the commencement ceremony for more than 30 seminary graduates. Their speaker, Rev. John W. Kinney, PhD, a longtime mentor and friend to President McCreary, advised graduates that, “you gotta move it, move it,” as King Julian says in the Madagascar movies. His impassioned address, entitled, “Don’t Stop Now,” reminded the graduates that commencement, though it feels like the accomplishment, the end of much hard work, is only the beginning. “God is inviting you. He doesn’t coerce, but he will invite you to go beyond…you must surrender to the possibilities and promise.” Graduates, he said, can and should congratulate themselves, feel accomplished and proud, but proud in the unique accomplishments and gifts God has made possible. Kinney’s conclusion, “You gotta move it and don’t stop now!” was met with a standing ovation.
Graduate Wesley Wilson said of NBTS, “It has been tremendous. I’ve grown academically, spiritually. I’m excited about moving forward as someone who represents this institution and hope to encourage others to also have this experience.”
Photos from the weekend are available at: http://bit.ly/NBTS2018