On Wednesday July 6th, SBC joined together with the University of the West of Scotland to graduate our final year students. Being my first time at an SBC / UWS Graduation it was particularly special to join in celebrating the culmination of much hard work over the previous few years. This year SBC had five honours students graduating – Ali Scott (in absentia), Ali Weir, Charles Maasz, Robert Adair, and Ruari O’Brien. Each one has worked exceptionally hard and we are pleased to see them graduate (although equally as sad to see them leave SBC!)
The Graduation Ceremony takes place at Thomas Coats Memorial Church, which holds a particular resonance for the students of SBC. Thomas Coats was packed with hundreds of graduating students from across a variety of Faculties and many more family members and friends. It is a great privilege for SBC to be invited to join with the wider awarding University to share in their Graduation Ceremony. We very much appreciate the support and partnership with UWS – a great benefit to the students of SBC.
Amongst the pomp and the ceremony, there are also the stories of the individuals and the opening speech reminded us that the students come from all different backgrounds, have faced different challenges, and have been impacted in a variety of ways. For some graduating with a degree will profoundly shape and influence their onward path, paving the way for life-changing and community-impacting work. Of course, at SBC we echo those sentiments and recognise that as we train chaplains, church and community workers, future leaders, missionaries, teachers, and more, we are always expectant and aware that our graduates are equipped and ready to be world-changers should the opportunity arises. It was exciting yesterday to hear plans of next steps for our new alumni – working within Baptist churches and beyond. What an impact they will have!
In the closing speech of the day, by Louise Martin CBE, President of the Commonwealth Games Federation (being awarded an Honorary Doctorate by UWS), she reminded us, in the words of
Lynsey Sharp (Scottish Commonwealth Silver medallist), to “Get out Strong, Commit“. I commend these words to our graduates also. As you leave SBC, we hope that you will get out strong and make an impact in your worlds. Furthermore, we trust that you will not only be committed to whatever you turn your hand to, but that your commitment to God remains solid in the same way as you modelled throughout your time at SBC – we will miss all that you have brought to SBC over the years.
If you weren’t able to attend the ceremony yesterday (there is always a limit on capacity) then you can watch the ceremony on YouTube here – our students take the stage around the hour mark where Ian can be seen / heard presenting the awards (Lina and I get our 2 seconds of fame with a brief appearance at around 2 hours 9 mins processing out of the hall!) If seeing the graduation inspires you then please do consider studying at SBC, coming in to see us and having an informal conversation about study, or taking the step to apply for September!