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May 14, 2014

Outgoing President John Martin Serves as Keynote Speaker

ROCHESTER, N.Y.— Thirty-eight graduates will celebrate a completed course of study on May 17 during Northeastern Seminary’s 14th commencement ceremony in the Cultural Life Center at Roberts Wesleyan College. President John A. Martin, who completes 18 years of service to Northeastern Seminary and Roberts Wesleyan College in June, will deliver the keynote address, titled “Called to Wise Living.”

Martin came to Roberts Wesleyan College as provost in 1996, with experience in teaching and administration including service as professor and dean of faculty at Dallas Theological Seminary and as president of Central College in McPherson, Kan. In 1999 he was appointed Executive Vice President of both Roberts Wesleyan College and the newly-formed Northeastern Seminary, responsible for all academic matters, student life issues, and financial accountability. In 2002 he was inaugurated as the 10th president of the College, and the second president of the Seminary.

A widely sought guest speaker and consultant, Martin has been invited to hundreds of schools, churches and conferences in the United States and around the world including engagements in Ghana, Guatemala, India, Israel, the Philippines, Singapore, and Switzerland. He has served on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities of the State of New York, and on the Board of Commissioners of the Association of Theological Schools.

As he steps down from his role as president of Roberts Wesleyan College and Northeastern Seminary he leaves a legacy of growth that is unsurpassed in the rich history of these institutions. Beyond significant development of the physical plant, the College has had more than 70 new academic programs added during his tenure, expanding both traditional and non-traditional student opportunities and the Seminary has added programs and continues its enrollment growth, defying the trend of enrollment decline in virtually every similar school in Christian Higher Ed.

The Northeastern Seminary graduating class of 2014 includes 3 Doctor of Ministry recipients, 29 master’s degree recipients, and 6 certificate recipients. Many of the graduates are either ordained or seeking ordination in their respective traditions, including Baptist, Methodist, Nazarene, Presbyterian, Seventh Day Adventist, Reformed, Church of God in Christ, Wesleyan and non-denominational. A majority of this year’s graduates reside in the Greater Rochester Region, with others hailing from regions around Buffalo, Syracuse, and the Southern Tier of New York State.

Two graduates earn the Advanced Certificate in Pastoral Studies which involves completion of post-graduate coursework in ministry studies and four more certificate program graduates come from El Centro Hispano de Estudios Teológicos/Center for Theological Studies, a Northeastern Seminary program dedicated to providing support and resources to Hispanic ministries in upstate New York.

The commencement ceremony begins at 1:30 p.m., with a reception to follow from 3 to 4 p.m.  Tickets are required for the reception. For more information or to reserve tickets, call 585-594-6623 or e-mail


About Northeastern Seminary

Since opening its doors in 1998, Northeastern Seminary on the campus of Roberts Wesleyan College has continued to grow in prominence as a significant resource for the church community in upstate New York. Northeastern Seminary is an independent, multidenominational seminary in its approach to theological education, leading to an academically and professionally accredited Master of Divinity, Master of Arts in Theological Studies/Theology and Social Justice/Transformational Leadership, or Doctor of Ministry degree. The student body is comprised of more than 30 different Christian faith traditions represented among 160 students and 330 graduates ministering around the nation and world. For more information, visit www.nes.eduor call 1-800-777-4792.