Seminary Commencement Service

The Commencement Service for Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary, which included the assignment of calls, occurred on Wednesday, May 6, 2020 at 10:30 a.m. in Good Shepherd Chapel. Pres. Gaylin Schmeling served as preacher, and Mr. Samuel Johnson was the pianist. The sermon was based on Ephesians 3:8 with the theme “The Pearl of Salvation.” In the sermon, Pres. Schmeling explained that the pearl of salvation is found in the Gospel of Christ’s redemptive work for the salvation of all people. This pearl of salvation is the greatest treasure there is. It alone can give peace and security in this life and hope for the life to come. Those called into the public ministry are given the privilege to dispense this pearl of salvation through the means of grace, the Word and Sacraments.

Graduates from the seminary with a Master of Divinity degree were Jacob Kempfert, Ethan Urtel, and Karim Yaghleji. Jacob Kempfert was assigned as pastor of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church (Saginaw, Michigan) and Karim Yaghleji was assigned as Arabic outreach missionary and pastor of St. Timothy Lutheran Church (Lombard, Illinois). Ethan Urtel will pursue further education. Adam Brasich was assigned as vicar of Resurrection Lutheran Church (Winter Haven, Florida) and Our Savior Lutheran Church (Lakeland, Florida), David Choi was assigned as vicar of Seoul Lutheran Church (Seoul, South Korea), Roger Emmons was assigned as vicar of Grace Lutheran Church (Redmond, Oregon), Samuel Johnson was assigned as vicar of Our Saviour Lutheran Church (Lake Havasu City, Arizona) and Sean Scheele was assigned as vicar of Pilgrim Lutheran Church (Waterloo, Iowa) and Faith Lutheran Church (Parkersburg, Iowa).

A recording of the service is available at