The Commencement Service for Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary, which included both the assignment of calls and graduation of students, occurred on Wednesday, May 11, 2016 at 4:00 p.m. in Trinity Chapel. The Rev. Craig Ferkenstad (Norseland and Norwegian Grove Lutheran Churches, Saint Peter, Minnesota) served as preacher, Pres. Gaylin Schmeling served as liturgist, the Rev. Herbert Huhnerkoch represented the Board of Regents, and Mr. John Baumann was the organist. The sermon was based on Hebrews 12:2–3 telling the candidates and vicars that as they go forward they are to keep looking to Jesus who is the Author and Perfecter of our faith. We look neither to the world nor to popular opinion but keep looking to Jesus as we proclaim the Law and the Gospel of reconciliation. We do so until the day when we see Him face-to-face in the heavenly home which He has prepared for us.
Graduates from the seminary with a Master of Divinity degree were Matthew Behmer, Sung Gyu Choi, Jeffrey Hendrix, Joshua Mayer, Daniel Ruiz, and Andrew Soule. Graduating with a degree of Master of Arts in Lutheran Theological Studies was Elisabeth Urtel. Matthew Behmer was assigned as pastor of Christ the King Lutheran Church (Bell Gardens, California); Jeffrey Hendrix was assigned as pastor of Calvary Lutheran Church (Ulen, Minnesota) and Grace Lutheran Church (Crookston, Minnesota); Joshua Mayer was assigned as pastor of Redeeming Grace Lutheran Church (Rogers, Minnesota); Daniel Ruiz was assigned as pastor of Hope Lutheran Church (Leander, Texas); and Andrew Soule was assigned as pastor of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church and Rock Dell Lutheran Church (Belview, Minnesota). Aaron Ferkenstad was assigned as vicar of St. John’s Lutheran Church (Frankenmuth, Michigan) and Kurtis Freimuth was assigned as vicar of Grace Lutheran Church (Vero Beach, Florida).