May 12, 2020


MTSO honors students at virtual Convocation and Awards Ceremony

Methodist Theological School in Ohio celebrated student achievement in scholarship, leadership and service at the school’s virtual Closing Convocation and Awards Ceremony May 12.

Twelve awards were presented to current students.

The Bishop Judith Craig Prize in Christian Education honors the life of Bishop Craig, whose ministry began as a Christian educator. It recognizes academic excellence; a solid record of service in the local church in a field placement; positive contributions to campus life, the district or the conference; and potential for significance in professional ministry. Recipients: Bradley Davis and Suzanne Hutchison.

The Fellowship Seminarian Award recognizes a graduating senior who displays outstanding leadership in music or worship arts, including but not limited to dance, drama, fabric art and liturgical writing. Recipient: Nicolas Berlanga.

The Gindlesperger Bible Award recognizes a graduate who has demonstrated competence in biblical studies and who is humble, diligent and anxious to learn and grow in grace. Recipient: Jacqueline Buschor.

The Hoyt Hickman Award recognizes a graduating student who has given evidence of high-quality scholarship in the study of liturgy and who is an effective leader of Christian worship. Recipient: Sarah Moon.

The Nystrand Award in Homiletics honors the Rev. Dr. Philip O. Nystrand and encourages excellent preaching. It is given to a rising senior in the Master of Divinity program who demonstrates promise in homiletics. Recipient: Kati Glover.

The Pastoral Counseling Service and Achievement Award is presented to a Master of Arts in Counseling Ministries senior who embodies the quest for excellence in professional counseling development. The recipient also demonstrates significant involvement in community service, while maintaining high standards of academic achievement. Recipient: Julie Bonzon Nyangoro.

The Servant Leader Award recognizes a graduating senior who has given exceptional and sacrificial service to MTSO, and has inspired others to do the same. The award consists of a water basin and a towel, evoking Jesus’ washing of his disciples’ feet. Recipient: Megan Buehler.

The C. Everett and Mary Milburn Tilson Social Justice Grant honors the lives and legacies of C. Everett and Mary Milburn Tilson. This award honors the Tilsons’ lifelong devotion social justice, most notably in the civil rights movement. The grant is given to a graduating senior who has demonstrated, both in practice and profession, a commitment to a prophetic vocation of compassionate justice. Recipient: Michael Farmer.

The Gene Tucker Memorial Grant in Biblical Literature enables students selected by the MTSO biblical faculty to attend regional and national meetings of the Society of Biblical Literature. Regional grant recipients: Bill Kennedy and Bellarmee Milosi. National grant recipient: Gabrielle Fields.

The David Wilcox Leadership Award honors the service and leadership of the Rev. Dr. David Wilcox within the United Methodist Church and as a trustee of MTSO. The award recognizes a graduating student preparing for ministry in the context of the local church. The recipient must reflect characteristics of servant-leadership within the MTSO community and in church ministry, and show promise to become a leader in judicatory connections. Recipient: Amy Triebwasser.

The Ronald L. Williams Book Prize in Theology and Ethics honors the memory of MTSO Professor Ronald L. Williams. It is awarded to a student with extraordinary potential in theological and ethical studies and reflection. Recipients: Bradley Davis and Amy Triebwasser.

In addition to the awards for current students, recent MTSO alumnus Faith Van Horne received the Charles A. Dice Fellowship, which encourages and assists exceptional students in continuing their theological education beyond MTSO at another institution of recognized excellence.

Closing Convocation also provided an opportunity for the campus community to honor Paul Burnam who is retiring after 12 years as director of MTSO’s Dickhaut Library. And President Jay Rundell honored graduating senior Julie Bonzon Nyangoro while lamenting that physical distancing kept MTSO from holding its annual Harambee event, a communal celebration of graduating students who identify as black, African-American or of African descent.

Video of the ceremony is archived for viewing here.

Methodist Theological School in Ohio provides theological education and leadership in pursuit of a just, sustainable and generative world. In addition to the Master of Divinity degree, the school offers master’s degrees in counseling, practical theology, social justice and theological studies, along with a Doctor of Ministry degree.


Danny Russell, communications director, 740-362-3322