Families, friends delight in CRCDS 2015 Commencement Exercises

Hundreds of family, friends and esteemed guests filled the Third Presbyterian Church in Rochester, NY on Saturday, May 16, 2015 to celebrate Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School's graduates and to hear Rev. Paul Brandeis Raushenbush's commencement address, "Even Greater Things Than These." Rev. Raushenbush is the Executive Religion Editor of the Huffington Post and host of the weekly podcast "All Together." He is the great-grandson of "Father of the Social Gospel" Walter Rauschenbusch and the great-grandson of Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis.

Twenty-two students received degrees and certificates. Two received the Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.), sixteen received the Master of Divinity (M.Div.), two received the Master of Arts (M.A.), one received a graduate certificate and one received a certificate from the School of Christian Leadership. Jacquelyn Ross Brown was awarded the Gene and Jean Bartlett Preaching Prize, Andrew Van Buren was the recipient of the Theodore Louis Trost Memorial Prize, and Sebrone Johnson received the Winthrop Hudson Scholar Award.

Rev. Raushenbush published an excerpt from his Commencement address on Huffington Post's website entitled "It's a Great Day to be Graduating from a Mainline, Progressive, Christian, Divinity School" in which he says, "I see what Christians from around the world are doing and actually feel that this is the most exciting time for progressive faith that I can remember in my lifetime." Raushenbush urged all in attendance "Let's all find ways to build up this great institution, invite students to apply who you think will thrive here, find donors who value the kind of values that you have learned here, let's make sure that CRCDS does even greater things in the future."

You may read Rev. Raushenbush's Huffington Post online article here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/paul-raushenbush/divinity-school-commencement-address_b_7302582.html?1431963759

To read the complete text of Rev. Raushenbush's commencement address, please see:
2015 Commencement Address

Pastor William Ellis (CRCDS '14) passes away

0462_GFphoto.1 ellis

The CRCDS community is greatly saddened to learn of the sudden death of beloved alumnus William Ellis (CRCDS '14) on May 8, 2015 in Cohocton, NY.

Pastor Ellis was an exemplary human being and was dedicated to his church, his family and those to whom he ministered. In 2012, he started the New Day Ministry Church in Elmira, NY, mentoring hundreds of poor, discouraged and marginalized persons who were welcome “regardless of spiritual, emotional or physical condition.” Pastor Ellis was especially proud of the church's “People’s Passion” soup kitchen which feeds up to 100 people weekly, and the “Men in the Lives of Kids (M.I.L.K.) program, that allows incarcerated fathers to re-engage with their children.

Pastor Ellis will be remembered for his smile, his infectious laugh, his genuine love of God and his open and accepting heart.

The service for Pastor Ellis was held at New Day Ministry Church, 900 W. Water St., Elmira, NY 14905 on Friday, May 15, 2015. To view his obituary, please click here: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/star-gazette/obituary.aspx?pid=174845023

Dr. Marvin A. McMickle's essay, "Riots Leave Lasting Scars on a Community" published in Rochester, NY Democrat and Chronicle

Once again, our nation is faced with dissent and rioting in the streets in response to clashes between its citizens and law enforcement. The rioting that ensued recently in Baltimore prompted Dr. McMickle to point out the detrimental and significant effects that arise out of a temporary reaction to injustice.

You may read and respond to Dr. McMickle's article, published in the April 29, 2015 Democrat and Chronicle, here:



Dr. Marvin A. McMickle shared a personal story recently in the Rochester, NY's Democrat and Chronicle Unite Rochester blog. He relates his high school guidance counselor's rather inaccurate advice and urges all students to "overcome someone else's low expectations."

To read or comment on the essay, click here: http://www.democratandchronicle.com/story/news/local/blogs/unite/2015/03/27/dont-take-no-for-an-answer/70576362/


Rev. Michael A. Ford, (CRCDS '12), Senior Pastor of Lake Avenue Baptist Church in northwest Rochester, NY, feels extremely fortunate to lead his diverse and inspirational 500-member congregation. A place of transition for many years, Rev. Ford says that for Lake Avenue Baptist Church, change is the norm. Many congregants of Burmese descent now call the church home. Within that group, many have different dialects, customs and languages, making Sunday services a sort of smorgasbord of personalities, customs and traditions. One thing remains constant, however: the church has a long-standing reputation for being welcoming, and the people who attend exemplify faith and endurance in spite of significant hardships and struggle.

To read about Rev. Ford's congregation and the special people for whom it is home, please see: