The Upward Call of God


This Friday, May 15th, Bethlehem College and Seminary will be holding its fifth commencement ceremony.  We will have 57 students graduating this year!  This is the largest graduating class, by far, in our short history as a college and seminary.  We stand in awe of what the Lord has done and is doing in and through our school.  These 57 graduates are a key part of the fulfillment of our mission—to spread a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples through Jesus Christ.  They are, and will be, spreading all over the globe as they follow the Lord’s leading in their lives dedicated to ministry in the name of Jesus.  Some will be staying right here in the Twin Cities, others are heading to smaller communities like Albert Lea, MN, and still others will be heading to the farthest corners of the earth in pursuit of unreached peoples.

The idea of “commencement” is a good one.  We often, mistakenly think of it primarily as an event which marks the accomplishment of a goal—earning a degree.  However, it is really most importantly about looking ahead and charging the graduates to use their lives wisely and strategically for the advancement of the Kingdom of God.  After four years of preparation and training, they are “commencing” with the rest of their lives—more equipped to be effective servants of Jesus Christ and trained how to know the Truth and to communicate it effectively in all spheres of life.  In the parlance of Bethlehem College and Seminary, we view the commencement ceremony as the “launching” of our graduates into the world of full time ministry and the exciting journey of life and service that awaits them as they obediently follow the Lord’s leading.

Getting to know our students over the course of four years here gives me great excitement for and confidence in the future of the church.  The Lord has brought remarkable men and women to our school.  They will be “difference-makers” in their families, in their communities, in their churches, and in their world.  They will be faithful heralds of the gospel of Jesus Christ in all they do.  Of course, they have room to grow, as we all do, but I’m confident they are on the upward trajectory “toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:14).

Because this is such a key moment in the lives of our graduates, I want to personally invite you to attend the commencement ceremony this Friday, May 15th, at the downtown campus of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis.  If you are in town, please make this a priority.  It will bless you and it will bless our graduates.

May God be glorified as he sends his workers into the harvest!

Tim Tomlinson
Bethlehem College & Seminary

Prayer Requests …

  1. Please pray for our graduates. This is an exciting, and sometimes stressful, time in their lives. Pray for those who already know where they’re going and pray for those who are still seeking the Lord’s specific leading.
  2. Please pray for the commencement ceremony itself and all of the details that must be attended to in order to make it truly glorify God. Pray especially for Barb Waldemar as she manages all of the details of this wonderful event.
  3. Pray also for the ongoing admissions process this spring. Our 2015 seminary class is full, but we’re still accepting students into the college programs. Please pray that we would have full cohorts of students in all of our college programs this fall.
  4. Please continue to pray for our finances. God has been gracious and merciful to us in recent months and we are very encouraged about the future. Pray that more and more people become partners with us in order to send out these graduates into the ministry for the sake of the Church.