ORANGE PARK, Fla. – The Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies (IWS) celebrated its thirteenth annual Commencement ceremony on Sunday, June 15, 2014 with the graduation of forty-two Masters and Doctoral students.

“We are so proud to congratulate our distinguished graduates,” said President James R. Hart, who presided over the Commencement.

“Their achievements in the study and ministry of worship leadership have brought worship renewal to many places all over this country and across the globe, lands as far away as China, Singapore and France. The mission and ministry of God’s Kingdom has been advanced around the world through the faithful labors of these graduates.”

2014 Graduating Class
2014 Graduating Class

Guest preacher for the Commencement was the Rev. Ted Schroder, pastor of the Amelia Plantation Chapel. Prior to his tenure at Amelia Island, Rev’d Schroder served as Dean of the Chapel at Gordon College, Rector of Grace Episcopal Church in Orange Park, and Rector of Christ Episcopal Church in San Antonio. In his Commencement sermon he proclaimed,

“The stance of those who worship is falling down in awe and wonder and thanksgiving. It is in defiance of the worship demanded by the earthly powers of the culture.…There is no contest between our God and Savior and rival false gods. It is only this God who is on the throne who can command our allegiance in this fashion.”

Photos are available here.

More than 600 students from over 60 denominations in the U.S., Canada and 23 other countries have matriculated at IWS since its founding in 1999, and more than 400 students have graduated from the school. IWS is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of the Association for Biblical Higher Education.