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Mark Heim, Rachelle Eaton to Speak at Commencement
Final Commencement in Newton is May 19

Andover Newton Theological School’s Dean Sarah B. Drummond is pleased to announce two speakers for Andover Newton’s 2018 Commencement exercises, to take place on Saturday, May 19, at 2 p.m. at First Baptist Church in Newton, MA.

The student speaker selected by the Andover Newton faculty is Rachelle Eaton. Rachelle began her degree at Andover Newton in 2014 after discerning a call to ministry while serving her church in various capacities. Rachelle lives in Acworth, New Hampshire, with her husband Joel and son John, and the family is deeply connected with the small-town community.

Rachelle enjoys gardening, painting, and playing Irish traditional music. She dreams of one day owning land and raising Nigerian Dwarf dairy goats. After Commencement, Rachelle will do a unit of Clinical Pastoral Education at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center and hopes to pursue ordination and a call to parish ministry in the fall.

Rachelle has found her time at Andover Newton to be invaluable life and ministry preparation. She found herself enriched not only through classes and weekly community worship, but also through her field education experience as the assistant pastor of North Springfield Baptist Church in Springfield, VT. She also volunteered at a state prison in conjunction with her Border Crossing Immersion. Most of all, she has cherished her relationships with faculty members and classmates. She is grateful to be part of this community and honored to represent this final Newton-based graduating class.

The second and final speaker will be Professor S. Mark Heim. Mark is the Samuel Abbot Professor of Christian Theology at Andover Newton Theological School. He is maintaining that role and chair as he transitions to Andover Newton Seminary at Yale Divinity School.

Mark is Andover Newton’s longest-serving faculty member. He and his spouse Melissa, and their two adult children Sarah and Jacob, spent formative years in Newton and on Herrick Circle. Mark is a graduate of Amherst College, Andover Newton Theological School, and the Boston College-Andover Newton Theological School joint doctoral program in systematic theology.

Mark has written extensively on issues of religious pluralism and Christian ecumenism, including Salvations: Truth and Difference in Religion; The Depth of Riches: a Trinitarian Theology of Religious EndsSaved From Sacrifice: A Theology of the Cross; and Crucified Wisdom: Christ and the Bodhisattva in Theological Reflection. Mark is a member of the American Theological Society. He received a Pew Evangelical Scholars’ Research Fellowship in 1997-98 and a Henry Luce III Fellowship in Theology in 2009-2010.

President Martin B. Copenhaver selected Professor Heim as this year’s Commencement Speaker because, in this time of transition, Mark embodies the very identity of Andover Newton. His love for church, dedication to building community, unquestionable preeminence as a scholar, and gentleness of heart have touched the lives of thousands of graduates over his decades, and he is continuing to share his gifts in Andover Newton’s new setting.

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