Grads See Real Hope In The Future

By Bob Dickson and Kate Bigelow

Ten seconds. That's about how long it will take for members of the 2011 graduating class from The Master's College to walk across the stage and receive their diplomas from college President, Dr. John MacArthur.

But this annual rite of passage, which will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, May 13 at College of the Canyons Athletic Stadium in Valencia, signifies much more to the approximately 250 young men and women who will take that walk. It will mean more to their friends and families and, they hope, to their respective futures.

"Graduation marks the end of one journey and the start of another," said The Master's College Senior Vice President and Provost Mark Tatlock. "It's a milestone - a launching pad from their preparation here to whatever it is the Lord is calling them to pursue."

This year's ceremony will honor graduates from The Master's Institute, the Master of Arts in Biblical Counseling, the Master of Arts in Biblical Studies, the Master of Arts in Education and the undergraduate program of The Master's College and its Center for Professional Studies.


Tom Pennington, pastor of Countryside Bible Church in Southlake, Texas, will deliver the commencement address.

International student Heather Walsh, who will receive her bachelor's degree in biblical counseling, is looking forward to sharing the moment with family members who live an ocean away.

"My family from Ireland is coming and we're all going to be here and I'm going to be in my cap and gown," she said. "It's going to be exciting."

Julianne Bell, who is graduating with a degree in political science, is approaching the event with mixed emotions.

"I'm sad about leaving people … the friendships I've made," she said.

On the other hand, Bell is looking forward to walking through the doors opening in front of her. It's a privilege shared by the entire 2011 class.

"We rejoice with our graduates and their loved ones," Tatlock said. "It's fitting that we celebrate this momentous occasion. Even more, though, we rejoice over how God is going to work through the lives of our graduates. The real fruit of their labor is yet to come."

The ceremony is open to college faculty, administration, graduates and their families and friends. The guest seating area will open at 5:30 p.m., with graduation exercises commencing an hour later.

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2011 Commencement speaker at The Master's College is Tom Pennington, the senior pastor of Countryside Bible Church in the Dallas area. Before his ministry in Texas, Tom served 16 years in various roles connected to Grace Community Church. For many years he was also managing director of Grace to You, overseeing the day-to-day operations of the international radio, audio, publications, and internet ministry.

Special note: This year's commencement at The Master's College will be streamed live on the Web. Check back with for details.

G0 to to watch the event live via streaming video.