Accra,- The Trinity Theological Seminary, Legon, at the weekend graduated 217 students, with a call on them to exude and uphold high moral standards in their pastoral ministries and publicly.
In all, 217 students received various honours, including 16 Certificate in Ministry, 55 Bachelor of Theology, 91 Master of Arts in Ministry, 41 Master of Divinity, 11 Master of Theology, and three Doctor of Philosophy in Theology.
The 76th graduation ceremony was on the theme: “Faith-Based Education, Public Morality and Nation Building”.
Very Reverend Professor J. Kwabena Asamoah-Gyadu, President of the Seminary, in his welcome address, charged the graduates to abide by the formation of their training and exemplify those tenets in how they conducted themselves in ministry and publicly.
“The hope of every institution is that all graduating students will carry with them, through life values, Pastoral, theological and moral values to help them fulfil their mission,” he said.
According to him, the country’s errant prophets and pastors were making Christianity a nuisance, saying “you’re trained to be different and we trust that you’ll make the faculty and your sponsors proud in whatever and wherever you’re called to serve as ordained lay ministers.”
Prof Asamoah-Gyadu said the theme for the graduation was to draw attention to a particular need in terms of the development of the country, stating that the country’s economic figures would not add up if public morality was not taken seriously by all.
He said building the nation to the level of those often admired would require the cultivation of high moral standards with the virtues of honesty, truthfulness, love and a passionate commitment to work.
He said the essence of theological education and pastoral formation, was to raise visionary leaders who were Godly and placed interest of ministry and country above all else, adding that graduates of the seminary must at all times exude and bring the highest level of dignity to bear on the work in ministry and public service.
Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, Vice President, said faith-based education was significant as it was through those institutions that character was built and important values nurtured in young people.
He said such institutions were not places of social media learning and information overload, but avenues for knowledge acquisition and the deepening of intellect.
The Vice President said today’s world had become important that countries deliberately developed a society of persons who were not merely prepared for jobs, but were also set for ongoing growth in all aspects of life to make a difference in the world.
He said: “As Ghanaians, we could build a distinct moral identity and constitute a reference point for people of other nations. We must endeavour, both in our public and private lives, to do what is morally right and eschew what is morally evil.”
Prof Ato Essuman, Dean, Faculty of Education and Entrepreneurship, Methodist University College of Ghana, said morality is the bedrock upon which society rested, adding that every society was structured on moral principles which implied an implicit undertaking of a social contract to observe those moral principles.
According to him the neglect of public morality in any society was diametrically opposed to that society’s development and growth, and said such society experienced injustice, instability, public corruption, social-disorder and many other vices that were inimical to its development.
Prof Essuman, also a Member of the Council of State, said the standard of public morality at any given time and place was very much influenced by the prevailing socio-economic and political environment as well as the solidity of traditional moral foundations, be those religious, professional or social.
Reverend Canon Patrick Okaija-Bortier, who graduated with a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), on behalf of the graduate students, thanked the Institution for their tutelage, and pledged to work assiduously in their respective ministries.
Source: Ghana News Agency