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Winter 2018 Commencement at Bethel University

Nearly 300 students graduated from the College of Arts & Sciences, College of Adult & Professional Studies, and the Graduate School.

By Suzanne McInroy, director of communications

December 17, 2018 | 4 p.m.

Winter Commencement 2018

Winter Commencement 2018 at Bethel University

Bethel University held its Winter Commencement ceremony on December 14 with 288 students graduating from the College of Arts & Sciences, College of Adult & Professional Studies, and the Graduate School. With the May and December commencement totals combined, 1,156 students graduated from Bethel across all four schools in 2018.

Winter Commencement 2018

Nearly 300 students graduated from the College of Arts & Sciences, College of Adult & Professional Studies, and the Graduate School on December 14.

President Jay Barnes welcomed students and their families and friends to the ceremony before briefly introducing the Winter Commencement speaker, 2018 Bethel Seminary Alumna of the Year Heather Flies ’95, S’02. “With each commencement speaker, my goal is to put before you someone I want you to be more like,” Barnes said. “One thing I admire about Heather is she sees herself as God’s special creation and encourages others to see themselves that way, too.”

Winter Commencement 2018

Winter Commencement speaker and 2018 Bethel Seminary Alumna of the Year Heather Flies ’95, S’02

Flies is in her 22ndyear as the junior high pastor at Wooddale Church in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. She encouraged the graduates to follow the Apostle Paul’s advice that he gave to the church in Galatia—to exchange the burden of pleasing people for being a true servant of Jesus Christ. “In the next phase of your life, you will have plenty of opportunities to please people. The opportunities will be real and the potential consequences to not pleasing people will also be real,” said Flies. “If that’s where you look for approval, you will be disappointed and you will be exhausted.”

Instead, Flies told the graduates to accept the gift of Jesus Christ. “And when God is the solid base of your approval, everyone else’s approval is just a bonus.”

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