Anderson University will welcome nationally known author, scholar and pastor Leonard Sweet as the guest speaker for commencement on Saturday, May 7. Commencement will occur at 3 p.m. (EDT) in the Ward Fieldhouse of the Kardatzke Wellness Center. Anderson University will award two honorary degrees during commencement. Both Sweet and the Rev. Arnetta McNeese Bailey, executive director of Christian Women Connection, will receive Honorary Doctor of Divinity degrees. The event is free and open to the public.
Other events scheduled on May 7 include the following:
- 10 a.m. – Baccalaureate in Reardon Auditorium with the Rev. Erin M. Taylor, pastor of adult ministries at Church at the Crossing in Indianapolis and member of the AU Board of Trustees, speaking. Free and open to the public.
- 11:30 a.m. – Hooding ceremony for the Falls School of Business Master of Business Administration and Doctor of Business Administration recipients at Park Place Church of God.
- Noon – Hooding ceremony for the Master of Music Education graduates at York Performance Hall and Galleries.
Events scheduled prior to May 7 include the following:
- Thursday, May 5, 6 p.m. – Certification dinner for the Transition to Teaching Program recipients at the Olt Student Center.
- Friday, May 6, 6 p.m. – School of Nursing Pinning Ceremony at Reardon Auditorium.
- Friday, May 6, 6 p.m. – Hooding ceremony for School of Theology graduates at Miller Chapel.
Anderson University is a private Christian university in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America's top colleges by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review and Forbes. Established in 1917 by the Church of God (Anderson, Ind.), Anderson University offers more than 60 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, music, nursing and theology.
Leonard Sweet is an American theologian, church historian, pastor and author. In 2006 and 2007, Sweet was voted by his peers as “One of the 50 Most Influential Christians in America” by ChurchReport magazine, and in 2010, he was selected by the top non-English Christian website as one of the “Top 10 Influential Christians of 2010.” Author of more than 200 articles, 1,300 published sermons and 50 books, Sweet’s publications include the best sellers Soul Tsunami, Aqua Church, Jesus Manifesto (with Frank Viola), and Jesus: A Theography (with Frank Viola).
Sweet is currently the E. Stanley Jones Professor of Evangelism at Drew University and a visiting distinguished professor at George Fox University. Sweet was vice president of academic affairs and dean of the theological school at Drew University from 1995 to 2001. Previous to Drew University, he served for 11 years as president and professor of church history at United Theological Seminary and is currently president emeritus. Prior to 1985, he was provost of Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School.
The Rev. Arnetta McNeese Bailey is executive director of Christian Women Connection, where she has served since 2002. She is founder and executive director of Pricilla’s Lost and Found and In the Company of Good Men, faith-based mentoring programs for women and men in transition with seven chapters nationwide. McNeese Bailey is a sought-after speaker and conference leader with both national and international reach. Her writing can be found in Bridges curriculum published by Warner Press and in Called to Minister, Empowered to Serve. She has served numerous organizations and ministries, including the National Association of the Church of God, Children of Promise, Circle of Missions Committee, Executive Leadership Strategic Planning Committee of the Church of God and the Church of God Reconciliation Task Force.