Columbia International University will have two commencements on Dec. 14, one on each side of the Broad River.
The first begins at 10 a.m. in Shortess Chapel on CIU’s main campus. The second begins at 1:30 p.m. at Kirkland Correctional Institution just across the Broad River from CIU where student-inmates enrolled in the CIU Prison Initiative program will graduate.
At the main campus on Monticello Road, CIU President Dr. Bill Jones will confer degrees on nearly 125 graduates from CIU’s five colleges who have earned degrees from Associate to Doctorate. Jones will then travel to Kirkland where 14 student-inmates will receive Associate of Arts degrees. This is the fourth cohort of student-inmates to graduate from the Prison Initiative. They will join 44 CIU Prison Initiative alumni assigned to prisons across South Carolina as chaplain’s assistants.
The commencement speaker on the main campus will be former CIU President Dr. Johnny Miller. Miller served as president from 1991 to 1999, and currently teaches in CIU Seminary & School of Ministry. He has also served as a pastor and missionary and is a published author.
At the main campus commencement, CIU will also award an Honorary Doctor of Divinity degree to Dr. H. Wilbert Norton. Norton is a retired missionary and educator who served for more than a decade in the Belgian Congo and three years in Nigeria where he founded a seminary and Bible institute. Norton was also instrumental in the founding of the triennial Urbana Missionary Conference that challenges thousands of young people to enter missionary service.
The speaker at Kirkland will be CIU Professor Dr. Andre Rogers. Rogers, a native of Dillon, S.C., is professor of Theology and Pastoral Ministries at CIU, and the founder and pastor of Concord Fellowship Baptist Church in Columbia, S.C. He is also an adjunct professor at Dallas Theological Seminary in Texas.