Graduates celebrate in front of the Howard Performing Arts Center on the campus of Andrews University. [Jackson John]

August 3, 2023

Andrews University Summer Graduation

Andrews University’s summer graduation will take place Aug. 4–6, 2023.

The weekend will include a Commencement service on Friday evening, a Baccalaureate church service on Saturday morning, a Sabbath vespers service on Saturday evening and two Commencement services on Sunday morning. 

The Commencement and vespers services will occur at the Howard Performing Arts Center, and the Baccalaureate service will take place at Pioneer Memorial Church. Please note that in order to provide more seating for families and friends of graduates, Commencement will be held in three separate services and is by reserved seating. Overflow seating for the Commencement services is available in the Seminary Chapel.  

Additional program-specific ceremonies and events are planned throughout the graduation weekend. Please consult the online schedule for a complete listing at  

On Friday, Aug. 4, at 5:30 p.m., Richard Davidson, J. N. Andrews professor of Old Testament Interpretation, will give the Commencement address for the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary and the College of Education & International Services. His talk is titled “A Strategy for Success.” Davidson served as a pastor in the Arizona Conference before pursuing a doctorate in Old Testament studies at Andrews University. After completing his degree, he was invited to become a professor in the Seminary, where he has served since. Davidson, a prolific writer and researcher, was the 2011 recipient of the Siegfried H. Horn Excellence in Research and Creative Scholarship Award. He has published several books, book chapters and scholarly articles and has presented his work at conferences and symposiums around the world. 

The Baccalaureate service will take place at 11:45 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 5. Maurice R. Valentine II, a general vice president for the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, will give a talk titled “The Second Salute.” Valentine started his career as a pastor, where he served a dozen churches across several states for almost thirty years. He then began service in the Mid-America Union as the vice president for administration and ministerial director, eventually becoming president of the Central States Conference in 2012. Valentine went on to lead the Lake Union as executive secretary, then as president, for several years. During his presidency, he also served as vice chair of the Andrews University Board of Trustees. In 2021, he became vice president for media ministries for the North American Division and was elected to his current position in 2022.  

Two Commencement services will take place on Sunday, Aug. 6. Jochebed Ade-Oshifogun, adjunct professor of nursing, will give an address titled “God’s Purpose” at the 8:30 a.m. service for graduates of the College of Health & Human services. Ade-Oshifogun obtained a PhD in nursing from the University of Illinois. She has also completed an MS in nursing education and critical care from Governors State University, an MS in nutrition from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, and a BSN from the University of Ife, Nigeria. Ade-Oshifogun arrived at Andrews University as chair of the Department of Nursing in 2015. She later became AdventHealth endowed chair in 2020, where she served until her retirement in 2022. Her teaching experience and clinical experience have spanned multiple continents, and she is the author of several scholarly manuscripts.  

Øystein LaBianca, senior research professor of anthropology and associate director of the Institute of Archaeology, will deliver the 11 a.m. Commencement address, titled “Creation Care Lifts All Boats,” for graduates of the College of Arts & Sciences and College of Professions. LaBianca received a PhD in anthropology from Brandeis University, along with an MA in anthropology from Loma Linda University and a BA in behavioral sciences and religion from Andrews University. He became a professor in the School of Social & Behavioral Sciences in 1980 and went on to become chair of the department from 1982–1990. LaBianca has also served as co-director of the Madaba Plains Project (MPP) and senior director of the Jordan Field School at Tall Hisban, Jordan, where he has conducted several research projects. After his retirement from teaching in 2020, LaBianca continues to be involved with Andrews University through creative scholarship and research pursuits.  

Select graduation services will be livestreamed. For details, visit

Founded in 1874, Andrews University is the flagship institution of higher education for the Seventh-day Adventist Church and offers more than 150 areas of study, including advanced degrees. Its main campus is in Berrien Springs, Michigan, but the University also provides instruction at colleges and universities in more than 25 countries around the world. 

Isabella Koh, University Communication student writer