Washington Pastor Speaks at December Commencement

Mark Batterson speaks at DBU commencement

Dallas, TX – Dr. Mark Batterson, lead pastor of National Community Church in Washington, D.C., served as the keynote speaker for two of DBU’s December Commencement ceremonies and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree.

Dr. Mark Batterson, a friend of the university who has spoken to DBU faculty, staff, and students on multiple occasions, has written many books, including his first published work, In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day and New York Times Bestseller The Circle Maker. After graduating from Central Bible College, now Evangel University, in 1992, Batterson and his wife, Lora, began a career in ministry. After spending time in ministry in Chicago, the couple moved to Washington, D.C.

Started in 1996, National Community Church has grown to over 3,000 members worshipping at eight different locations around the D.C. area. The church owns and operates the largest coffee shop on Capitol Hill, Ebenezer’s Coffeehouse. Batterson has written 11 books to date and continues to share the Gospel through his writing and church. He and his wife still reside in Washington, D.C. with their three children Parker, Summer, and Josiah.

DBU awarded 466 degrees during the services, held on December 14 and 15, in the Patty and Bo Pilgrim Chapel on DBU’s campus. Dr. Michelle Henry, Professor of English and Chair of the DBU Department of English and 2017 Faculty Member of the Year, served as the keynote speaker for the Thursday service, and Dr. Jeff Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer of HighGround Advisors, was also awarded an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree during the Friday afternoon ceremony.

On Thursday evening, between the two days of Commencement services, graduates and their guests joined members of the DBU faculty and staff for a candlelighting service, an event that has become a beloved tradition. Many of the graduates began their time at DBU in a similar candlelight service during SWAT (Student Welcome & Transition) Week. Because of this, the graduate candlelighting ceremony stands as a symbol of their college journey coming full circle and is a sweet moment of reflection for many of the graduating students.

Written by Courtney Smith

Courtney Smith is a freelance content writer for University Communications at Dallas Baptist University.