Graduate School of Theology Celebration

May 22, 2021

Video Event on Saturday, May 22, 2021

A video stream on this page will begin on Saturday, May 22, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. PST. After the event, a recording of the video stream will be accessible on this page for a limited time.

2020 & 2021 Commencement Announcement from Dean Jana Childers!

childers.jpgDear SFTS Community,

As staff and faculty began to work on Commencement plans this Spring, new questions and visions of possibility began bubbling up.

Is there any way we can transcend the difficulties of this year and create at least one big, beautiful experience? Can we dream up a graduation that will leave our seniors with lasting memories? How shall we follow the Spirit’s leading into a moment of communitas for SFTS? And can we do everything we need to do safely in the time of COVID?

We have been working these over, embracing the paradoxes of Spring 2021 life and seeking both/and solutions wherever we can find them. I write today to tell you what we have found so far.

Our Vision for a Both/And Commencement

We plan to hold Commencement in person outside on the Geneva Terrace. We plan to live-stream the ceremony for those unable to travel. We ask for patience and flexibility from the community as the county guidelines criss-cross the rainbow of COVID tiers, from purple to red to orange. We want you to know that barring the most extreme kind of change (i.e., all the way back to a shelter-in-place order), we will not pivot from the decision to be outside together for graduation this year. Other features may change in accordance with county guidelines. But we realize you need time to plan and so we commit to an in-person event.

Our commitment to safety is paramount. We will need to limit the number of in-person friends and family for each graduate candidate to 1 guest in order to ensure safe social distancing. The Class of 2020 is invited to participate in this year’s event, as promised at last year’s Commencement. We appreciate the help of SAC and the Chaplain’s Assistants in co-creating this event. Reminders and information will be sent in the weeks ahead—please check your emails from the Registrar and Student Services.

What a glorious setting we will have with Mt. Tamalpais, Bald Hill, and Geneva Hall framing our ceremony! And what could be more apt than to have the labyrinth beneath us, reminding us of the winding journey we have taken to and through this place. I hope you will plan to join us in a big, beautiful event celebrating our seniors and the community that is SFTS!

Many blessings,

Rev. Dr. Jana Childers, Dean of the Seminary

Please scroll down for details!

Information for 2020 Graduates and 2021 Candidates


Commencement will take place on May 22, 2021 outside on Geneva Terrace at 10:00 a.m. We are excited to be able to offer an outdoor Commencement program on our beautiful Labyrinth, in compliance with safety protocols including masks and social distancing. 

If you plan to participate in person, you are not required to wear traditional academic regalia to participate in the Commencement ceremonies.  You may use your own pulpit gown or military uniform, for example. If you do not have your own academic attire, the seminary has rented regalia on your behalf (this is already included in your Commencement fee). Please sign up below for a pick up time and portrait!

Please sign up here for your time pick up on Friday, May 21at Lower Alexander. We are also taking graduate portraits at the same time, so have your best smile ready!  For questions about regalia, please contact Chandra Ramirez,

We are following California State and Marin County guidelines, in consultation with UR protocols. Graduates and guests: If you are traveling from out of state to attend Commencement, or you have recently traveled out of state, we ask that one of the following be observed:

1. Be fully vaccinated with second vaccine at least 2 weeks before May 22,
2. A negative COVID-19 test within 48 hours of attending Commencement and be asymptomatic for COVID-19. 

3. Please wear a mask and practice social distancing.

4. In addition, self-screening guidelines are required prior to the event. Please follow the link and register yourself and your guest here:

One guest per graduate limit applies. Thank you!

Guests may use the lots outside Scott Hall, Montgomery Hall and along Seminary Road.

All attendees who RSVP’d are required to please check in at the welcome table located at the base of Geneva stairs for screening, temperature checks and safety protocols. Graduates need to report by 9:00 a.m. to be directed to staging area and line up coordination. Seating for guests will begin by 9:30 a.m. and ushers are available to escort guests to their seats on the terrace.

For graduates and guests still seeking to secure accommodations, please contact our Events team by Tuesday, May 18, 2021 to ensure availability at or call 415-451-2808.

Restrooms are available in Geneva Hall. Access is available from the terrace to Geneva Hall. For guests needing assistance, an elevator is located at the ground level of Geneva Hall. An event assistant will be available to guide guests to the terrace upon exiting the elevator and to the seating area.

Please contact Stephanie LaMonaca at

Our Commencement team will be sending updates and important information to the personal email you have on file with us. Please check for and review these emails in order to meet all requested deadlines and ensure a smooth commencement program. We truly appreciate your cooperation in helping to make this combined commencement celebration safe, and successful under new and unique circumstances. We are so excited to celebrate with you!