International Ministries

IM Global Consultant "Tours the World” while Receiving Honorary Degree

May 21, 2009 News
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Rev. Daniel Buttry, an International Ministries global consultant for peace and justice, was honored with a Doctor of Divinity (D.D.) degree by Central Baptist Theological Seminary, Shawnee, Kansas on May 16, 2009.

This distinction was conferred in recognition of his 20 years of faithful service around the world, affirmed the Seminary President, Rev. Molly T. Marshall, Ph.D.  Dan has made a significant contribution in teaching and writing, as a pastor, and through the church's larger mission in Christian peacemaking.

Having traveled globally on behalf of American Baptists—helping people pursue peace, justice and reconciliation through ministries of conflict transformation and education—Dan presented the commencement address based on 2 Corinthians 5:16-21, which speaks of reconciliation. He illustrated the call that all seminary graduates have—a call that goes beyond the job title of pastor, youth minister, program director, or missionary. The call is to be "Ambassadors for Christ with Diplomatic Vulnerability.”

Using his passport, which was filled with visa stickers and stamps from various countries, Dan recounted his ministry during the years in Orissa, Ethiopia and Georgia (formerly a part of the Soviet Union). In each of these locations he observed the need for “freedom that is based on respect for the human dignity for all people,” the call to serve “the least of these…the ones you will find at the margins” and the awareness that “the Holy Spirit ignites our service, even service that sends us out to love our enemies.”  A short video by Central Baptist Seminary offers a visual backdrop to Dan's work.  You can also read the transcript of his commencement address here.

His remarks to the graduates included this challenging reminder:

You don’t have diplomatic immunity as an Ambassador for Christ.

            You aren’t protected from the pains and troubles of the world.

Rather you have diplomatic vulnerability.

            We are called to have open hearts to be touched by the sorrows and

                        injustices around us.

            We are called to be vulnerable, to be hurt and to be pained by the hurts

                        and pains that others bear.

            That’s how we bear the cross of Christ.

            That’s how we take the love of Christ to those who need him.

 

The Doctor of Divinity degree awarded to Dan is the highest honor bestowed by Central Baptist Theological Seminary.  Central Seminary also commended Dan on his planning for the Global Baptist Peace Conference in Italy, which was held last February and co-sponsored by International Ministries.