The service was held at the Centre of Theology and Ministry in Parkville on Thursday evening with 12 of this year’s 22 valedictorians attending along with faculty members and family and friends.
Those who attended were given with a card and a candle by Pilgrim Acting Head of College and Academic Dean Sean Winter, while ministry candidate Peter Mallen was presented with a cross to be held during prayers and a candle.
The valedictorians who are completing qualifications will graduate from the University of Divinity at a later date.
Dr Winter gave the valedictory address and warmly congratulated those who completed their studies or “were on the verge” of completing their studies.
He went on to speak about the concept of mind, both human and divine.
“Whatever the future holds, keep the questions you have asked here, the challenges you have faced here, the insights you have won here, the knowledge you have gained here, the changes you have made here, keep them at the forefront of your mind and go on living with them,” Dr Winter told the valedictorians.
Mr Mallen, who had been in Pilgrim’s formation program for two years while also being in placement as a lay pastor at Rosanna Uniting Church in Melbourne’s north-east, said leaving Pilgrim was just part of a 20-year journey into ministry.
He is now awaiting the discernment of the church as to which congregation he could be placed at for ordained ministry.
Mr Mallen said the formation period had been important to help him understand his call to ministry with questions that had taken a long time to resolve.
“For me personally, what is the difference between ministry as an ordained person and ministry and as a lay pastor?” Mr Mallen said.
“So that’s been important to wrestle with.”