The Annual Awards Ceremony, held every May, is a highlight of the ETS calendar when friends and supporters of the Seminary are invited to join with staff and students to celebrate the students’ hard work and to unite in prayer and thanksgiving for the work of the Seminary.
Studying at ETS is a real privilege, but it is also hard work. The Awards Ceremony, held immediately after the final exams, marks the end of the academic year. Students who have excelled in their studies are awarded prizes, and all those who have completed their programme of studies are cheered by those who gather in the beautiful surroundings of St Columba’s Free Church in Edinburgh, which is situated just across the road from the Seminary.
This event is an ideal way in which the Seminary likes to stay connected with the wider church, and an opportunity for ETS supporters and the wider church to support the Seminary, to hear and be encouraged about the work and to unite in thanksgiving. It is also an opportunity to get to know current and graduating students.
At the ceremony, it is a tradition that one of the leaving students gives a speech on behalf of his/her colleagues. In return, those who are entering their final year choose someone who will express encouragement to these friends who are leaving the Seminary. While often full of humour, the speeches also tend to convey a heartfelt affection born out of the friendships forged during years of study together.
The Principal closes the formal part of the evening by taking the opportunity to address the student body from Scripture – short-term students as well as those who are completing their graduate studies – focusing in particular on those who are leaving to embark on a life-time of Christian service.