ELKINS – The Rev. Michael D. Kirby, senior pastor and head of staff at Northminster Presbyterian Church in northwest Evanston, Illinois, will deliver the address at the Davis & Elkins College Baccalaureate Service and Recognition of Graduates on Friday, May 10. The ceremony begins at 7 p.m. in Myles Center for the Arts Harper-McNeeley Auditorium and includes the presentation of academic hoods to members of the class of 2019.
“We are pleased to welcome Rev. Kirby to our Baccalaureate Service,” said D&E President Chris A. Wood. “He shares with Davis & Elkins College strong ties to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and our commitment to celebrating the inherent dignity of each of our students. Our Baccalaureate Service is a highlight of the academic year as we recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of our graduates as they prepare to embark on the next chapter of their lives and make a difference in our world.”
A native of Houston, Texas, Kirby has been a Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and the Chicago Presbytery since 2003. He serves as co-chair of the InterFaith Action of Evanston Clergy and Religious Leaders group and co-leads a new anti-hate/anti-discrimination community organizing body, Evanston4All, launched in late 2016.
Kirby also is a member of the Permanent Judicial Commission of the Synod of Lincoln Trails and serves as Governance Committee chair and secretary on the Board of Directors of Presbyterian Homes of Northern Illinois. Presbyterian Homes operates three senior living communities in the Chicago suburbs. Last summer, Kirby served as moderator of the Environmental Issues Committee for the 223rd General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in St. Louis.
As an overture advocate for the Presbytery of Chicago at five General Assemblies, Kirby was part of the teams of advocates who successfully argued for removal of restrictions on the ordination of lgbtq+ Presbyterians, granting churches and clergy the right to host and perform same-sex marriages if they so choose, and PC (U.S.A.) endorsement of the 1000 Days of Health Initiative for women and infants at the United Nations.
Also during his career, Kirby served 11 years as pastor of Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church on the South Side of Chicago.
Kirby graduated from Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia, in 2003 and was the inaugural recipient of the Toms-McGarahan Prize in Theology and Worship. In 1989, he graduated cum laude from Baylor University School of Law and was a partner in a Houston law firm where he practiced civil litigation and appellate law for 12 years. He also holds a bachelor’s degree from Baylor University where he graduated cum laude in 1986.
The Davis & Elkins College Commencement Weekend begins Friday, May 10 with the traditional Nurses’ Pinning Ceremony at 4 p.m. and a Baccalaureate Service and Recognition of Graduates at 7 p.m., both in Myles Center for the Arts Harper-McNeeley Auditorium. A reception for graduates and their guests will take place immediately after the Baccalaureate Service on the Claude King Davis Memorial Plaza. The 110th Commencement Ceremony is set for 10 a.m. Saturday, May 11 in Myles Center for the Arts Harper-McNeeley Auditorium. A reception for graduates and their guests will follow on the Claude King Davis Memorial Plaza.