DUE WEST, SC — Members of the Erskine College Class of 2012 were recognized May 12 at the school’s 167th commencement under the towers of the Erskine Building. (photo 1 of college grads)

Commencement speaker Peter Keith Greer, president and CEO of HOPE International, a global nonprofit organization serving impoverished areas of the world with microloans, talked about his “life spent in two worlds,” one of “incredible need” and the other of “incredible privilege.”

Greer is the author of The Poor Will Be Glad, a faith-based book on microfinance. He referred to Ecclesiastes 5:10—“Whoever loves money never has enough”—and observed, “We’ve swapped meaning for money.”

Happiness comes through earned success plus giving to others, he said. Earned success consists of “productively doing what God created you to do,” and we are “wired by our creator to give back. Early in your lives, be free from the American dream,” Greer told the graduates, “because the dream God has for you is so much better.”

Greer was awarded the honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree, as was Winnie Morrison Phillips, former alumni director at Erskine and a longtime member of the Due West ARP Church. (photo 2 of Winnie)

Later in the day, family and friends gathered in the Due West ARP Church to honor some 50 graduates of Erskine Theological Seminary. (photo 3 of seminary grads)

Dr. George W. Robertson, senior pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Augusta, Ga., delivered the commencement sermon, “A Long Ministry in the Same Direction,” based on Proverbs 3:1-8. “My desire for you is that you finish well. I particularly want you to finish well in the ministry,” Robertson told the graduates.

“You and I are called to preach a single story of scripture,” he said. “Every sermon, every Bible study, must explain that one story of the gospel.” (photo 4 of Robertson)

A baccalaureate service May 11 featured Dr. Richard L. Pratt Jr., president of Third Millennium Ministries. Dedicated to pro- viding “Biblical Education, For the World, For Free,” the organization is creating a multimedia seminary curriculum in a num- ber of languages. Pratt is general editor for the NIV Spirit of the Reformation Study Bible and is the author of several books, including Every Thought Captive.