Pillar College 2019 Commencement

Baccalaureate Service – Friday, May 17th – 7:30 pm

Rutgers Community Christian Church
71 Cedar Grove Lane, Somerset, NJ 08873

Mandatory graduation rehearsal at 6:00pm sharp!


Graduation Ceremony- Saturday, May 18th  – 10:00 am

Rutgers Community Christian Church
71 Cedar Grove Lane, Somerset, NJ 08873

Mandatory arrival at 8:00am for all graduation candidates, faculty and ceremony participants.


Graduates will receive 4 FREE TICKETS. Additional tickets are on sale for $10. Limited quantities available.

*Additional Ticket Purchase Disclaimer – After you have completed an initial ticket purchase(s), any additional ticket purchase(s) will require a new email registration that is not similar to the one used in the prior purchase.


Commencement Speakers

Dr. Mark G. Harden

Pillar College in Newark, New Jersey announced that after a year-long national search, its next Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the College is Mark G. Harden, Ph.D.

Dr. Harden’s experience in academic leadership runs deep. He has earned a reputation as a visionary and compassionate leader in education for the past 16 years. Dr. Harden has received national recognition for developing innovative approaches in theological education to equip men and women for pastoral ministry. He has served at several seminaries including Bethel Theological Seminary, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and Ashland Theological Seminary as a professor of church and community ministries and as an executive leader as Dean and President. As a licensed and ordained minister, he has the honor of serving on the Board of the Association of Theological Schools and the American Baptist Historical Society. Other accomplishments in ministry include serving as founder and Executive Director of Streetwise, Inc. and Detroit Love, Inc. in Detroit, Michigan. Dr. Harden believes that the most important asset of any college is it faculty.

Pillar College President, Dr. David E. Schroeder in announcing the appointment stated, “I am so grateful that God has led Dr. Mark Harden to join our team at Pillar College. He is exceptionally well-credentialed honed by several decades in three well-regarded Christian institutions. Dr. Harden is the academic leader we were seeking. As a mission-mindful leader he has ample inner city academic leadership experience, Dr. Harden brings to us a heart that is aligned with ours in seeking to exalt Christ in all we do. As Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Pillar College, Dr. Harden will make a major imprint on the future direction of the College as it continues to expand its reach to other urban areas and its influence throughout the Christian world.”

Dr. Harden is a family and child ecologist in the field of church and community development. He holds degrees from several higher education institutions including Oakland University, Marygrove College, Northern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Philosophy from Michigan State University. He and his wife Sharon have four grown children: Tracey, Chauncy, Erin and Marcus. Dr. and Mrs. Harden will be relocating from Michigan.

Pillar College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) and is a member of the Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE), Pillar College offers Diploma programs through Associate’s, Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. The College has locations in Somerset, Newark, and Paterson, NJ, on-line and other various locations throughout New Jersey.


Professor V. David Sedaca is a Jewish believer in Jesus. He is presently Vice President of Chosen People Ministries and teaches in several academic institutions in the United States and Israel. He received his BA “Suma Cum Laude” in Psychology from Harvard University. He attended Biola University and continued at the Baptist Theological Seminary in Buenos Aires. Professor David Sedaca studied Judaism in New York and continued rabbinical studies at the School of Middle East Studies of the University of Belgrano.

Having served as pastor in four different evangelical churches, Rev. David Sedaca became fully involved in Jewish ministries, although he continued serving as pastor as well as Messianic Jewish Rabbi. Until the year 2,000 he was the Senior Pastor of Central Baptist Church in Norfolk, Virginia. He served as Director and Homiletics professor of the Graduate School of the Bible Training Center for Pastors in Virginia. He has also been the Messianic Rabbi of three congregations. He served as Canadian and Latin American Director for Chosen People Ministries. He is member of the Board of Directors of several missionary organizations, Bible Institutes, seminaries, and Christian organizations in the US, Canada, England, Latin America and Israel.

Professor David Sedaca has been lecturer of Homiletics, Judaism and Jewish evangelism in several seminaries and Universities in United States, Canada, South America, South Africa, Israel, and Europe, and his writings and articles are published regularly in different theological journals and Christian magazines around the world.

His dynamic preaching and profound knowledge of the Bible from a Jewish perspective has made him a much sought-after speaker around the world. For his academic achievements and his endeavors to bridge different cultures, he has received honorary degrees and appointments from academic institutions and the State of Israel.

He is currently “The Tim and Jeri Erdman Permanent Visiting Scholar” and Professor of Archaeology and Biblical Studies at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, in the Rothberg International School’s Moriah International Center. He teaches at Israel’s most prestigious university “Introduction to Biblical Archaeology,” “The Jewishness of the Gospels,” “The Jewish Background of the New Testament,” “Paul and Halakha: Between Law and Grace,” and “Introduction to Rabbinic Literature.” He is also professor at the Haifa Theological Institute in Israel, where his live lectures are turned into DVDs and translated to Russian, Spanish, and Hebrew; thus, his teachings are now reaching hundreds of people throughout United States, Latin America, Israel and Russian speaking countries. He has been member of the Lausanne Consultation for Jewish Evangelism since its founding, and for the past 20 years he has been the LCJE Latin American Coordinator.

Rev. David Sedaca served for 25 years as Executive Secretary and CEO of the International Messianic Jewish Alliance, which is the worldwide fellowship of Jewish believers in Jesus. He was also past President of the Union of American Messianic Jewish Believers; the fellowship of Jewish believers from different churches and messianic Jewish congregations. He is married to Julia Sedaca and they have four children and nine grandchildren.


    • Final Graduation Clearance:
      • Clearance Deadline: Thursday, May 16 by 6:00pm (For Graduation applicants who have not yet received full clearance to participate in the ceremony)

      Contact Student Service Center: enrollmentservices@pillar.edu or 973-803-5000 ext. 1129 for clearance, cap & gown pickup and complimentary grad ticket package.


      Tickets for Commencement:

      • The deadline to purchase tickets online is Thursday, May 16 by 11:00pm. Tickets will NOT be available at the door.
      • RE: Children – One ticket per seat. If the child needs his/her own seat, he/she will need a ticket
      • Tickets are not required for graduation candidates
      • If you or your guests purchased tickets online, we must have a name associated with each purchased ticket. If names were not submitted during the order, please email the guest names to Commencement@pillar.edu (subject line Ticket Order)
      • Tickets are not required for Friday night’s Baccalaureate Service.


      FRIDAY NIGHT: Rehearsal and Baccalaureate Service

      • Arrive by 6:00 PM to begin Mandatory rehearsal for graduation – dress is business formal, no cap and gown
      • A light dinner will be served at 5:30pm for graduation candidates, volunteers and ceremony officials
      • Honor cords will be distributed on Friday during rehearsal
      • A special alumni installation ceremony will be held at 7:15pm prior to Baccalaureate


      SATURDAY MORNING: Graduation Ceremony

      • Arrive by 8:00 AM for robing, line-up and group photos
      • Report to the auditorium by 8:50am to begin staging 2019 Class photo. Tight schedule – please be prompt or you will not be included in the group photo.
      • Bagels and coffee will be available for graduation candidates, faculty and ceremony officials
      • Flower bouquets and Pillar Gear will be available for purchase in the lobby of the venue. Let your guests know they can buy you special graduation gifts!



      Are you looking forward to that special moment when you’ve reached the stage to take your diploma and shake the President’s hand? Don’t let a mispronunciation of your name ruin the moment. Call the Registrar’s line this weekend (between Friday, May 10 – 5pm and Sunday, May 12 – 11:59pm) and leave a recorded voicemail of the correct pronunciation of your name. Speak slowly, loudly and clearly. In fact, practice it yourself a few times before you call and leave the message.

      • Graduation Name Pronouncement Line: 1-800-234-9305 x 1117



    • Photos: If you had photos taken with John Liy our professional photographer, he has already sent the college your photo. Otherwise, email a good quality photo to Commencement@pillar.edu
    • Essays: Submit your essays here à Reflection Essays (Pillar College reserves the right to abbreviate and condense long essays for promotional purposes)
    • IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT GRADUATE INDIVIDUAL PHOTOS – Photographer John Liy and his wife were seriously injured in a car accident and are presently in the hospital. Please be advised that you should expect a delay in receiving your individual photo packages. We know you will understand the severity of the circumstances that caused this delay and hope you will keep John and his wife Mae in your prayers.

    For any additional questions, please email Commencement@pillar.edu