Former Congresswoman Michele Bachmann fires up CIU graduates: “You are God’s handiwork!”

May 07, 2019

By Naomi Balk

CIU Student Writer

“Commencement is my favorite day of the year,” said CIU President Dr. Mark Smith as he introduced former Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann as the CIU commencement speaker to the Class of 2019.  

Bachmann delivered a passionate commissioning address to 125 graduate students and 190 undergraduate students in two separate ceremonies. The message centered on the truth in Ephesians 2:10.

“You are God’s masterpiece. You were created in Christ Jesus to do good works, good works which God prepared in advance for you to do,” Bachmann said with fiery emphasis. “Now go do it!

“The reason you are here today is because you are God’s handiwork. Think of what God did to get you to this point. God’s not done.”

Joseph Knight, who earned a bachelor’s degree in Business & Organizational Leadership, is ready to use what he learned over his four years at CIU.

“Being here God has taught me that people always need love and always need Jesus,” Knight said. “It is my job to give it to them, and to show them grace, everyone. People are hurting and broken. They all need Jesus.” 

Knight has tentative plans to go overseas and do missions after a few years of working in Columbia.

David DeDonato, who received his Doctor of Ministry in Chaplaincy said, “I am overcome! At the age of 68 I did not intend to embark on the journey to get my Ph.D.!”

DeDonato serves as a deputy chaplain for the South Carolina State Guard and senior chaplain with the Lexington, South Carolina Police Department.

His joy was so evident that as he walked across the stage of Shortess Chapel as the last graduate to be recognized, he waved his arms to his fellow graduates for a standing ovation to celebrate the day.

He gave a chuckle thinking about it after the ceremony saying, “It’s not about what I can do for God, but about what God can do through me.”

After Bachmann spoke at the second ceremony, she was recognized by CIU with the school’s first Global Impact Award for leading the Jerusalem Project that calls on nations to pray for Israel. The CIU Global Impact Award recognizes a public figure who reflects the core values of CIU and has made outstanding achievements for God’s Kingdom.

Hear the commencement addresses on CIU's podcast page. 

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