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MVNU announces commencement details 

MOUNT VERNON, Ohio (April 4, 2022) – Mount Vernon Nazarene University will honor its 2022 graduates – both traditional and non-traditional – during commencement ceremonies in the R.R. Hodges Chapel/Auditorium on Saturday, April 30.   

Traditional undergraduates will participate in one of two ceremonies to provide adequate spacing for those in attendance. The Class of 2022 will make their graduation official on the following schedule based on their school of study: 

  • 10 a.m. – School of Arts and Humanities and Jetter School of Professional Studies 
  • 12:30 p.m. – School of Christian Ministry, School of Natural and Social Sciences, and School of Nursing and Health Sciences 

Rev. Jenn Ballenger, Assistant Professor of Youth and Family, will give the commencement address for traditional graduates. She graduated from MVNU in 1999 with a B.A. in English and a concentration in secondary education. While serving nearly two decades in full-time pastoral ministry, Ballenger earned a M.A. in Spiritual Formation from Northwest Nazarene University in 2010. The next year she was ordained as an elder in the Church of the Nazarene, South Central District.  

She came to teach full-time at MVNU in January 2020 following 11 years as an adjunct professor in the Christian Education department, which is now incorporated as concentrations and minors in the School of Christian Ministry. 


Graduates of the School of Graduate & Professional Studies will be honored at 3 p.m. Tickets will not be required for this ceremony and doors will open at 2 p.m. for guests. 

Dr. Lynn Shoemaker, Associate Professor of Education, will give the commencement address for the GPS graduates. She has held several positions in the education field throughout her career, including elementary principal, middle school principal, special education coordinator and classroom teacher.   

Shoemaker is in her twelfth year as an associate professor of education, where she enjoys teaching many courses that lead her students at the undergraduate and graduate level to secure their Ohio teaching license. Shoemaker has been awarded Faculty Member of the Year for multiple years, while teaching graduate classes; and Student Choice Faculty Award in 2021, an award selected by the undergraduate students in the education department at MVNU. 

All the ceremonies will be available to watch live, or on demand, at

All graduates are also invited to special events on Friday, April 29. Ribbon cutting will take place at the Flame beginning at 6 p.m., followed by the Baccalaureate at 7 p.m., in the R.R. Hodges Chapel/Auditorium. 

Director of Intercultural Life Tavaris Taylor will serve as the speaker for the Baccalaureate service. He is an experienced business and education professional with a demonstrated history of working in the local government, non-governmental organizations, and multinational companies. He was invited to deliver a TED talk in 2018 and is an alumnus of the national Academy of Preachers.  

While working in Mexico for Business as Missions and CMP International Globalscope, he completed his master’s degree in International Management from the Universidad de las Américas Puebla. 

He served at Point University, West Point, Ga., as the director of alumni and church relations and as a community relations officer and worked with several institutions as an adjunct professor of international business. Taylor joined MVNU in 2020. 

For more information on commencement, visit

Mount Vernon Nazarene University is a private, four-year, intentionally Christian teaching university for traditional age students, graduate students, and working adults. With a 327-acre main campus in Mount Vernon, Ohio, MVNU emphasizes academic excellence, spiritual growth, and service to community and church. MVNU offers an affordable education both in-seat and online to more than 2,100 students from 42 states and nine foreign countries. 

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