The Impact of ETSC on Egypt and the World
by Ben Behrendt
Our third day in Egypt and spirits are high! After a hearty breakfast of fava beans and pita bread, we spent the day in the friendly confines of ETSC (Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo).
Led by our trusty Scottish guide, we were given a tour of the seminary. Colin was quick to tell us that the seminary 'always has a vision for the future.' And this vision of ETSC has been clear from the beginning.
In 1863, a wealthy maharaja donated a house boat to the Presbyterian Church. As the 'Ibis' went up and down the Nile River, classes were taught during the day. But as evening approached, students would go ashore and witness to villagers. From the very start, the seminary has sought to equip leaders to go into the world to share the gospel.
As the seminary eventually upgraded to a building in Asyut and finally to its current location in Abbassiya, Cairo, the vision has remained the same. During rich conversation with students and faculty, we learned of the enormous impact ETSC is having on Egypt and the world.
The crucial relationship between seminary and church was stressed. The goal is not simply to educate the students – it's to send them out into the community to serve. Both summer and full-year internships provide valuable experience and impact communities in meaningful ways.
A mission department launched in 2000 has also helped equip students to take the good news all over the Middle East. In fact, we learned of students who adamantly requested they be sent to the countries that are most hostile to Christians – their greatest desire is to take the gospel to these lands.
The vision of ETSC has remained the same for the last 153 years: share the good news of Jesus Christ and make disciples. The gospel is indeed 'bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world!'
Rev. Ben Behrendt for the team
Fairview Presbyterian Church