Evangelical Theological Seminary - February 2016 Update
The Center for Middle Eastern Christianity held its second international symposium in early December 2015. The theme this year was “Celebrating 150 Years of the Van Dyck Arabic Bible Translation.” In 1865, a team headed by the American-Dutch Bible translator, Van Dyck, finished the full translation of the Arabic Bible. This translation has become the most famous translation used throughout the Middle East. The Coptic Orthodox Church and the Protestant churches in the region and worldwide use the Van Dyck translation.
More than 300 people from six countries attended the symposium, and 30 papers were presented. The symposium was truly “ecumenical” – two bishops, ten priests, six monks, four nuns, and many Muslim scholars participated. The symposium was held in partnership with the Coptic Studies Center in Bibliotheca Alexandrina.
The center for Middle Eastern Christianity published two books as part of the symposium: The Church in the Shadow of the Mosque by Sidney Griffith translated by Wageeh Mikhail and Mahir Nathan; and Studies in Arab Christian Theology. The center will soon publish the proceedings of the symposium.
Strengthening our Growing Partnership with the Church of Scotland
ETSC was honored to receive a group from the Church of Scotland. The delegation included Rev. Dr. Angus Morrison, Moderator of the General Assembly and his wife, Marion; Rev. Ian Alexander, Council Secretary; Mr. Kenney Roger, Middle East Secretary; Mr. Rob Flett, Communications Manager; and Ms. Hanna-Mary Goodlad, Moderator of the National Youth Assembly. It was a wonderful chance for ETSC leadership, faculty and students to interact with the group and share our ministry news and vision for the future. ETSC looks forward to expanded opportunities for learning, cooperation and ministry exchange with the Church of Scotland. There has been a strong bond between the Presbyterian Church in Egypt and Scotland since the late 1800s. One of Scotland’s first Presbyterian missionaries, John Hogg, and his wife were sent to Egypt following the work begun by the American Presbyterian Mission in 1854. Hogg is known for his preaching, work in education, leadership development and church-planting. The classes taught by the missionaries grew to be the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo.
The Church of Egypt Remains in their Hearts!
We welcome back to the seminary old friends who left but keep Egypt in their hearts. During the January term, which is a three week intensive, we welcomed back Professor David Grafton and Professor Emeritus Ghassam Khalaf. In the spring term we will welcome back Professor Joshua Yoder. Rev. Dr. David Grafton and his family served at ETSC for eight years. During January term, he taught a course on Church History and the Medieval Period. David Grafton and his wife now live in Philadelphia, but he said, “My family still misses Egypt.”
We were also privileged to have returning guest professor Dr. Khalaf during the January term. Dr. Khalaf encouraged the church in Egypt. He taught a class on the book of Mark which included his personal insights and notes from his translation of the book of Mark from Greek to Arabic. Current and past students were able to take advantage of the opportunity to learn from Dr. Khalaf.
In the spring term, ETSC is excited to welcome back Joshua Yoder. The students are looking forward to having him back. While Professor Yoder was at ETSC full-time, he taught New Testament. This spring, he will be teaching a course on Galatians.
ETSC is blessed to have so many highly qualified professors, both full-time and visiting. Our students and the church in Egypt are strengthened through these professors. It is through your support and prayers that this happens.
Although the new spring semester has not officially begun, there was a flourish of activity as students and guests filled the campus during the January term. It was an active time of learning and growing! Activities will soon begin in Menya and Alexandria. We are able to offer more classes on-line and have students as far away as Spain currently taking on-line classes. We have between 250-300 students combined from all three campuses and programs. As the students and guests fill the campus, we are humbled by the fact that many of our students are here because of our partners and supporters in Egypt and around the world. It is a great honor that we do not take lightly at ETSC. God has called his family from around the world to be part of the activity and training of the leaders of the church in Egypt.
Grace and peace,
Atef Gendy, President and Professor of New Testament
Amount needed in 2016
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