Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo - October 2017 Update
Celebrating ETSC’s Online Program
Exciting things are happening at ETSC this fall! We are absolutely thrilled to announce the introduction of three new programs this fall semester, all of which will be by E-Learning (Distance Learning). We thank God that this has happened and also thank our faithful partners who have made this possible. The programs are:
• MAT–Master of Arts in Theology Online
• CTS–Certificate in Theological Studies
• CCM–Certificate in Church Ministry
They will target students in Egypt who are not able to study at one of the ETSC campuses because of distance or due to family responsibilities or work commitments. They will also target those from the wider Arab-speaking world who may not have access to good theological education in their home country. The programs are obviously filling a need, as 126 applications were received out of which 98 were accepted. Successful applicants come from all over Egypt and also from countries such as Lebanon, Syria, United Arab Emirates and even two from Namibia (admittedly they are Egyptian, so well able to cope with the Arabic!). There were also successful applicants (again Egyptian) from the United States and Europe where Arabic-speaking pastors are doing great work among the refugee communities. The students’ ages range from 19 years old to late 50s. New centers have been opened in Assiut and Sohag, two of the main cities in the south of Egypt, to assist those studying online and to complement those already open in Alexandria and Minya. Manal Elmotei is Director of Distance Learning, and she worked tirelessly over the summer to make sure the programs were ready. ETSC professors recorded 150 videos for use in the courses. Manal indicated that ETSC hopes to introduce a new online masters program in Christian Media in January.
Opening of New Academic Year
The 2017-18 academic year was officially opened by Dr. Atef Gendy on Friday, September 22. The auditorium was bedecked with flags from all the countries associated with the seminary and filled with staff, students and friends. Dr. Hani Hanna, the academic dean, called on the students to be passionate as they explored their faith, to be ready to use their minds and ask questions as they seek to deepen their knowledge, and to be prepared to find God in the lectures and discussions. Pastor Yousef Samir, the chair of the board, also encouraged the students and, using the example of Nehemiah, reminded them of the importance of the spiritual life as they study. It was an uplifting start to the year, and the students were motivated for the start of classes. Earlier in the day, the new students were introduced to the new Kanopi operating system, which will make submitting assignments and accessing online programs easier.
Retreat at Beit El Salam
It has become an ETSC tradition to hold a retreat for the M.Div students and faculty members prior to the beginning of the new academic year, and so we gathered at Beit El Salam, just outside Alexandria, for four days in mid-September. It is part of the spiritual formation program, but it also proved to be an invaluable opportunity to get to get to know the new students. It was a time for worship and prayer and reflection and a chance for the students to share what they had been doing over the summer, especially about their summer placements. The theme of the retreat came from 1 Corinthians 9:24 “Run to Win the Prize” with talks on an athletic theme. The movie “Chariots of Fire” was also shown: it portrays Eric Liddell striving to win gold at the Olympics in 1924 before becoming a missionary in China. On the final day Dr. Atef Gendy spoke very meaningfully to the students about holy communion before celebrating the sacrament. The faculty and students integrated so well together, and there was a wonderfully supportive atmosphere. It was an excellent start to the semester.
ETSC sees its role as empowering all the members of the Church, and in August held a week-long conference for elders. Over 80 elders from all over Egypt attended and studied subjects as wide ranging as Biblical Studies, Pastoral Counseling, and Church Management. It was a very intensive course, and at the end of the week the participants were presented with certificates by Dr. Gendy. Jackeline Nabi was a participant and one of only five women in the course. She appreciated the lectures very much but also enjoyed the fellowship with the other elders, learning from their different experiences. As many of the congregations in Egypt do not have women elders, Jackeline found herself being asked a lot of questions.
After seeing what she and her four colleagues contributed, many of the elders became more open to the idea of women in eldership. The two-year program will continue next summer with a new group of 100 elders.
We are blessed by your support,
Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo
Read more about the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo by clicking HERE.
The Outreach Foundation is seeking gifts of $10,000 per month for scholarships and operations; $20,000 for the Center for Middle East Christianity; and $80,000 for capital improvements of a newly purchased flat that will expand program capabilities for ETSC.