Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo - March 2017 Update
Warm greetings from Cairo. We have completed our short January term, when the students have intensive classes over a three week period. During this term, we invite international scholars to come and share their knowledge with our students. In past years, we have had people like Professor Iain Torrance, President Emeritus of Princeton, and Professor Mark Labberton, President of Fuller.
This year we were fortunate to have Professor Jostein and Professor Gerd-Marie Adna from the VID Specialized University in Stavanger, Norway with us. Both of them taught classes to the senior students: Jostein on New Testament and Gerd-Marie on Religious Symbolism. Neither are strangers to ETSC, having visited on a number of occasions in the past. Gerd-Marie first came to Cairo in 1985 to study Arabic and stayed for just under a year. During this time, she found the seminary library a haven of peace and started to develop a lasting friendship with ETSC. Gerd-Marie married Jostein in 1987, and she introduced him to Cairo in 1990.
Together they have brought groups of students from Norway to ETSC on several occasions. When asked what changes she had noticed over the years, Gerd-Marie wisely said that she herself had changed and now sees things with different eyes. However, she noted, what has not changed is the commitment and faithfulness of the seminary staff and their sense of calling to be the Church in Egypt. While the temptation to move abroad is always there, the faculty members are committed to stay and serve Christ in Egypt. She also commented on how good it was to see so many female students and how encouraged she was to see women lecturers.
For many years, ETSC has had a close relationship with VID Specialized University, which is a union of four institutions throughout Norway including the School of Mission and Theology in Stavanger. One of our faculty members, Ephraim Yacoub, is a graduate from there, and two others, Medhat Nady and Ramses Saleeb, are currently studying for their masters at VID.
Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership (MAOL)
Those of us living at the seminary see the M.Div. and MAT (Masters of Art in Teaching) students around the campus throughout the year, attending lectures or using the library or chatting over a cup of coffee. Twice a year, however, we welcome the MAOL students. This is a degree ETSC offers in partnership with the Development Associates International (DAI), which is based in Colorado but works mainly in countries in the Global South. Facilitators from DAI come to Cairo for a week each January and June, and the students have intensive classes. They then continue their studies through distance learning, reading set texts and writing assignments at home. This obviously takes a lot of discipline, but one key factor in the program is that the students all belong to a ‘cohort,’ which is in effect a year group, and they are able to provide mutual support for one another. As its title suggests, the degree focuses on specific needs and issues surrounding Christian Leadership. The students take 12 modules over a three year period, and subjects include modules such as Integrity and Finance, Spiritual Formation, Mentoring and Coaching, and Conflict Management and Resolution.
John Samuel is in the third year of the program and comes from a civil engineering background. He has been impressed by the modules he has taken so far. “What we learn can easily be put into practice in work and in the church,” he comments. He values the strengthening of leadership in the church and only hopes that the course, which has been taught in English so far, can be translated into Arabic and reach a wider audience.
Student Common Room
In the past, any available space at the seminary has been used for educational purposes. However, the seminary has identified the importance of creating a space where our students can relax. So we plan to construct a Student Center in the dorm building. In the meantime, a temporary solution has been found. The students are using the suite on the fifth floor as their common room, which includes a social room where the students can chat and watch television (it has been crowded recently as everyone has been supporting the Egypt soccer team in the Africa Cup of Nations!). There is also a recreation room which includes a table tennis table and a quiet room for prayer. The common room certainly enhances the students’ social, physical, emotional and indeed spiritual well-being – and, as the writer lives directly below it, they make surprisingly little noise! Meanwhile, there have been some changes in the look of the basement of the main building with the installation of much-needed cupboard space. The cupboards look very classy, and some bear the logo of ETSC. They will be used by day students to store books and equipment to save them from carrying them back and forth from home.
Your generosity makes the difference.
Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo
Read more about the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo by clicking HERE.
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.