San Pablo Presbyterian Theological Seminary - May 2018 Update
Over its 36 years of ministry San Pablo Presbyterian Theological Seminary has trained almost eight hundred students from twenty-one of the thirty Mexican states. The Yucatán Peninsula is known in the U.S. for the splendid beaches of the Cancun area, a 700-mile shoreline, and its astonishing Mayan ruins. Not as common is to find people who see the region as a place that has experienced a remarkable multiplication of Presbyterian congregations over the last decades.
The initial classes of the San Pablo Seminary were held on September 19, 1982 in the facilities of Divine Savior Presbyterian Church with Rev. Lucio Ek Canul as the first full- time instructor and Rev. David Brainerd Legters as the first president. The son of a missionary couple that coordinated the translation of the New Testament, Legters’ first language was Mayan, his second was English, and his third was Spanish. He came to the leadership of the newly formed school after starting twenty-five centers for itinerant theological education and serving in the administration of the main seminary of the National Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Mexico City.
Visit to the Seminary Campus
Seminary President Rev. Amos Cahuich Yam received Dr. José Carlos Pezini (Portuguese-Language Ministries Coordinator for The Outreach Foundation) and me during our February visit. As we toured its ample facilities, it soon became apparent how well-developed the program is. We were also given time to interact with students, sit in on one of the classes, and see the creativity with which the seminary is adjusting to the new demands of theological education. In addition to theology and music, the institution has started specializations in Youth Ministry, Organizational Psychology and Pedagogy. By adding a master’s level degree as well as making use of extension campuses and the internet, they are serving a larger number of students, some of them coming from other countries, including the United States.
The Involvement of The Outreach Foundation
President Yam shared his sincere appreciation for the way in which The Outreach Foundation has supported the ministry of the seminary through the years. In the current academic year, the scholarship funds that we sent provided for room, board, tuition, and books for two students. In addition, we have contributed towards the seminary’s Chair of Biblical Studies. The person currently in that role is Rev. Samuel Hernández Clemente, a thirty-three-year-old professor who graduated from the school with a bachelor's degree in Theology and a master's degree in Theological Studies. He currently serves in both the Biblical Languages and Systematic Theology departments. In the Systematic Theology department he teaches Theology Proper, Soteriology, and Eschatology. In Biblical Languages Samuel teaches all three levels of Greek. He is married and has three children while offering pastoral leadership to the congregation of Prince of Peace Presbyterian Church locally.
Rev. José Chay, who has undertaken cross-cultural mission efforts among different ethnic groups in the country as well as in Nicaragua, teaches the missiology classes. Going beyond the study of mission, some students are dedicating up to a year after graduation to serve in other Latin American countries. The seminary would like to increase its course offerings on church planting and revitalization in the near future.
San Pablo Presbyterian Theological Seminary is forming servant leaders to strengthen the growing church in Mexico and beyond. Thank you for your prayers and support for this very important ministry.
Associate Director for Mission
Read more about San Pablo Presbyterian Theology Seminary HERE.
The Outreach Foundation is seeking gifts totaling $9,600 for student scholarships for San Pablo Presbyterian Theological Seminary.