Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo - May 2019 Update
The President’s Word
The middle of May finds ETSC stirring with excitement and anticipation as students and faculty scramble to finish the semester. One group of students is especially task oriented. Our prospective graduates are laser-focused on completing the last few days of their seminary experience. They will soon assume positions as pastors and teachers. They have accomplished the goal they set when they entered the seminary. It was a daunting challenge for them to leave homes and jobs and come to Cairo. Another group of our students faced an equally difficult challenge. Our MAT (Master of Arts in Theology) students remained in their jobs and their church positions while taking classes. They juggled multiple responsibilities while completing their course work. Now, they have run the race and finished the course. I congratulate them, even as I give thanks to God for making their achievements possible.
Tackling an academic load that leaves little time for outside work, our students depend upon scholarship assistance to sustain them as they prepare for ministry. Few of them could have attended ETSC without scholarships provided by generous donors. With that in mind, I extend to our scholarship donors my profound gratitude, not only on behalf of the students but also for the entire Egyptian church. Scholarships represent a covenant forged between the donor, the student, the seminary, and the larger church. Following the Arab Spring, ETSC recommitted to deepening and expanding its ministry to the church. We said that theological education would not be a destination, but it would seek to transform human life with the Gospel of Christ. Thus, we began developing programs that would prepare people to serve in multiple capacities. Now we offer ten programs that prepare students for service in ways that match their gifts and life situations. Scholarships allow donors to invest not only in the lives of students but in the entire Middle Eastern church. Students will serve as pastors, church planters, elders, and teachers in churches across Egypt and the entire region. The annual costs for students range from $1,000 to $6,000 depending upon the program and whether they reside at the seminary.
I continue to ask your prayers for ETSC, for our students and for the church in the Middle East.
Celebrating a Milestone
The Center for Church and Society Service (CCSS) has completed phase two! Praise be to God for his glorious grace and thanks to the donors whose gifts have made this very important step possible. In 2011 the ETSC leadership recognized the need for additional space on our campus to accommodate ETSC's growing vision. They also recognized that no building space was available in our very crowded neighborhood and began to pray for a solution to the difficulty. God faithfully provided the opportunity to purchase the second floor of a building adjacent to our campus.
The new floor is dedicated to hosting ETSC’s recent project, the Center for Church and Society Service. There are three phases:
Phase 1: Purchase of the 14,000 square feet of unfinished space
Phase 2: Interior finishing of the space so that it is ready for use
Phase 3: Furnishing and equipping it for its intended use
ETSC currently celebrates the completion of phase two and looks forward to the next phase, which is securing funds to furnish it. Then it will house four programs:
The Office of Distance Learning and Media will host ETSC’s Online Program that provides online theological education for students across the Arab World and in Arabic speaking communities abroad.
Office of Contextual and Social Studies is a program that gathers and analyzes data for the development of ministry opportunities.
Office of Alumni Services works to strengthen relationships between the seminary and its alumni.
The Dr. Martha Roy Institute for Worship will provide resources and training opportunities for churches and worship leaders.
The goal is to open the CCSS by September 2019. The projected cost of Phase 3 is $340,000. Praise the Lord we have secured $140,000 but we still lack $200,000. May God be faithful in providing the necessary funds to overcome this final hurdle.
ETSC Misses a Pioneer and a Role Model
ESTC sadly acknowledges the passing of a great friend and former faculty member. Dr. Swaillem Hennein died on April 25. He and his wife Sameera spent 17 years in Sudan and Kenya, evangelizing and developing the churches in those countries. In 1970 the couple emigrated to the U.S. where he earned his Ph. D. in public health, then taught at the University of Illinois-Chicago for twenty years. In 2003 he returned to Cairo to assist in launching ETSC’s Mission Department. The current chair of our mission department, Dr. Tharwat Wahba, had this to say of his friend and mentor: "Dr. Swaillem made history in the mission movement for the Church in Egypt. He inspired hundreds of people to serve in church planting and mission work. His legacy will remain for many years."
New Members Welcomed to ETSC Family
ETSC welcomes Dr. Don and Mrs. Ann Crittenden to its family. They will act as the Coordinators for International Relationships and will partner with Mrs. Mariam Hanna, Director of Development, in assisting Dr. Atef Gendy to strengthen relationships with current partners and develop broader connections with the global church. In 2012 Don retired after 45 years in ministry. His last post was at Second Presbyterian Church in Bloomington, Illinois where his duties included working with mission partners, ETSC among them. Ann completed a 30-year career with IBM in 2012. They now live in Gallatin, Tennessee, part of Nashville’s rapidly expanding metropolis. They will remain in Gallatin but maintain close connections to the seminary electronically. Don says, “I believe ETSC is the true jewel of the Nile! On our recent visit to Cairo, we saw its contribution to the church in Egypt and throughout the Middle East. As we look to use our gifts in retirement, we can think of no more promising arena than the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo."
Read more about the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo 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. Make a gift HERE or by sending a check to our office.