Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo - July 2019 Update
ETSC Celebrates 148th Graduation
Among the portfolio of tasks I am called upon to perform as president of the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo, none give me greater personal pleasure than presenting diplomas to our graduates. It was with great joy that I was privileged to hand diplomas and certificates to 29 graduates on May 31st at the 148th graduation ceremony held at Heliopolis Evangelical Church in Cairo. The graduation ceremony recognized 9 graduates who received Master of Divinity degrees and 14 who received Master of Arts in Theology (8 from Cairo and 6 from ETSC's online center in Minya). Taking advantage of our new online platform to complete their work, 2 graduates earned their degrees from abroad and 1 graduate earned a Master in Leadership and Management. 3 received certificates in Christian Ministry. ETSC is especially pleased to see the growth of the online studies program as it makes theological education accessible to students across Egypt, the Middle East, and Arabic speaking communities across the world.
My dear friend and colleague, Dr. George Sabra, highlighted the graduation service with his provocative message, “Theological Education and Contemporary Challenges.” Dr. Sabra serves as president and professor of Systematic Theology at the Near East School of Theology (NEST) in Beirut, Lebanon. Calling attention to the many challenges the church faces, he asserted that theological education must be more outward-looking as it trains pastors and leaders. In this context, seminaries must develop theological education that moves beyond the obsession with their own survival and self-protection to offering effective testimony.
He concluded with these courageous remarks: “We are the church of the God who so loved the world that he was incarnated in it, giving himself for it. To be a church and to be Christians means to testify to the truth before God and for the sake of others. Our concern should be our authentic testimony to a loving God, a generous Father, who gives life and does not take it away, who conquers death and does not exalt it and gives himself for others. Our concern should not be to survive for the sake of survival but to survive for the sake of pursuing truth, love, and righteousness.”
Amen! It is indeed our goal at ETSC to prepare students to offer authentic testimony to the grace of God despite the obstacles placed before them. Our vision is not only to educate their minds but also to deepen their spirits. Borrowing Paul’s words to the Corinthian church, we seek students to become, “letters of Christ, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God.” Even as we celebrate their diplomas, we recognize that graduation opens a new chapter in their lives. The challenges they will face call for earnest prayer on their behalf. Please join me in praying for the next steps on their respective journeys. Pray that their ministries will be fruitful and effective wherever God calls them to serve.
Rev. Dr. Atef Gendy
From the recent ETSC newsletter:
ETSC Graduates and Interns Fulfill Vital Needs
Practically speaking, the graduates have already taken the next steps in their journey into ministry. In coordination with the Synod of the Nile, they have accepted posts across Egypt. Not only does this provide vital training and experience for them, but it also fulfills a great need in the churches. The growth of the Evangelical Church in Egypt has created an abundance of ministry opportunities. The Synod is currently working to develop 110 new churches, and our recent graduates fulfill a vital need in these new congregations. They also will serve in existing churches that lack pastors as well as some larger churches in need of additional staffing.
Interns also expand their training while they meet needs in churches and other ministry situations. ETSC seeks to expose them to a variety of ministry contexts. They work in prisons, hospitals, addiction rehabilitation centers, and orphanages as well as in church settings. Some students have even planted churches while serving their internships. These ministry settings challenge interns to adapt their academic training to a wider audience.
As always, your participation in this vital ministry of training leaders for the church in Egypt brings honor and glory to our Lord, as we participate with them in the unfolding call and destiny for the church in that region.
Receive our gratitude,
The Outreach Foundation team
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 mailing a check to our office.