Posts tagged Egypt
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.

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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.

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New Church Development in Egypt - May 2019 Update


Then he said to me [Ezekiel], "Prophesy to these bones and say to them, `Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD! This is what the Sovereign LORD says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.’”

A ninety minute drive south of Luxor, along muddy canals and through sleepy villages, brings you to Adaima, a place that, like much of rural Egypt, seems a bewildering mix of past and present: a languid donkey “parked” alongside a dusty Toyota in front of a farm stand selling Pepsi and plump pomegranates, batteries, and bananas…

We pull up to a colorless, three-story mud-brick façade, where the only obvious clue that we have arrived at the Presbyterian Church is the equally colorless cross over the well-worn courtyard door. The door swings open and out bursts Rev. Shenouda Girgis to greet our Outreach Foundation team – we have arrived at our family-by-faith!

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Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo

On June 1st we celebrated a wonderful time of graduation. The church was filled to overflowing with students as well as friends, families and our own seminary community, people who came to share our joy celebrating the graduation of 44 students. Eight of the students graduated with M. Div. degrees and will become pastors in congregations throughout Egypt; ten with Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership; twenty-five with Master of Arts in Theology and one student with Master of Theology. We praise God for the wonderful ways he is working through ETSC.

We are also grateful for the faithful support of our friends and partners inside and outside Egypt through which ETSC continues to provide affordable quality theological training to prepare pastors and lay leaders to serve the church and society in Egypt, the Middle East and Arabic communities abroad. Please join us in praying for our graduates as they face their daily challenges of ministry. Pray that each one of them will be able to fulfill God’s calling in serving the church and society.

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Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo - March 2018 Update

Warm greetings from ETSC where we are now in the middle of the spring semester and our final year students are beginning to be excited at the prospect of graduation and what lies beyond. It has been an eventful year so far, including two big book launches!

On Friday, March 9th ETSC celebrated the book launch of the Arabic translation of Perspectives on the World Christian Movement. 150 people gathered to hear speeches by Dr. Atef Gendy, ETSC's president; Steve Hawthorne, the general editor of Perspectives; Dan McNerney, a representative of Frontier Fellowship; and Swailem Hennein, the translation supervisor. It is the culmination of over ten years of work, which was initiated by Swailem Hennein in 2006 and involved 17 people translating the136 articles on mission which make up the collection. The book has two volumes and is accompanied by a study guide.

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New Church Development in Egypt - November 2017 Update

With a Capital “Z

“Ig-ZOO-ber-ant” is the way we say it. “Exuberant” is the way we spell it. Its meaning is defined as effusively and almost uninhibitedly enthusiastic, abounding in vitality, extremely joyful and vigorous. And now I know the place where this adjective might have been invented: the Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Zagazig, Egypt. “Zagazig… Zagazig” …say that a few times and you almost have to smile – it’s one of those words that is just, well, fun

Rev. Wael Nashat, Zagazig’s young pastor, is full of zest and that is much-needed in overseeing this growing, active congregation which is also experiencing a revival as the Synod of the Nile focuses resources here to revitalize an old church (dating back to 1886) as a strategic part of its vision for New/Renewed Church Development in Egypt. 

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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. 

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Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo - July 2017 Update

At the recent synod meeting, Dr. Atef Gendy was elected Moderator of the Synod of the Nile for the Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Egypt. It is a great honor and shows the high regard in which he is held within the church.   Dr. Gendy expressed his gratitude towards his colleagues for putting their trust in him and hopes to serve the church in the best possible way. This is a one-year appointment, and he will be able to combine it with his role as president of ETSC. At the same meeting Rev. Yousef Samir, the senior pastor of Heliopolis Presbyterian Church, was elected to serve as chairperson of ETSC’s board for the next four years.

It is always good to work in strong partnership with friends and donors both overseas and within Egypt. The results of this partnership could be seen during the graduation of 52 of our students just a few weeks ago. The graduation took place at Heliopolis Presbyterian Church. It was a wonderful event, and the church was absolutely packed as family and friends came to witness the special ceremony.

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Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo - March 2017 Update

Dear friends,

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. 

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New Church Development in Egypt - February 2017 Update

God is at Work in Egypt!

When thinking of contemporary Egypt, several thoughts may come to mind: Arab Spring, Muslim Brotherhood, bombing of Christian churches. Although true, today they are moderated by words only God can make happen: new churches, evangelism, revitalization of old churches, sending out new pastors. That’s what the Evangelical (Presbyterian) Church of Egypt is focusing on through the efforts of the Synod of the Nile.

Currently, there are 392 Presbyterian churches within the Synod, including 95 church plants, or “fellowship groups” as the Synod labels them. In 2016, the Synod started 17 new churches in cities, villages or slums of Egypt. They are also focusing on church revitalizations of old churches in small towns and villages. It is amazing work when considering the vulnerability and marginalization of Christians in Egypt.


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Being Strong and Courageous

"Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”  Joshua 1:9

The church in the Middle East lives by these words of God to Joshua. They are strong and courageous despite their vulnerability. The church in Egypt is no exception. Christians represent only 10% of the population in Egypt, and Presbyterians are only 10% of the 10%! Nonetheless, they are bold in their witness as they live out the gospel message of loving their neighbors, no matter if the neighbors are Christian or Muslim. Whether a large city church or an old rural village church, they know their purpose is to reach out in love to each other and their neighbors.

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Paying it Forward

Have you ever met someone for the first time and instantly you’re drawn to the person, feeling as if he has been your friend for years? That is the way you feel when you meet Dr. Tharwat Wahba.  

Dr. Tharwat, as he’s commonly known, is head of the Mission Department at the Evangelical Theological Seminary of Cairo (ETSC) and serves as Chair of the Pastoral and Outreach Ministries Council of the Evangelical (Presbyterian) Church of Egypt.  He has a deep love and passion for evangelism, the church, and Jesus Christ. His warm and inviting personality makes everyone feel special. And, he is the epitome of the reason for The Outreach Foundation’s existence and mission.

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Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo - August 2016 Update

Greetings in Christ’s name from an exceptionally hot Cairo! The seminary has become quieter with most of the students away on their summer internships, so it is a good time to look back and reflect on the busy end-of-session period. Amid all the excitement and preparation for graduation in May, the ETSC community received a double blow as it learned of the deaths of Jack Lorimer and, two weeks later, Ken Bailey. Both were missionary giants, who in their different ways made an immense impact on the life of the Egyptian Church and indeed internationally. 

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Evangelical Theological Seminary - February 2016 Update

Dear friends,

The Center for Middle Eastern Christianity held its second international symposium in early December 2015. The theme this year was “Celebrating 150 Years of the Van Dyck Arabic Bible Translation.” In 1865, a team headed by the American-Dutch Bible translator, Van Dyck, finished the full translation of the Arabic Bible. This translation has become the most famous translation used throughout the Middle East. The Coptic Orthodox Church and the Protestant churches in the region and worldwide use the Van Dyck translation.

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Evangelical Theological Seminary - January 2015 Update

Dear Friends,

New Year greetings from all of us at ETSC. Following the January 1-10 Coptic Christmas holiday break, the January term began on January 12th. 

Good news arrived on January 5th at ETSC in the form of a note from Marilyn Borst, Associate Director for Partnership Development at  The Outreach Foundation. “I am delighted to report that through the efforts of Rob Weingartner, we have secured $10,000 to assist  Saleem Ferah in his studies there.” 



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Evangelical Theological Seminary - May 2014 Update

The Light at the End of the Tunnel
If you have ever driven through a very long and curvy tunnel, you know that seeing that light in the distance can be a very welcome sight. Our students are counting down the days until their research papers are turned in, their exams are completed and their families have joined them in Cairo for joyful celebrations of their accomplishments. 

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Evangelical Theological Seminary - February 2014 Update

Egyptian trains to and from Cairo came to a grinding halt in August due to the violent political turmoil that followed the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi in July. The stoppage had greatly disrupted nationwide travel for months. Only 14 out of a total of 68 trains between Cairo and Upper Egypt kept operating. This reality could have caused instruction at the Alexandria and Minya seminary branches to stop if it wasn’t for the distance learning units that the Evangelical Theological Seminary (ETSC) was ready to launch. 

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