On February 1st, at the Nazarene Theological Seminary of Cuba (SETENAC), the graduation ceremony was held for five master’s students, all completing the Master’s of Religion with emphasis in The Mission of the Church. This is a program of the Nazarene Seminary of the Americas in San Jose, Costa Rica. The graduates are all Pastors from different zones of the island: Pinar del Rio, Havana and Holguin.
The graduation speaker was the General Superintendent with jurisdiction in the Mesoamerica Region, Dr. Jesse Middendorf, who in addition to preaching the graduation message, also presided over the Cuban District Assembly.
At the graduation ceremony, the Secretary of the Bible Commission of Cuba was in attendance to give to each graduate a donation of books. It was a joy for the graduates to receive the theological books that will be such a great help in their ministries.
The professor for the final graduation projects for these five students was Dr. Jorge Baños, the Academic Vice President for SENDAS. The process of working with these students was very different in comparison to those from other countries.
The Cuban students have serious difficulties in completing their research projects. The main difficulty is in the lack of theological texts and articles, which are very scarce on the island. Some of the students live nearly 1000 kilometers from the Seminary and obviously it would be impossible to make the trip to use the library. Additionally, only one of the five students had an email account. The other four students had to use a friend’s or church member’s email account to send in their assignments. One student had to travel 30 kilometers to find a person who could help them to send their work.
Dr. Baños shares, “It was a unique experience working with these students, and is was very much worth the effort that each one of the students gave, because on the 1st of February we were witnesses that these five students from the Church of the Nazarene in Cuba received their post graduate diplomas.”
The Seminary of the Americas is so thankful to God and to our beloved Church of the Nazarene, for allowing us for more than ten years now of serving our Nazarene brothers and sisters in Cuba through the master’s program.
Beginning this year, the Nazarene Seminary of the Americas, in conjunction with the Theological Seminary in Cuba, will be incorporating another new program in the area of theological education: the License degree in Church Resources, with emphasis in Pastoral Studies.
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