In February 2018, the coordinator of the bachelor’s degree in Hispanic pastoral theology Rev. Andres Fernandez, made a trip to the USA to get to know various locations that were to be part of the recently ratified agreement between SENDAS and the MidSouth district which serves western Tennessee and Mississippi. During that trip video conference equipment was installed so that students could take classes in the ordination program in the Church of the Nazarene according to the district course calendar.
The agreement signed by the MidSouth district establishes that students will be able to validate their ordination courses with the district and then continue with SENDAS to get a bachelor’s degree in Hispanic pastoral theology. After some years of adapting to various challenges, including those made because of the Covid-19 global pandemic and embracing new models of long-distance education such as Zoom, in August of 2021 the district finally began the schedule of classes for the first generation of leaders on the MidSouth district who in a few years will receive their bachelor’s degrees.
As an institution we feel grateful to be able to serve approximately 15 leaders and pastors that are part of this roster. The district has decided to offer the courses in a mixed modality which means that part of the coursework will be via Zoom and part will be via independent study online education.
We want to formally thank the Hispanic coordinator for the district, Rev. Eduardo Lelli and the coordinator of the center, Susana Ricarte, for their incredible administration and support.
In another development for the advancement of pastoral education, after various meetings and conversation with leadership, on September 28, 2021, an agreement was officially signed between SENDAS and the Sacramento, California district of the Church of the Nazarene. The agreement seeks to support the theological formation of Hispanic pastors and leaders on that district. After completing the 25 required courses for ordination, the students will receive a diploma in Hispanic ministry from SENDAS, and if they wish to continue their studies, they can complete the bachelor’s degree in Hispanic pastoral theology by successfully passing 15 additional courses.
We are especially grateful for the negotiations led by Pastor Carlos Herrera and the support of district superintendent, Rev. Steve Scott.
On August 20, an induction gathering was held for those candidates entering this new calendar year of courses. On October 19 the program officially began with the course “Theology of Women in Ministry” under the leadership of Dr. Elvin Heredia from Puerto Rico. The classes are taught each Tuesday from 6:30 to 9:30 pm via the online platform Zoom.
We hope to be one more tool in the lives of these students as they are blessed and prepared through this new agreement.
SENDAS continues growing in its presence within the United States thanks to the invitation of districts to help train their district leadership. As an institution we feel privileged to be able to serve the Hispanic church in the United States with quality and accessible education.
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