The week of April 17-22, 2017, SENDAS hosted a course taught by Dr. Kent Brower from Nazarene Theological College (NTC) located in Manchester, England. This was the first course of the agreement between the two institutions that was signed in January 2017.
Three centers connected by videoconference to receive the course Biblical Studies and Hermeneutics with the goal of developing better biblical and theological teaching in the Hispanic world. Five students took classes by video conference from Mexico City, seven in Guatemala, and twelve were with Dr. Brower in Costa Rica.
Two more courses will be offered this year, taught from Mexico (July) and Guatemala (October). Each course requires 22 hours of class time with the teacher (face to face or by video conference); and in addition to study hours and tests, students will also read in English to improve their language skills. In all, there are 200 hours of study invested in each subject. Classes will be offered three hours each night, Monday through Friday, and seven hours on Saturday.
Those who pass all courses the first year will receive a certificate from NTC. Those who are admitted for the second year of studies (in Costa Rica) will receive a post-graduate certificate. Finally, those students who have sufficient command of English can be admitted to continue their studies in the United Kingdom and begin work on a Master’s Degree from the University of Manchester.
Maria Antonia Ponce, District Superintendent of the Nicaragua Central District, said about the course: “I want to share that my expectations were surpassed, since I could feel how God was telling me that it’s not just about a deep understanding of the biblical text, but also to know the purpose of God in relation to the interconnection between the past, the present and the future, and its application in our daily lives.”
Rolan Calvo, a pastor in Costa Rica expressed: “I believe the best experience with Dr. Brower was to see the stories of the Bible in a holistic way, the Old and New Testament together telling one story, connected through all of its books and told in such a way that each “echo” was a new form of understanding the plan of God and the love he has for each one of us. Love, peace, justice and grace are the summary of what I learned.”
Dr. Rubén Fernandez, President of SENDAS, mentioned: “The day after classes ended with Dr. Brower, I attended a church as I do customarily, and during the sermon, my pastor – who was one of his students – thanked SENDAS for giving her the opportunity to receive this excellent course since it had helped her so much. In fact – she said, “The course made me change my message today!”
At SENDAS we are honored to have this partnership with NTC Manchester, our sister institution in the Global Consortium for Nazarene Higher Education. We would like to personally thank Dr. Deirdre Brower, President of NTC; Dr. Peter Rae, Academic Dean; and Dr. Kent Brower for their part in creating this agreement. The influence of these courses over time will be incalculably valuable, bearing much fruit for the kingdom of God in their own countries and all the continent through virtual education.
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