ETSC Update: May 2014
News update from the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo
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. They are almost too tired to anticipate the joy ahead. Graduation is scheduled for Friday, May 30 and these students share broad smiles when they allow themselves to think about it.
Here are some examples of other “lights” we are seeing as we move through the month of May.
Curriculum Development – months of intensive work has gone into developing and revising academic tracks and courses that will better prepare ETSC students for Ministry and post graduate studies. The degrees offered will be aligned with international accreditation standards and respond to improvements recommended by congregations and alumni. This includes the launch of a D.Min program in partnership with Fuller Theological Seminary.
Over the last four months the ETSC Community witnessed the transformation of the campus into an inviting place for visitors, students and faculty. This Campus Beautification Project meant detouring around various configurations of sand hills, rubble and scaffolding. We marveled at the strenuous labor of demolition, tree cutting, welding, marble cutting, hauling, and brick laying. Most of the work has been performed with axes, sledge hammers, shovels, wheelbarrows, sweat, skill and ingenuity. Soon the canteen will offer beverages and snacks for visitors to enjoy the new patio space. The Bookshop will be open for business in time for the Fall Term. Another goal is about to be reached thanks to the generosity of our partners in Egypt and abroad.
Farther down the tunnel is the end of the fiscal year on June 30th. We are grateful for generous donors who provide Student Scholarships, gifts for Capital projects and visionaries who have come alongside us to accomplish great things since July 1, 2013. As we close in on the end of our budget year, we are mindful of the hardships our Egyptian partners are going through in the present political and economic climate as well as the second mile that many of our International Partners have walked to make up the difference. We expect great things as the 2013-14 fiscal year comes to a close and thank you for being a part of it.
Thank you for your partnership on this journey “through the tunnel.” We appreciate your prayers, your financial support and your visits to ETSC during the past academic year.
Atef Gendy, President
ETSC continues on the countdown to the 150th Anniversary Celebration on November 14th. If you need proof, just go to our website and check out the countdown clock on our webpage. What are you doing to prepare for this celebration that is just six months away? Are you planning to come to Cairo with a group or by yourself? If you are looking for one possible group to join, we suggest you check out The Outreach Foundation trip from November 7-17. Contact Lisa or go to their Website and click Trips for additional information. Also, you can add your name to the list of potential attendees by writing to Cinda Gorman, International Relations Coordinator. .
If you are planning for yourself or a group of your own, be sure to contact Mourad at Mirus Travel for hotel rates, booking add-on travel excursions and local tour ideas. Cinda Gorman can also supply a list of vibrant ministries to visit in the Cairo area
We have so many things to praise God for. The list above includes just a few. Here are some of the ways you can continue to pray for us:
- The Presidential Election is scheduled for May 26 and 27 which is the week of Commencement Ceremonies. We ask for your continued prayers for peace in Egypt as well as the restoration of a democratic government in the months to come. We also seek God’s grace for the freedom of safe travel by our graduates’ families. Disturbances too often break out on Friday afternoons and we pray that the streets will be safe for all citizens to travel freely on Graduation week.
- As the school year draws to a close, our students face difficult deadlines for research papers and exams. Some of them are experiencing health problems or walking a hard journey with family members. Pray for them to be able to focus on their academics while juggling multiple priorities and savoring the last weeks of this academic year.
- Summer Internship assignments have been shared with all of the full-time students. Our fourth year students know their church assignments for the coming summer and look forward to being closer to their families while they enter into full time ministry. First and third year students will be serving in congregations with varying responsibilities and levels of supervision. The Compassionate Care locations for our second year students are in a variety of ministry sites. Please pray for their safe travels, for their ministries and for the people in their assignments as they share their gifts and training throughout the Synod of the Nile.
- During the summer months, our faculty members will be putting the finishing touches on major changes to the Curriculum that will be instituted in the coming academic year. We will report more specifics as these changes are approved by the Board of Trustees and we ask for God to guide them as they forge the path to a stronger academic background for our future students in all the degree programs. Some faculty will travel to major conferences.
- We will bid farewell to Phil Jackson, our English Instructor for the past three years. Phil returns to the USA in August to pursue an M.Div at Duke Divinity School. Please pray for Phil and for those who are determining who will be moving to Cairo to take this important position on our faculty and for that person in their time of transition.