The Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo (ETSC), a partner of Global Ministries, was founded by early Presbyterian missionaries in 1863. At that time the seminary had a floating campus, as the missionaries sailed up and down the Nile River in a sailboat visiting cities and villages to evangelize and train leaders. In 1926, the current campus was established with the purchase of land in central Cairo and a two-story building was soon built. This building now houses classrooms as well as staff and faculty offices. Later, in the 1960’s a six-story building was added to include the seminary library and residence for the faculty. In the 1990’s, another eight-story building was constructed to include a dining hall with a large kitchen, a 250-seat auditorium, and a student dormitory to house up to 80 students. More recently, a multipurpose sports-field was prepared on the remaining small area between the three buildings, officially marking the maximum possible utilization of the campus space the seminary had with its initial land purchase.
The continuous growth in the seminary student body and programs has made the seminary aware of their limited campus space and the need to expand their facilities. In 2000, the number of ETSC students was approximately 80; presently they have around 250 students enrolled in the various programs. ETSC graduates serve as pastors and leaders in protestant churches in Egypt and across the Middle East, in addition to serving numerous congregations in many foreign countries across North America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia.
Although ETSC has trained and equipped more than 700 ordained pastors since its establishment, there are still 96 Presbyterian churches in Egypt with no pastors. This can lead to a deterioration of those churches, making them susceptible to closure. This reality has challenged ETSC to increase its admission of incoming students. While grateful for the enormous number of applicants, with the limited campus space only a small percentage of those applicants can be accepted. This leads to the seminary being unable to adequately meet the needs of the Egyptian Church.
In 2011 an unexpected opportunity presented itself as a new building was being erected adjacent to the seminary property. A contract has been signed with the building owner which allows ETSC to purchase the entire first floor of the new building with private access from campus. The new floor adds 1300 square meters to the campus – an area larger than the total area of the original Administration/Academic building, and will enhance and add to the seminary facilities.
The total price of this floor (with no internal finishing) is $667,920 and the installments are expected to be fully paid by October 1, 2013. ETSC has secured $194,111.00 from local donors, which represents 30 percent of the total cost. It is hoped that the seminary will be able to secure the remaining $473,809 through donations from faithful friends and partners inside and outside Egypt.