Cuba is the largest island in the Caribbean and it has a population of 11.38 million people. Christianity is the predominant religion in Cuba and it is growing rapidly.  The rector of a seminary we work with informs us that one of the greatest needs of this growing church (and also of the nation) is reconciliation and the building of trust.
Another is strong leadership.

 

This presents both a great opportunity and challenge to the church: how to increase the capacity for training qualified pastors and Christian leaders. There is a great need for more instructors and professors and existing schools and seminaries find their enrolment weakened by a lack of resources and trained educators. We praise God that, because of the generosity of many people, the following seminaries are beginning to meet the need.

 

Southeastern Cuba

reSource helped launch a seminary in Southeastern Cuba in 2009 and provides the bulk of the operational support for the seminary. It is an evangelical seminary that serves the surrounding area and welcomes students from all denominations. The school has a total of 73 students enrolled for the Bachelor of Theology program for the 2016/17 academic year. It celebrated its first graduating class in December 2015. The seminary hosts multiple workshops and seminars that are attended by hundreds of church pastors, leaders, students and other members of the community. These workshops are open to any to attend and provide a platform for unification and the growth of the church.

 

Evangelical Methodist Seminary (SEM)

Located in Havana, Cuba’s vibrant capital, SEM strives to produce graduates with superior leadership abilities. SEM saw 99 students enrolled in its 2013-14 Bachelor of Theology program and also offers theological training to over 1200 students through their annual workshops. Most of its graduates find engagement as full-time pastors in churches throughout Cuba and some continue on to become educators themselves. One graduate is now the director of an extension course of more than 50 students in the province of Camagüey and another has returned home to the Republic of Angola where he pastors a church that has grown quickly and formed several outreach ministries.Located in Havana, Cuba’s vibrant capital, SEM strives to produce graduates with superior leadership abilities. SEM typically sees approximately 100 students enrolled in its Bachelor of Theology program and also offers theological training to over 1200 students through their annual workshops. Most of its graduates find engagement as full-time pastors in churches throughout Cuba and some continue on to become educators themselves. One graduate is now the director of an extension course of more than 50 students in the province of Camagüey and another has returned home to the Republic of Angola where he pastors a church that has grown quickly and formed several outreach ministries.

How Can You Help?

The various seminaries that reSource (in partnership with Overseas Council) works with in Cuba have a need for human and material resources. Please prayerfully consider the following:

Student Sponsorships

Most applicants have families, are already pastoring churches and have part time jobs to help support their families. Without sponsorships they do not have the means to acquire the needed training.

Expansion of Theological Library and Computer Lab

Achieving accreditation is a common challenge for seminaries in the majority world and one of the criteria is library capacity. Properly trained librarians and an adequate number of computers, books, and digital texts help to achieve this accreditation and meet the needs of a growing student body. reSource has been the primary supporter for a large digitization initiative for Latin America and the Caribbean (REPCI).

Faculty Sponsorships: Training For The Trainers

  • Increasing the number of trained indigenous instructors and professors in Cuba is a key component in resolving the dearth of trained pastors and Christian leaders – a need accentuated by a rapidly growing church.  Sponsoring future faculty is likely the most effective investment in the future of the church in Cuba.
  • An annual ‘Institute for Excellence’ brings the leaders of numerous seminaries in Cuba together to provide training and facilitate collaboration. Funds are needed for attendees as well as for keynote speakers and venues. These ‘Institutes’ are one of the most important gifts that the Overseas Council Network can provide.

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