By Siphiwe Sithole
Intern, Anglican Communion Communication, London
The Seminario Evangelico Unido de Telogia (SEUT), an interdenominational theological college has recently agreed a strategic plan for the next decade, which aims to augment and consolidate its activities whilst developing as an academic institution, to become a Protestant seminary comparable with the best Catholic centers.
Following several years of decline the seminary was re-founded in 1992 with a new staff and a fresh vision. Under the sponsorship of the IERE and the Iglesia Evangelica Espanola (IEE-the Spanish Reformed Church), the seminary's main programme is a distance learning degree in theology , accredited in the United Kingdom. This is a brainchild of the agreement signed in September 1997 by SEUT and Open Theological Colleges and as result obtained the sole right to translate into Spanish and teach OPC course in the Hispanic speaking world.
One of the pressing needs facing the world-wide Church is the theological training, leadership formation and the college seeks to respond to the challenge in the Hispanic world-whether in Spain, South America or among Spanish speaking churches in the United States. The college has put forward the training of the church members, the formation of church leaders and the contribution of a Protestant Christian perspective to contemporary debates as its direct response to these needs.
A new Disciple course based on the church members is being piloted and will be available for use throughout Spain for the Autumn of 2001 and intend to broaden its programme for students based in Madrid. And with the 109 students enrolled, SEUT offers a translated OTC course to students throughout the Hispanic world, aiming to have 200 students enrolled by 2005.
By 2010 SEUT, plans to comply with the requirements necessary to apply for recognition in Spain as a faculty of theology and to achieve this at least three people wit in each of its three areas of academic specialisation (Biblical Studies, History and Doctrine, and Mission and Ministry). Study programmes have been established to reach this goal. In order to develop its courses more widely in South America the seminary is working to establish formal relationship with at least one institution in that continent.
Although the college's main emphasis is providing theological education by extension, its vision is to put up a student's residence with the aim of creating a center for Christian reflection across disciplinary boundaries.