In fulfilling our formative mission of persons to serve God, the church, and society, the Biblical Seminary of Colombia is committed to impart theological education that is firmly rooted in the Scriptures and deeply engaged with our context. As such, we are challenged to develop academic initiatives that explore biblical answers to the socio-political realities of Colombia.
Some of the realities of the socio-political scene in Colombia are:
- •a peace agreement signed in 2017 between the Colombian government and the oldest and largest guerrilla group, after more than six decades of civil war.
- •the polarization between different approaches to the implementation of this peace agreement and peace conversations with other groups.
- •corruption as a rampant phenomenon that permeates all spheres of society, including religious organizations.
- •implementation of legislation to guarantee religious freedom in the country, alongside the pluralistic character of our society.
As an expression of our rootedness and engagement, our strategic plan has three core themes: peacemaking, integrity vs corruption, and faith in a pluralistic context. With this in mind, new initiatives have been put in action:
1. Integral missiology and the human flourishing of internally displaced persons in Colombia (research project).
The civil war and the violence related to drug traffic has resulted in more than six million people forcibly displaced in Colombia in the last two decades. This project focuses on the humanitarian crisis of internal displacement in Colombia. The big question that orients the project is: how might a renewed theology of integral missiology, enriched by empirical social-scientific analysis, mobilize local Protestant churches to foment the holistic (spiritual, social, psychological, and economic) human flourishing of Colombian displaced persons?
2. Living our vocation as peacemakers (diploma course)
This modular course responds to requests of pastors and denominations to help them understand and carry out the church’s call to peacemaking in the historical moment of Colombia. Designed in cooperation with three other institutions, as a witness of joint service, this course has been offered to churches in areas deeply affected by violence.
3. Seminars, academic discussions
To address the scourge of corruption, a seminar entitled Voices Against Corruption has been offered in different cities of the country. Challenges that the peace agreement poses for the church have been addressed in class and in open discussions for the seminary community.
4. The Biblical Seminary of Colombia, at the invitation of the national government, participated in conversations between the government and the religious sector leading to the formulation of a national policy of religious freedom, approved in March of 2019. As part of the implementation of this policy, BSC is the only theological school member of this national religious sector think tank.
5. Our commitment to sound biblical teaching and preaching is expressed in our participation in a national project of formation of Bible expositors and in our diploma course on Christian Education. Thus, we help nurture the faith of the church in our pluralistic context.
In 2019, we celebrate 75 years of God’s faithfulness expressed in sustaining and using BSC. Join us in gratitude, and pray that we continue to be rooted and engaged.
By Elizabeth Sendek, President, Biblical Seminary of Colombia