February 21 2019
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
February 8 2019
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
It is a great privilege to share with you a brief testimony of what God is teaching us as a family at the Biblical Seminary of Colombia.
- 1. He is teaching us the value and meaning of waiting. God has heard our cries as we wait and pray, teaching us that his response is always best and timely for us.
- 2. We are learning the value of gratitude. We have experienced unparalleled joy in witnessing the manifold blessings that God gives, and we are thrilled to testify of his goodness toward us.
- 3. We have learned the value of the local church and that being part of the body of Christ is one of the greatest privileges and blessings that God has prepared for us.
- 4. We have learned the value of giving and receiving. Joy is not only found in receiving but also in giving. As we witness how our brothers and sisters in Christ are willing to give everything they have to bless God’s children.
- 5. We have learned the value and power in prayer. Our absolute dependence on him is manifested in a constant life of prayer, and we are learning to truly and fully depend on his answers to our prayers.
- 6. We have learned that trusting in God is an exercise that helps us grow and mature our faith.
- 7. We have learned that this journey is not about us but about the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Matos family can testify that we have been blessed throughout this process in the Biblical Seminary of Colombia. God has blessed us with health and has provided us the opportunity to grow together as a family.
En Cristo (In Christ),
David Matos family
February 5 2019
Beloved pastor and friend,
I wanted to write to tell you about the beginning of the adventure at Colombia Biblical Seminary.
It is hard to believe that God can use me. I have felt that I am not capable or worthy, but the devotionals we heard during orientation reminded me of some things:
- God called me and he is not going to change his mind now.
- I am a disciple who will not stop learning from the Master; my main call is to have an intimate relationship with the Lord.
- The fact of being called does not guarantee that it ends well, so I must be more careful of what I do.
- The key word of both devotionals was called, and that has encouraged and motivated me to continue believing that God brought us here to fulfill his purpose in our lives and in that of the church.
They have a student welfare program that is very focused on giving us holistic formation. There are sports, health, recreation, and cultural activities. It’s good to know that we will have a life apart from academics. I was surprised to learn that the seminary not only trains in theological aspects, but it also forms in us the social, physical, mental, and relational aspect.
They want us to be good at what we do AND who we are! We must learn to read in English (another surprise), volunteer a certain number of hours of service per semester, participate in research projects with professors, make the library "our second home," devote about five hours per day to study outside the classroom, do ministerial practice in a church, and take extreme care not to commit plagiarism or cheat on exams or assignments, which is great, but I fear messing up accidentally. Bottom line, the level of excellence that they expect is greater than I anticipated.
I must confess that I like it but am afraid. I am not afraid of the challenges, after all, we wanted to be trained as well as possible, to get out of our “comfort zone” and into the “growth zone,” but a few things have me worried. For example, I do not read well in English, I don’t know how to type, and I am not great with time management. So much goes through the mind; I really hope to live up to what God wants and what the church expects from us. I feel like a first-time father, scared but happy!
I am grateful to God, to the church, and to you. To God, it is a joy to know that I am called by him and to know he will sustain and keep us. To the church, it is a privilege and a great responsibility to be the first missionaries sent and supported by her. To you, my pastor, thank you for believing in us, supporting us amid our own doubts, and expressing love and care as no other pastor has done for me before. You are a friend and example to follow. Without your support and vision, we could not be here today. Thank you so much. I cannot adequately express my deep gratitude and love for you, your family, and the church.