Providing education in pastoral and lay leadership at seminary of the Methodist Church of Peru.
Describe the need affecting community
There is a lack of leadership with theological education both pastoral and laity in the Methodist Church of Peru. We are in the process to provide theological education for all the local pastors and deacons that are in the track for ordination. For this to happen we are in need of funds to provide scholarships, to strengthening our faculty and for the technical staff as well as to improve our library services and educational resources. The Methodist Church of Peru actually provides around the 35% of the seminary budget. The students contribute with the 10% of the costs of their education. We have a missionary whose income is covered by the GBGM and we receive $12,000 per year toward a national in mission that serves in the school and we need to look for funding that will cover the other 30% for our budget. We have mainly two programs. The Bachelor’s in Ministry that is offer to the candidates for ordination and the Certificate in Theology and Ministry that is for lay preachers. The Wesleyan Theological Seminary covers the six districts of the Methodist Church of Peru, from the coastal to the central and southern Andean mountains, and part of the rainforest and jungle areas. We have theological centers that are part of our school in four districts right now: Northern Coast, Sierra-Jungle, Andean South Inca and Lima-Callao (where we have our headquarters). We are in the process to develop centers in Southern Puno and Southern Coast. We are able to reach all these areas because the online courses combined with in-person classes. We also are providing face to face classes in Lima-Callao district in both programs. This is why we need to improve our technical staff and resources. The majority of local pastors with appointments have another jobs to supply their income because the salaries are small. Nevertheless they are providing passionate leadership at the church level. By the end of last year the Methodist Church gave us a facility to be used as the headquarters of the seminary. We needed to move and to change our old furniture. At the same time the library was moved with little resources to implement a new one.
How will this Advance project help to address the need?
We will be able to develop centers in the other two districts. We will be able to have 3 part time faculty. We will be able to offer scholarships, specially for rural women leaders that have less access to money in general. We will be able to hire technical staff for 3/4 time. We will be able to buy a computer that will have the database for the library.
Describe the primary goal of the project
To provide a solid biblical theological formation for the ministerial and laity leadership of the Methodist Church of Peru. The impact that we are already having is to prepare ministerial leadership that will lead the Methodist Church for the next generations of Methodists for the transformation of the church and the Peruvian society. The work of Methodism in Peru has always been related to its educational ministry since the founding moments of its existence and it is well recognized in the country. At the same time Methodism in Peru is mainly spread by the laity, specially women, that need the educational and theological resources to do so.
Describe the change you would like to see in the community as a result of this Advance project
A vibrant church promoting the Gospel values in the Wesleyan holiness tradition in its ministry of evangelism as well as in its prophetic one.