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Nicaragua church work students ready to welcome Canadian teachers

May 3, 2011 One Comment

by Keven Drews

Future pastors and deaconesses of Iglesia Luterana Sínodo de Nicaragua with ILSN President Luis Turcios (back left) and Rev. Dr. Leonardo Neitzel (back right).

Twenty-three Central American Lutherans will begin studying for church work careers this autumn thanks to the help of Canadian theologians.

Rev. Dr. Roger Humann, of Concordia Lutheran Theological Seminary (CLTS) in St. Catharines, Ont., and Rev. Dr. Ralph Mayan, president emeritus of Lutheran Church–Canada (LCC) and a resident of Langley, B.C., will teach two intensive courses at Nicaragua’s Seminario Teologico Reforma Luterana Oct. 3-14

Humann will focus on an introduction to the Old Testament; Mayan, on a summary of Christian doctrine.

“Even if the level of formal secular education doesn’t appear much advanced among the candidates, the level of spiritual maturity and the desire to learn, grow and serve in the Lord’s mission is remarkable,” said Rev. Dr. Leonardo Neitzel, Lutheran Church–Canada’s mission executive.

 “Almost all students have been involved in one or another aspect of the work in their local congregation for one to two years as lectores. Some have served beyond their local congregation in assisting with hospital calls, church planting and catechesis.”

The courses are part of a new theological education program, which is coordinated by CLTS in conjunction with LCC’s missions and social ministry services and the Iglesia Luterana Sínodo de Nicaragua (ILSN).

Rev. Luis Dias Turcios, president of the ILSN, and Neitzel interviewed the 23 candidates in April.

Of the 23 candidates, 11 are studying to become pastors and 12 are studying to become deaconesses.Two candidates are from Honduras.

Four students from Costa Rica cannot begin their studies in 2011 because of issues related to employment and travel. LCC’s missionary in Costa Rica will continue to develop on-the-job training for these prospective seminary candidates.

 “There are remarkable signs of God’s grace to His church in Central America,” said Neitzel. “We pray and trust that the Lord continues to bless His mission and provide wisdom and guidance to the entire program to start soon.”

The theological education program in Nicaragua is generously funded by the Marvin D. Schwan Foundation.

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