“EGST equipped me to achieve my ambitions and make the most of my experiences, skills and manage my future career.”

Hawi Tarekegn is a graduate of 2015. She is currently working at Supreme Court of Oromia as a Director of Gender and Child Justice Directorate, a directorate responsible for mainstreaming gender and children in courts and to assist and strengthen family and child friendly benches in the region. Her research work entitled “Challenges of the Strength of Evidences Presented to Ethiopian Courts in Rape Cases among Children below 14 Years Old: The Case of West Shoa High Court” focuses on the combination of gender, child and legal issues with a great commitment. It was published on the Journal of Sociology and Criminology. She presents her research work in international conferences and national symposiums as an expert on the field of gender justice and related issues.

EGST Public Relations and Communications decided to make Hawi Tarekegn as an alumnus of the month believing that her story will inspire others in the pursuit of academic excellence and professional development.

Hawi, a mother of two narrates her own story:

I first heard about the Ethiopian Graduate School of Theology (EGST) from my family members who were attending postgraduate program at EGST. I applied for Master of Arts degree in Developmental Studies with Concentration on Gender, Health & Theology and got the chance to study. When I joined EGST in 2013, I was working as a Public Prosecutor at Ambo, West Shoa High Court, 115 km from Addis Ababa. EGST offered me a full scholarship (tuition fee and living expenses) which was a special opportunity for me to continue my study. Without the scholarship, it was impossible for me to attend the graduate program. At the time, I had a Bachelor of Law (LLB) and Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Administration and Development Management (BA).

The greater workload expected to accomplish the program during the study period was a challenge that made me confident and hard worker. After the graduation, I presented my research work on the 20th international annual conference dubbed as the Congress of the Nordic Federation of Midwives (NJF Congress) organized by The Swedish Association of Midwives, at Gothenburg, Sweden. This was held from May 12-14, 2016 with the support of Church of Sweden.

The experience I developed during my study period at EGST equipped me to achieve my ambitions and make the most of my experiences, develop skills and manage my future career. Though I worked as Legal Officer at Oromia Justice Reform Program with my pervious qualification, I later joined Oromia Attorney General as Public Prosecutor at Gender, Children & Youth Mainstreaming Directorate, which is relevant to my study at EGST. I conducted some assessments such as good practice on prevention of violence against women and children, and   gender audit in addition to the routine services delivered by the department.

In this month, we are featuring Dr. Samson Tadelle as an alumnus of the month. Dr Samson has graduated in 2017 in Master of Arts in Biblical and Theological Studies and a practicing physician.

His research project on the theme entitled: ’The Clinic Born Again: Towards a Sacramental Approach to Medical Practice’ is an interesting piece to read and reflect. While sharing his student experience at EGST, he remarked that the learning experience at EGST was like a “hermeneutic encounter” offering ‘the critical insight to understand and approach texts and concepts….”

This is my testimony concerning the education that I acquired during my stay at EGST.

My background is from medicine. I’m a practicing physician. I had an earnest desire to study theology. I had a lot of theological questions that bothered me while I was a medical student. My perplexities continued unabated after I graduated. The medical science was presented to me as if it has all the answers to the ailments of humanity. This could not reconcile with the existential experience and with the complex nature of humanity presented in the Scriptures. So, this prompted me to explore more by reading many books on theology, albeit they did not address my soul-searching questions adequately.

On the other hand, I had a restless craving to know God who had intervened in my life in miraculous manners to save me from many death encounters in my childhood. Thus, in God’s time I had the opportunity to study at the “feet” of EGST. This learning experience was like a “hermeneutic encounter” with Philip as he met the Ethiopian eunuch, who was reading a text without understanding (Acts 8:27-39). EGST’s teaching process is enlightening for me. It offered me the critical insight to understand and approach texts and concepts (Scriptural and philosophical) which were vague to me. It increased my appetite for more learning, because, as my theological education cleared some of my clouds of confusion, it created follow-up questions on the horizon. It equipped me with a robust hermeneutical lens to analyse theological concepts. In this manner it gave me the opportunity to reflect on my clinical practice, thereby profoundly enriching my practice by offering me new perspectives. Similarly, it enabled me to contribute my share in the ministry of the word in my local church.

I strongly recommend this school for anyone who wants to benefit from a sound education in theology and related fields.

On a final note, currently we are witnessing an unprecedented havoc on a global level by the pandemic. It has continued to decimate the lives and livelihoods of many. The craftiness of the transmission mechanism has rendered us powerless to its fatal grip. In this dark hour of our planet, we can present the hope of life against the gloomy ambience of death by demonstrating acts of grace to others. A flicker of light is enough to dispel the hegemony of darkness. After deliberating extensively about the significance of the resurrection, Paul closes by emboldening the Corinthians in this manner: “…stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labour in the Lord is not in vain”(1 Cor.15:58). We have to do works that defy the strength of death. As Christ has conquered death, all our “labors in the Lord” are significances of the power of the life of resurrection.

So, keep yourself safe, keep others safe and continue to present the light of the resurrection life to others.

Blessings in Christ!
Samson Tadelle (MD)