The 18th graduation ceremony of the Ethiopian Graduate School of Theology, EGST was celebrated on July 28, 2018 at EGST Assembly Hall.
All the 38 candidates recommended by the Faculty Council and approved by EGST Board received post graduate degrees and awards. The graduates (28 male, 10 female) were composed of five programmes – 2 in Theology, 13 in Biblical and Theological Studies, 9 in Leadership and Management, 11 in Development Studies and 3 in Post Graduate Diploma in Biblical and Theological Studies. The proportion of female graduates this year, 28%, indicated an increase by 8 % of female students’ completion rate compared to last year’s 20 %. However, the total completion rate showed a decrease by 22 graduates partly caused by significant number of prospective graduates unable to complete their research thesis.
In his address to the graduates and invited guests, Dr Misgana Mathewos, EGST Director, Dr. Misgana Mathewos, highlighted some of the main activities that happened at EGST since last year’s graduation ceremony. Among other things, he mentioned the admission of seven PhD candidates at VU-EGST joint PhD programme of which six have completed the Research Design Course and one dropped; the development of curriculum for ‘Islamic Studies’, the progress of four female PhD candidates and the recruitment of another fifth female PhD candidate who got registered under the VU-EGST PhD Programme. He further recalled the resignation of Dr. Ermias Mamo due to a call from the Ethiopian Kale Heywet Church to become the Church’s Deputy General Secretary and the exit of Dr. Andrew DeCort, as of June 2018 to pursue his own professional venture.
On another note, the Director informed the completion of Leulseged Philmon’s PhD journey in Systematic Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary last month and the acceptance of Dr. Bekele Deboch as EGST full time faculty since July 2018. The preparation of faculty promotion scheme which includes the academic titles of Lecturer, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor and Professor and how to attain them were also mentioned in the Director’s speech.
‘Besides recruiting national students for its programmes, EGST is now making an intentional preparation to attract international students, particularly those from the Horn of Africa, North Africa and the Middle East’, Dr Misgana hinted while he further announced that ‘EGST is about to launch Training and Capacity Building Programme, which is intended to provide short-term (one week to three months) trainings in various need based subjects to develop the capacity of church leaders and pastors so that they would meet current pastoral, leadership and social challenges.’ He further stated the plan to develop an eight-story building which provides training facilities and guest accommodation.
The Director finally extended his gratitude to the Members of the Council of Owners and Board for their leadership and guidance, and to all EGST partners who have been offering financial, material and moral contributions for the graduates and development of EGST directly and indirectly.
EGST exists to equip Christ-like women and men through theological and related studies and stimulate research for the service of church and society in Ethiopia and beyond. The main areas of work are teaching, research and community engagement. EGST currently offers five programmes; Post Graduate Diploma in Biblical and Theological Studies (PGD), Master of Arts in Biblical and Theological Studies (MABTS), Master of Arts in Leadership and Management (MALM), Master of Arts in Development Studies with specialization areas in Community Development and Theology and Gender, Health and Theology (MADevS), as well as Master of Theology (MTh). EGST has also introduced new concentrations in Public and Practical Theology under its MABTS programme in 2017/18 Academic Year. It is also recalled that EGST PhD programme launched in October 2017 in partnership with the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VUA) is progressing.
With the current 38 graduates included, EGST have graduated a total of 555 masters and postgraduate diploma alumni in its 21 years of service.
In 2010, EGST has been awarded accreditation by the Association for Christian Theological Education in Africa (ACTEA), recognizing the teaching standards and contextual relevance of EGST’s programs as well as the overall administration and resources of the school. EGST is also registered in Ethiopia according to Proclamation Number 691/2003 by the Ministry of Federal and Pastoral Development Affairs to serve church and society with the objective of teaching, research and community engagement.
EGST was jointly founded in 1997 by the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (EECMY), the Ethiopian Kale Heywet Church (EKHC), and the Evangelical Churches Fellowship of Ethiopia (ECFE), which together represent the majority of the Evangelical believers in Ethiopia.
(EGST Public Relations, July 28, 2018, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.)