On September 3, 2016, the Ethiopian Graduate School of Theology, EGST, awarded post graduate degrees to its 16th batch of graduates in its campus. The class of 2016 consisted of a total of 67 graduates in five programs – 7 in Master of Theology, 16 in Master of Arts in Biblical and Theological Studies, 20 in Leadership and Management in relation to Theology, 18 in Development Studies with Theology and 6 in Post Graduate Diploma in Biblical and Theological Studies. Out of the total 67 graduates, 23 (34.4%) were female graduates. Three of this year’s academic prizes as well as institutional highest academic trophy went to female graduates, another landmark in EGST’s female scholarship history.
Reverend Dr. Wakseyoum Idosa, Chairperson of the EGST Council of Owners and President of the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus charging the graduates said that at a time when peace and unity is in a desperate situation, the graduates are expected to be instruments of love and reconciliation. He further said that EGST is proud to witness the highest academic achievements of the female students this academic year. “This graduation is special as our daughters demonstrated the highest academic achievement” he remarked.
Jamilla Ibrahim, member of the EGST Alumni Council addressing graduates’ banquet on September 1, 2016 noted that the number of female scholarship has grown progressively at EGST compared to the early years when there were only one or two female candidates in a classroom or graduation ceremony.
Dr. Tesfaye Yacob, the Chairperson of the EGST Board called on the graduates to become a blessing and beckon of restoration to those who are desperate for change. Dr. Tesfaye also informed the graduates to understand God’s purpose in their lives and be good stewards, as well as to continue to grow through divine provision that enables them to accomplish God’s purpose in life – to be loyal to the eternal calling.
The Director of EGST, Dr. Misgana Mathewos, on his address outlined the major achievements of the academic year in program development, research as well as community engagement. Among other things he highlighted the preparations made to launch a PhD program and MA in Islamic Studies in 2017/18 and efforts made to validate EGST programs by Free University of Amsterdam and other universities in Europe. He also indicated the research activities of EGST faculty, staff and students in their sabbatical, postdoctoral, conference papers contributions and graduate research projects.
Dr. Misgana further mentioned the addition of two faculty members, Drs Sablewongel Daniel and Andrew DeCort and the commencement of four female faculty development plans when the two of them are expected to start their studies in September – October 2016. In addition, he pointed out the engagement of EGST with community services among 9 congregations and local churches on gender and health trainings as well as the involvement with maternal and child health projects in 20 districts of Oromia, Southern Nations’, Nationalities’ and Peoples ‘Regional State and Addis Ababa City. Moreover EGST “partners with four government colleges and four theological colleges to promote the idea and practice of environmental stewardship” as well as “establishes partnerships with churches and government offices to cultivate field education for its students” the Director said.
Concluding his address, Dr. Misgana called up on the graduates to become EGST’s true ambassadors and to herald the establishment of salvation, peace, love and justice. “The alumni of EGST have proven in many ways that they are sensitive and responsive (in responsible ways) to the challenges that encountered the church and society” he stated.
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 work areas of EGST are teaching, research and community engagement. EGST currently offers five programs; 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 plans to start other programs and is making preparations towards introducing PhD program in 2017/18. With the current 67 graduates included, EGST will have graduated a total of 456 students since its establishment in 1997.
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 Ethiopia 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, September 3, 2016, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia)
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