Celebrating ProMETA’s First Graduates

On April 30, ProMETA honored six graduates — not only celebrating their accomplishments in the virtual classroom but also their impact as Christian leaders in Latin America.

Mario Lopez (Venezuela), Samuel Marcano (Venezuela) and Guido Santamaria (Costa Rica), graduated with Master’s degrees from ProMETA — the culmination of many hours of hard work and study.

ProMETA is the Spanish acronym for “Accessible Master’s Programs in Theological Studies.” It is a 100-percent online international education ministry that provides theological training for Christian leaders in the Spanish-speaking world.

Three others (Alexander Cabezas and Esaú Bonilla from Costa Rica and German Arias from Venezuela) earned graduate certificates for their studies. Two of these men plan to continue on with ProMETA, working toward a Master’s degree.

At the end of his video salutation for graduation, Mario thanked the people who had supported him during his studies, especially his wife and children. “It wasn’t easy to study in ProMETA, but it was worth it,” Mario says.

Ted, EFCA ReachGlobal missionary and ProMETA’s dean of students, estimated that the graduates each put in 2,500 hours of studying, writing, reading and interacting with professors and fellow students over the past few years.

As the families, friends and ProMETA professors and staff knew well, the graduates had not only completed their classes in theology and biblical leadership, but they also had balanced those classes with full-time work, ministry and family life.

A hard-earned milestone

“It took over a decade to write the courses, choose and modify the technology, train mentors, raise funds, [and] recruit staff,” says Keith, EFCA ReachGlobal missionary and ProMETA director. “But God orchestrated everything so that in 2011, ProMETA was able to honor six Latin American leaders with their [degrees and certificates].”

About 50 attendees — mostly family, friends, fellow ProMETA students and ProMETA faculty and staff — enjoyed the ceremony in person in San José, Costa Rica — snapping photographs, exchanging congratulatory hugs and handshakes, and sipping punch. Two other groups gathered remotely in Venezuela to honor Mario and Samuel for their accomplishments.

“It was amazing to realize that, at the moment Dr. Ted Kautzmann was placing the Master’s hood on Pastor Guido Santamaria in Costa Rica, Pastors Samuel Marcano and Mario Lopez were being hooded at two separate venues nearly 300 miles apart in Venezuela,” Keith says.

One certificate graduate missed out on the ceremony, though.

Learning in action

In an ironic twist, Esaú Bonilla, head pastor of a church in Costa Rica, was busy teaching in Bogotá, Colombia — putting to use the very education for which he was being honored in the graduation ceremony.

“God gave me the opportunity to participate in a series of lectures in two churches in the city of Bogotá, specifically on the topics of spiritual formation and Christian leadership,” Esaú explains.

ProMETA played a role in preparing him for this ministry trip.

“A lot of the material that I used in the talks that I gave came from the work that I did for [ProMETA] courses and from my own exegetical analyses,” Esaú says.

Although sorry for the absence of Esaú, Keith was proud to see the impact of ProMETA resounding throughout Latin America — even on graduation day.

“God is in the business of building His church,” Keith says. “And what a significant statement to that effect is made when a graduate misses his own graduation ceremony because of a commitment to equip leaders in another country! Seeing direct results through multiplication in the lives of high impact leaders gives those of us who minister in ProMETA great joy and satisfaction.”

* * * * *

CONNECT

latn@efca.org

SERVE
  • Join the ProMETA staff and help equip Spanish-speaking Christian leaders throughout the world.
  • Help serve as a ProMETA champion in the United States or Canada, promoting its ministry to potential donors, both individuals and churches.
PRAY
  • For the six ProMETA graduates as they continue to impact the world for Christ.
  • For the continued success of the ProMETA program — that additional leaders would be well-equipped for the wide variety of ministries they are leading and participating in around the world.
GIVE

Make an online donation to the ProMETA Scholarship Fund.

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