Sabías tú …Did you know? (Joanne Solis-Walker)

There is something about this time of the year that automatically places me into a forward thinking mode. Perhaps it’s because once September hits, time tends to move at the speed of lightning. I start to think about where I’ve been and what the next year will bring. Can you believe we are a few months away from 2015? Did you know in 5 years we will enter into a new decade?  

There is plenty of hype about 20/20 vision and I am not talking about eyesight! Many ministries have set goals and refined the vision. This past Sunday, I joined my husband Dan (Exec. Dir, Love INC Brevard) at a local church in Viera, FL and the pastor asked the congregation to consider the next 5 years and what type of changes they desire to implement in order to be the people God intends for them to be in their community.

I was inspired to think about our Spanish Master of Divinity; where we’ve been and some about where we are headed. It didn’t take much since as you know it’s that time of the year for me! So I will share some random thoughts that bring great joy to my heart when I reflect on God’s work.

Sabías tú…
…There are approximately 235 Master of Divinity programs accredited by Association of Theological Schools (ATS) but only 3 seminaries offer a Master of Divinity in Spanish. Wesley Seminary is One of Three. (Please praise Him with me!)

Did you know…
…Seminario Wesley was the first and remains the only Spanish M.Div. program accredited by ATS that is offered primarily online. The only one! (We don’t take this for granted!)

Sabías tú …
…Our students have gleaned from renowned Hispanic scholars such as Dr. Justo Gonzalez (History), Dr. Samuel Pagan (Bible), Dr. Hugo Magallanes (Ethics), Dra. Zaida Maldonado Perez (Theology), Dr. Pablo Jimenez (Preaching), Dra. Rebeca Radillo (Counseling) and many others that taught and teach in our program. These are some of the most respected Hispanic theologians! (I stand in awe of this list! Solo Dios!)

Did you know…
…In just three years we’ve gone international with cohorts in Bogota, Colombia and various other IberoAmerican countries on the horizon!! (Pretty good for a startup!)

Sabías tú …
…We graduated on April 26, 2014 our very first, pilot cohort (It was sweet!). On December 13, 2014, students from the second, pilot cohort will graduate! From this point on Hispanic students will graduate in larger numbers with their Spanish MDiv. every year! (This really excites me!)

Perhaps this is what you need to know so this makes better sense of why I am inspired. According to ATS, about 3.2% of its entire student body is Hispanic…VERY LOW! Amongst the approximately 250 seminaries accredited by ATS, we praise God for the seventeen theological schools that are primarily African American and seven that are Asian and pray for their continual growth. There are no primarily Hispanic seminaries in the United States accredited by ATS…ZERO!! As the Hispanic/Latino population of the U.S. continues to grow the need for equipped Hispanic ecclesial leaders becomes a matter of urgency. This means established seminaries have the opportunity to respond to the clarion call!

Did you know…
…I wake up every morning and thank God for Wesley Seminary and Indiana Wesleyan University. “He has done great things. Bless His Holy Name!” (Andrae Crouch, way too long ago!) And I do! I praise and worship HIM because I get to be a part of an institution with an entrepreneurial spirit and a global vision that not only reaches the Hispanic population but also our African-American brothers and sisters and many others in different nations!

“After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands; and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” (Revelation 7:9-10)