by Lauren Crane
Since the Seminario Bautista Vida Nueva was started in August of 2008, the school has educated over 85 students under the teaching of various professors, including several Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary faculty members.
The seminary, which translates into New Life Baptist Seminary, was started by Gerald Cowen, former professor of New Testament and Greek at Southeastern and former dean of Southeastern’s undergraduate college. He serves as the seminary’s first president.
Since its founding, the seminary has benefited from a relationship with Southeastern . In addition to giving the school money to start a theological library, Southeastern also regularly sends professors to the Seminario Bautista Vida Nueva in San Salvador, El Salvador.
Recently, Wayne McDill, senior professor of preaching at Southeastern, journeyed south to teach the students the word of God and sermon preparation. Previously, Southeastern had sent several professors to teach the pastoral students at the seminary, including Robert Cole, Associate Professor of Old Testament and Semitic Languages, and Gary Galeotti, Emeritus Professor of Old Testament.
The most recent class with McDill entailed two weeks’ worth of teaching done for three hours every night and all day on Saturdays. The courses are tailored to help students earn either a Diploma in Divinity, a Licensure in Theology or a Master of Divinity. Although many churches in El Salvador offer Bible colleges, Cowen said they are not on the same academic level as the Seminario Bautista Vida Nueva.
“We hope to get students from more Baptist churches in Salvador,” Cowen said. “We are trying to get the best students to work on college or seminary level.”
Cowen said they hope to increase student enrollment to 100 within the next two years, including students from throughout Latin America. The most recent class included students from Honduras and Costa Rica. The expansion of the library, professor base and student enrollment will enable more people throughout Latin America and the world to learn and be transformed by the life-changing truths of Scripture.
The mission of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ by equipping students to serve the church and fulfill the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20). Southeastern is an institution of higher learning and a Cooperate Program ministry of the Southern Baptist Convention.