Although we are going through an unprecedented global crisis, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, at SENDAS we continue with the vision that the Lord has given us to train with the greatest excellence the highest possible number of ministers, for the extension of the kingdom of God.
Our central campus in San José Costa Rica has closed its doors to the public following the recommendations of the national government. The special events center is not operating, like all the hotels in the country and the administrative and academic staff are working from their homes.
However, SENDAS has not stopped its mission, and as we lift up our prayers to the Lord in this difficult situation, theological education continues to advance.
The courses required for ordination in the Church of the Nazarene (ETED) are still being offered according to the calendars established in the different district centers, thanks to the technological resources available to SENDAS today.
Because face-to-face courses were suspended as a precautionary measure, some centers are teaching through the videoconferencing. A group of students on our main campus started a new course last Tuesday using our videoconferencing capabilities. Likewise, in the Northern District where the centers of Poás, Liberia, and Upala are located, are continuing their schedule of courses via videoconferencing. These centers have already used videoconferencing as a delivery system and is well-known by them.
On Thursday, March 26, a virtual meeting was held with coordinators, teachers and students from the Central District of Panama to present the videoconference delivery system alternative so that they can continue to move forward with the course calendar. As twenty participants gathered, they analyzed some proposals and agreed to continue the courses under this delivery system. We hope that in the coming days, different centers in the district will be able to resume classes using this resource.
The Virtual Nazarene Seminary – the continental strategic alliance of theological institutions for online ordination studies, continues operating and is currently offering two courses with 146 students from 14 countries.
Meanwhile, the first course of the certificate in Worship Ministry from SENDAS is being taught through webinars with an enrollment of 75 representing 14 different nationalities.
The baccalaureate and the master’s degree programs continue through the Zoom® and CANVAS®. Many graduation candidates for 2020 are focusing on their studies during this time.
At SENDAS we continue to pray – at the request of our general superintendents – for the people who have fallen ill, for God’s wisdom for our governments in days of such difficult decisions, health and strength for the “front line” workers against the virus, and comfort for the families of the victims.
At the same time, we thank the Lord for the virtual education delivery systems that we embraced more than a decade ago. Today more than ever these resources are making a difference for our students.
The campus may be closed, but the formation of pastors and leaders is still open!