EDUCATION AND CLERGY DEVELOPMENT MINISTRY
Dr. Ruben E. Fernandez, along with his wife Dr. Monica E. Mastronardi Fernandez, both from Argentina, are elders and global missionaries in the Church of the Nazarene. They have two children, Juan Manuel (31) and Andrés (27). Their older son is married to Stephanie and they have two children, Diego (4) and Dalia (2). Juan Manuel is a Licensed Minister in the Church of the Nazarene in the Northwest District (USA) and Andrés is a Nazarene youth pastor in the Central District of Costa Rica.
Dr. Fernandez is the Regional Coordinator of Education and Clergy Development, in addition to being the President of the Nazarene Seminary of the Americas – SENDAS – in San Jose, Costa Rica. Dr. Monica Mastronardi Fernandez is the General Editor of the School of Leadership and the Vice President of Institutional Development at SENDAS.
The Fernandez’ began their ministry as pastors (1982-1990) and then as professors of theological education at various institutions (1986-1990) in their home country. At the South American Seminary in Pilar, Argentina, Ruben was named Academic Dean and served in that position from 1990-1995.
Dr. Fernandez service as the Field Director for MAC South (Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama) from 2000 to 2002, and in addition to serving as the SENDAS President from 1995, he has also served as the Regional Education Coordinator for MAC and Mesoamerica since 1998. Dr. Fernandez has been a conference speaker on five continents and as a professor he specializes in topics related to leadership and administration of the church.
Dr. Monica Mastronardi Fernandez serves as Vice President of Institutional Development of SENDAS and the General Editor of the School of Leadership for the Mesoamerica Region. Before, she worked as a librarian and administrative assistant to the President. At the same time, she teaches courses on discipleship, leadership and church development in the theological education programs. She has written various publications, including the well-known Basic Discipleship Lessons that has been translated into more than twenty languages and dialects for use by the Church of the Nazarene.
Personal Goals for Service:
The Educational ministry for the MAR Region has 10 strategic priorities that are mentioned below. It is important to note that this not about projects that have a beginning and an end, but instead about permanent iniciatives.
• Fellowship among the Presidents of the Institutions of MAR.
• School of Leadership: Key program in MAR.
• Guide to Ministerial Development.
• Innovation in Technology.
• Continued learning opportunities for administrators of theological institutions.
• Continued learning opportunities for professors.
• Theological education and new churches.
• Institutions acting as agents of change.
• Iniciatives for children, youth and families.
• The accreditation of 100% of the institutions on the Mesoamerica Region.
Briefly Describe the Strengths of Your Ministry
• A strong unity among the leadership of the institutions.
• A shared vision, given by God, to minister regionally.
Briefly Describe the Struggles of Your Ministry:
Being part of a multicultural and multi-language region brings with it a constant struggle to offer quality services to the regional institutions in their varying contexts.
Being part of a geographically disperse region involves a high level of investment to maintain a physical presence in the different institutions on a regular basis.
Briefly Describe the Areas of Opportunity for Growth or Strengthening Your Ministry
A more and more specialized faculty trained at the highest level possible.
The use of different modes of educational technology has come to be a fundamental tool in order to maximize human resources and finances.
Briefly Describe the Areas of Threat/Danger for Growth or Strengthening Your Ministry:
Whenever you have a growing region with the need to train a high number of pastors and leaders for new congregations, there always exists the threat of diluting the quality of the education.
To avoid this, we must work hard with the district superintendents so they will do these three things: internalize the urgent need to make education a priority on the district agendas, respect the educational budgets approved by the district assemblies, and inspire and motive the pastors to study, requiring they take the minimum courses necessary to renew their licenses.
Clergy Development Ministry
The Clergy Development Ministry is new for the Mesoamerica Region. Among the services offered through the website www.pastornazareno.net are these:
1. Pastoral Care (Revitalization of the Ministry).
2. Confidential online assistance for ministers.
3. Forums exclusively for pastors on topics relevant to today’s world.
4. Continuing education courses for pastors.