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Brethren Academy Announces Launch of Spanish Language Ministry Training Track

BY CHERYL-BRUMBAUGH CAYFORDJulie Hostetter and Rafael Barahona
Director of News Services for the Church of the Brethren

A new Spanish language ministry training track is being created for the Church of the Brethren, through the Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership and a Mennonite ministry certification program, Seminario Biblico Anabautista Hispano. The Brethren Academy is a partnership of the Church of the Brethren and Bethany Theological Seminary.

In a report to the fall meeting of the Mission and Ministry Board, academy director Julie M. Hostetter outlined how the new program will work as a Brethren track in the Mennonite Education Agency’s program for Hispanic Pastoral Leadership Education. The Spanish language training track, SeBAH-CoB, will parallel the Academy Certified Training System (ACTS) programs that the Church of the Brethren currently has in place for English speaking students. Pictured at left are Hostetter and Rafael Barahona, director of SeBAH and associate director of the Mennonite Education Agency, who will lead the effort.

District-based student cohort groups will be created, some of which may include both Brethren and Mennonites. The first cohort is in Atlantic Northeast District, and is scheduled to hold orientation at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., on Jan. 20-23, 2011. This first cohort group can include up to 15 students.

At its district conference this past weekend, Pacific Southwest District affirmed the formation of a Brethren-Mennonite cohort group that will have an orientation session in late winter 2011. Several additional districts and individuals have expressed interest in the SeBAH-CoB program and more cohorts will be formed in the future. For more information contact the Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership, at 800-287-8822 ext. 1820.

Matt Boersma
Master of Arts

MattMy thesis began its journey while learning Hebrew at the University of Notre Dame, back when I was an employee in the Information Technology department. Among the many Hebrew texts read, it was the Song of Songs in particular that caught my attention. I knew that historically it had been interpreted as an allegorical text exploring God's love of Israel (or the church), but I had not encountered the deeply sensual nature of the images and the erotic tone of the text. Reading through the book, the unabashed sexuality of the words struck me as completely different than how the rest of the Bible treats sex. During the previous semester we had read selections of Ezekiel, where sex and female desire is cast as idolatrous and evil. In the Song, it is unashamed and extolled.