Thursday, June 24, 2010

Seminary Week, June, 2010

Seminary is meeting this week in Cabudare, Venezuela on the campus of Seminario Weselyano de Venezuela.  Academic Dean David and his wife Carol are hosting the week.  The professors are Randy and Rachel Coleman. Class meets Monday, 2pm through Friday Noon.  A student satisfying all the requirements of the classes can earn 4 hours toward a Bachelor's (equivalent) level degree.  It is expected that 8-12 students will be awarded the degree in August after completing over 6 years of study.
Randy and Rachel Coleman served 13 years in Ecuador with OMS International.  They currently direct the OMS student center on the Asbury campuses in Wilmore.  The topic this week is Christian Marriage.  On Friday afternoon the seminary will host a seminar on the Theology of Women in Ministry, which Rachel and Randy will teach.
The photos are of a class-participation exercise on Wednesday afternoon.  There are 40 students in class this week from all parts of 
the country.  The Coleman's have commented several times on how anxious the students are to learn and what a joy it is to teach these who so want to put into practice what they are learning.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010


The Seminary has our heart.  Founded by Dan Dunn and me in 2002, we are now in our 8th year of operation and will have our second graduation in August, 2010.  The Seminary is a 6 year non-traditional undergraduate program granting the Bachelor of Theology (equivalent) degree.  We have over 100 students enrolled, most of which are pastors in Venezuela. A typical class will have 50 students and meet for 16 contact hours during one week.  Each week offer at least 2 classes, 6 times a year.  This ministry is having a huge impact on the church and country of Venezuela.

For example, two of our United Methodist student/pastors held services over the past weekend.  Pastor Thoby Ramirez is the pastor of Casa de Dios UMC (House of God) in the large city of Puerto Ordaz.  Pastors Alexander and Amaryllis of Ondas de Paz UMC (Waves of Peace) in Cabudare led the services for Pastor Thoby. On this past Sunday 50 persons made professions of faith! Another example of the impact of the Seminary:  Pastors Carlos and Dr. Maria Perona now have 8 congregations for which they are responsible including the largest UMC of Venezuela and a Chinese language service.

The next class is June 21-25 with professors Randy and Rachael Coleman.  They are some of the favorites of the students in the Seminary.  Dean David and Carol will host them for the week.

Coming up:  Dan and Nancy will move to Venezuela for a year while David and Carol are in the US.  Dan will be in charge of the Seminary operations. 

In  August, in addition to graduation, I will be leading a state-wide pastor’s conference, preaching to the 3rd Annual Conference of the UMC of Venezuela, teaching a course in the Seminary, presiding at the graduation, and performing the wedding of Samuel (our ministry assistant) and Laura, all with Dan and David’s assistance through translation.

We welcome your involvement in and support of the Seminary.  It costs about $2500 a year to educate one student.  Any help you feel led to give will be greatly appreciated.  More importantly we covet your prayers.  This is a wonderful ministry, but this kind of ministry in Venezuela is not without significant challenges!  However, God provides each step of the way.

Contact us at Venezuela Now, Inc.  PO Box 1655, Duluth, GA  30096 or send your checks to Venezuela Now, Inc. at the same address.

In Christ,
Warren Lathem
President, Venezuela Now, Inc.

I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus(ICorinthians 1:4)