by Miguel A. Hernández
In 2015, the idea of offering theological education to the Episcopal Diocese of El Salvador through distant learning using the Skype platform was discussed between the Rev. Miguel A. Hernandez, representing the Newark School of Theology (NST) in New Jersey, and the Rt. Rev. David Alvarado, Bishop of the Diocese of El Salvador. Dr. Douglas Bendall, the Founder and President of NST supported the efforts at creating a distant learning opportunity for El Salvador.
This idea was later expanded as the Commission on Ministry of the Diocese of El Salvador held various conferences and decided to create a Seminary for the Episcopal Church in El Salvador. The Seminary was conceived as a theological center where students could obtain a high quality theological education accessible to all interested in pursuing their vocation and mission in the life of the Church.
For over a year, the planning of the Seminary took place. That effort was led by the Rev. Irma de Alvarado, who was appointed the Director of the Seminary, and supported by the Commission on Ministry. All these efforts culminated in the formation of the Seminary. Thus, El Seminario Episcopal Anglicano of El Salvador was born. On January 6, 2017, the Seminary was inaugurated in a ceremony held at the Iglesia San Juan Evangelista in San Salvador, El Salvador.
The Rev. Miguel A. Hernandez was invited to give a talk on the theme ‘Come and Follow Me’ during a retreat that was held on January 7, 2017, at Cielo Mar, La Libertad, El Salvador.
According to Bishop David Alvarado, the Seminary is open to also receive students from outside El Salvador who would like to be exposed to Latin American theology or to practice the Liturgy in Spanish. El Salvador offers many opportunities for theological reflection as there are numerous places one can visit, such as the Metropolitan Cathedral, the Oscar Romero Center located at the University of Central America (UCA), El Mozote, and other emblematic sacred places.
The Seminary has been launched with very limited resources, and there is a great enthusiasm, with the starting of the first class this year consisting of six students (4 women and 2 men) and an expected graduation in 2020.
The Rev. Miguel A. Hernández is Priest-in-Charge Holy Trinity Episcopal Church West Orange, NJ and
Adjunct Professor at General Theological Seminary, The Newark School of Theology, and El Seminario Episcopal Anglicano de El Salvador.