By Don Meyer
COMPTON, CA (September 26, 2011) – “Can you believe it?” the email begins. “We have just started our second academic school year at our new, beautiful CHET Compton venue, and we are literally bulging at the seams.”
The new facility has made possible a number of enhancements and expansions at Centro Hispano de Estudios Teologicos (CHET), which in turn has increased student enrollment, notes President Edward Delgado. CHET’s mission is equipping Hispanic/Latino leaders for global ministries. To learn more about CHET, visit its website – click here for English, or click here for Spanish.
“Monday night’s Compton-site Pastoral Theology classes – a six-course program that takes two years to complete – has grown so much that we had to divide the level one course into two classrooms, and we had to recruit a second teacher for the class,” Delgado says. “Not only do we host the seven groups that meet in every corner of the building, we also provide child care for about 20 children in our newly remodeled bungalow.”
The Tuesday Christian Education course has enrolled 52 students – the course is also offered at a satellite location in San Diego, using the facilities of Clairemont Covenant Church. Three CHET-level programs are also offered at that location: Pre-Ministerial, Ministerial and Family Counseling. Pastoral Theology classes also are available in English.
Other courses include the seven-course Family Counseling program, a new course titled Servant Leadership and Community Transformation (offered in English, Spanish and Portuguese), and an intensive course titled Pensar y Escribir (literally, think and write).
CHET satellite locations (in addition to two in San Diego) include downtown Los Angeles, Wilmington, Upland, and Walnut Creek, all in California, as well as an Evangelical Covenant Church offices location in Chicago where a CHET Ethics course is offered for Hispanic/Latino students.
“Most interesting and exciting is our brand new CHET satellite in Minneapolis, Minnesota,” Delgado explains. Following a visit this past summer and meetings with representatives of the Northwest Conference office and La Bendición Covenant Church in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, a six-member team was formed to launch a new CHET satellite using facilities of Minnehaha Academy.
Formal conversations commenced and agreements were completed, allowing the first Pastoral Theology class to be launched. It was hoped that at least 15 students would register for this fall’s program. “Well, we must be men and women of little faith, for we had 35 spiritually hungry students register for the class, which had to be divided in half,” Delgado notes.
Also significant, Delgado points out, is that eight former CHET students are now enrolled in two seminaries, a testimony to the continuing impact of the CHET training among emerging Hispanic/Latino leaders.
“So, what are the challenges?” Delgado asks. He responds with one word: space. “We need more space. We need to build room dividers. We need an LCD projector. We need more chairs. We need additional staff and we need more volunteers. If it were not for the sacrificial time and work put in by our very committed staff and volunteers, serving over 500 students per semester would be utterly impossible.
“At times we just sit back, look at each other, pray and smile or laugh, for we know that our Lord is with us.”
Editor’s note: To read more of CHET’s history and new facility, visit the following links to previously published stories: