Back to School

10Mar12

In Buenos Aires we stayed at a private religious institute called ISEDET, known in English as the Evangelical High Institute of Theological Studies. ISEDET was founded in 1969 by eight Protestant denominations, including the Disciples of Christ Church and three Lutheran Churches. Today the school plays an important role in the education of pastors, theologians, and lay leaders from all over the Americas.

ISEDET's main entrance

The Buenos Aires-based Evangelical High Institute for Theological Studies, also known as ISEDET

Wandering through ISEDET reminded James of his own recent divinity school education. Looking over ISEDET’s course requirements was like flipping through a Spanish language version of James’ old course catalog: exegesis, hermeneutica, patristica and all those other jargony div school terms filled the page.

Also similar to the US, attending seminary can entail a great deal of sacrifice on the part of students and their families. ISEDET is a private institute, so students don’t receive government support as they would if they attended a public university. As a result, most students work full time to finance their education and living expenses in Buenos Aires.

And, as in the US, a seminary grad can’t exactly count on a stellar salary as a pastor: most of the clergy we’ve met support themselves through other jobs, making minimal, if any, income from their pastoral calling. Among Argentina’s DOC pastors are a taxi driver, a psychologist, and several retired nurses and teachers who depend on social security, not their churches, to support them.

The pastors seem to take the lack of financial compensation in stride. Said one, “I’d rather see the money go back into my church.”

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One Response to “Back to School”


  1. 1 Culture and Christianity: Adapt, Graft, Transform « resistanceandacceptance

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