Meserete Kristos Seminary celebrates graduates

Mikias Dawit receives an award from Desalegn Abebe at the Meserete Kristos Seminary graduation on May 18. From Eritrea, Dawit was the class valedictorian. — MKC

Meserete Kristos Seminary conferred degrees or diplomas May 18 upon 84 candidates, who were honored in the seminary’s multipurpose hall in Bishoftu, Ethiopia.

The 84 graduates of the class of 2024 include nine from the distance diploma program, 11 from the Amharic degree program in Addis Ababa and 59 from English degree programs at the MKS Bishoftu campus.

Meserete Kristos Seminary celebrated 84 graduates in May. Meserete Kristos Church is the largest Anabaptist body affiliated with the Mennonite World Conference and is one of the fastest growing Anabaptist denominations in the world. MKS works to produce church leaders to meet a growing need. — MKC

Additionally, five of the graduates who received the M.A. in Theology and Global Anabaptism made up the second cohort of Ethiopian students to complete the program entirely from Ethiopia through a partnership between MKS and Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Ind. The partnership began in 2019.

Desalegn Abebe, president of the Meserete Kristos Church, gave the graduation address and challenged the graduates to apply what they learned when faced with challenges, using Mark 4:35-41, when Jesus calms the storm.

He reminded them that God’s power is always there to help them when they face challenges and difficulties in ministry. He encouraged them to remember that those storms and challenges of life make them stronger and help them to know Jesus.

In his speech, Gishu Jebecha Ebissa, the MKS principal, congratulated the 2024 graduates and thanked the families, churches and friends who supported them.  He reminded everyone of the mission of the seminary: “To equip men and women for the holistic transformation of the church and society.”

Drew Strait, New Testament professor and the program director for the M.A. in Theology and Global Anabaptism degree program, and Joe Liechty, visiting professor of Peace Studies at AMBS, attended the ceremony.

On behalf of the AMBS dean and president’s offices, Strait presented copies of “Mission and Peace in Ethiopia,” a special issue of Anabaptist Witness, to Desalegn Abebe and Gishu Jebecha Ebissa.

Guest edited by Henok T. Mekonin, global leadership collaborative specialist at AMBS, and James R. Krabill, interim managing editor, “Mission and Peace in Ethiopia” focuses on global Anabaptist mission thinking and practice, featuring mostly Ethiopian Mennonite writers from the MKC.

MKS has continued to be a preferred seminary for more international students. Among this year’s graduates, six were from Eritrea. “As we move into a new chapter, let us not forget what we have learned in these halls,” said Mikias Dawit, an Eritrean student who was the class of 2024 valedictorian at MKS. 

Because of the persecution of Christians in Eritrea, Dawit’s family came to Ethiopia for safety and a better future. Dawit shared that he was surprised by the significant cultural differences experienced by the group of Eritreans. Although language was one of the barriers, he and the other Eritreans were very happy with the social life on campus. Christians were looked down upon at his old school, so the freedom to talk about Jesus was a blessing. Meeting people from different parts of the country and from different denominations widened his horizons, he said.

Jebecha Ebissa noted in his speech in the seminary’s influence reaches beyond the physical boundaries of the Bishoftu campus to respond to the needs of the Meserete Kristos Church. MKC is the largest national body in the global Anabaptist family.

MKS’s off-campus programs include various specialized short-term training programs, undergraduate studies offered at different Meserete Kristos Church regional offices across the country and capacity-building programs for those who cannot join regular campus programs. Jebecha Ebissa concluded by highlighting that these achievements would not have been possible without the firm support of generous donors, dedicated faculty members and hardworking staff.

In addition to the seminary’s Bishoftu, Ethiopia, campus, Meserete Kristos colleges in different parts of Ethiopia also held their own commencement services and honored their graduates.

On May 25, Welega Meserete Kristos College graduated 182 students in diploma and degree programs. The graduates included 17 women and 165 men, most of whom are serving full-time in various Meserete Kristos churches in the Welega area.

 Meserete Kristos College in Burayu Welmara, one of the 18 institutions under Meserete Kristos Seminary, awarded 64 degrees and 13 certificates to 77 students on May 25. Thousands of more men and women are enrolled and receive theological training in the 18 different regional Bible colleges scattered around the country.

Henok T. Mekonin

Henok T. Mekonin, MATPS 2021 AMBS, currently works at AMBS as a Global Leadership Collaborative Specialist. Mekonin's ministry is jointly Read More

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