The Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus is the largest Lutheran church body in the world. But with fifty-three of the eighty-five language communities in Ethiopia without access to Scripture in their own mother tongue, many pastors have difficulty explaining key Biblical concepts to their parishioners. Aware of this, the Mekane Yesus Seminary is taking steps to ensure that God’s Word will reach people in a language that speaks to their hearts.

Lutheran Bible Translators and the Mekane Yesus Seminary are partnered together to develop and implement a pilot seminary program to prepare future pastors from remote minority language communities. Over three hundred applied to join the pilot program—fifteen seminarians were selected. These top candidates make up a cohort at the Mekane Yesus Seminary receiving training to become pastors with the additional skills necessary to serve as Bible translators. The program’s coursework includes subjects like theology, Biblical languages, and Bible translation principles.

Local pastors will be equipped to serve the minority language communities in Ethiopia in the ministry of Bible translation, providing leadership, facilitating partnerships, and building sustainability. It is the vision of both the seminary and Lutheran Bible Translators for multiple cohorts to receive training through the program, resulting in more skilled, local speakers to be placed within Bible translation projects in Ethiopia.

Through this partnership, more people will have access to the Word in their own language, providing a foundation for their faith to grow.

GOALS

Develop curriculum and promote the training program.

Teach a summer course to 40 students and and recruit 15 students for the Bible translation program.

IMPACT

Future church leaders are inspired to value translation in the heart language.

Sustainability increases as graduates of the program serve in Bible translation locally and throughout Africa.

Pray that dedicated people will be found to serve on Bible translation teams for the 85 language communities in Ethiopia.

Pray that God provides the students in the Bible translation program with increasing skills and passion for His Word in every language.

Pray that God will bless the training program instructors with wisdom and clarity.

Help language communities in Ethiopia gain access to Scripture in the language that speaks most deeply to their hearts. The Christian churches in Ethiopia anxiously await the arrival of God’s Word to give them the tools they need for personal spiritual enrichment as well as effective outreach to their people.

Mekane Yesus Seminary

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