College hosts ceremony for international Hispanic graduates of Anabaptist ministry

Hesston College hosted graduation ceremonies for graduates of the Instituto Bíblico Anabautista (IBA) and Seminario Bíblico Anabautista Hispano (SeBAH) September 2 through 4. Both of these programs offer Hispanic students a chance to pursue further education in pastoral ministry and Biblical education.

Students in both of these programs represent countries from across the globe. Classes are delivered online and are designed to reach Spanish speaking students from a vast expanse of countries and cultures.

The class of ’22 was welcomed to campus for more than just a meeting space, but a home base for future ceremonies. “We opened our doors to these students when other places did not,” said Michele Hershberger, Bible professor at Hesston College. “This includes working in partnership with the SeBAH students to give Hesston College credit for their classwork.”

An annual training was also held during the three day event, Hershberger led the teaching with her presentation entitled “Understanding the Bible as a Connecting Story.”

The graduation event was emceed by Marco Güete, director of Mennonite Education Agency’s Hispanic Ministries programs. The keynote address was delivered by Dr. Joseph Manickam, president of Hesston College. Dr. David Boshart, president of Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, assisted in other parts of the service.

Students were bestowed with stoles made specifically for them to represent their achievement and their path forward. Graduates were also anointed by Hershberger both in person and via Zoom. “These students are from all over the world,” said Hershberger. “Being able to bring this special blessing, this moment to them exactly where they were was so special.”

Eleven students originating from the United States and outside the country graduated from one of the two programs being represented. Despite a nationwide decline in ministerial students, both IBA and SeBAH are thriving programs. Hesston College plans to continue to host both training sessions and graduation ceremonies and support these programs in the future.