The Rev. Miguel A. Hernández, Class of 2013, and Adjunct Professor of Liturgics at The General Theological Seminary, has been instrumental in the launch of a seminary serving the Episcopal Diocese of El Salvador. The idea of offering Episcopal theological education in El Salvador began in 2015 with discussions between Hernández, representing the Newark School of Theology (NST) in New Jersey, and the Rt. Rev. David Alvarado, Bishop of the Diocese of El Salvador. Dr. Douglas Bendall, the Founder and President of NST, supported the efforts at creating a distance learning opportunity for El Salvador, with the idea of utilizing the Skype platform.
This idea was later expanded as the Commission on Ministry for the Diocese of El Salvador held various conferences and decided to create a seminary for the Episcopal Church in El Salvador. The seminary was conceived as a theological center where students could obtain a high-quality theological education accessible to all interested in pursuing their vocation and mission in the life of the Church.
For over a year, the planning of the seminary took place. That effort was led by the Rev. Irma de Alvarado, who was appointed the Director of the Seminary, and was supported by the Commission on Ministry. Thus, El Seminario Episcopal Anglicano of El Salvador was born. On January 6, 2017, the Seminary was inaugurated in a ceremony held at the Iglesia San Juan Evangelista in San Salvador.
Hernández was invited to give a talk on the theme “Come and Follow Me” (Luke 18) during a retreat that was held on January 7, 2017, at Cielo Mar, La Libertad, El Salvador.
According to Bishop David Alvarado, the Seminary is also open to receive students from outside El Salvador who would like to be exposed to Latin American theology or to practice the Liturgy in Spanish. El Salvador offers many opportunities for theological reflection, as there are numerous places one can visit, such as the Metropolitan Cathedral, the Oscar Romero Center, located at the University of Central America, El Mozote, and other sacred places emblematic of the spirituality of El Salvador.
The Seminary has been launched with very limited resources, and there is great enthusiasm with the starting of the first class this year, consisting of six students (4 women and 2 men) and an expected graduation in 2020.