Theological Education as an Important Tool for Mission

11 Apr 2014
Lutheran leaders from Latin America and the Caribbean at the Mexico City leadership conference. Photo: Adriana Castañeda

Lutheran leaders from Latin America and the Caribbean at the Mexico City leadership conference. Photo: Adriana Castañeda

Annual Leadership Conference of the LWF Latin America and the Caribbean region

(LWI) – Lutheran leaders from Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) have addressed the topic of theological education, challenging member churches to rethink and devise new ways of educating leaders for mission.

The annual leadership conference of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) Latin America and the Caribbean region takes place in Mexico City, from 7-11 April. It is organized by the LWF Department for Mission and Development (DMD) LAC desk in collaboration with the Mexican Lutheran Church.

61 LAC leaders attended the event, which under the theme “Theological Education and Formation,” focused on practical theology, hermeneutics from a gender perspective, and the role of theology in the ecumenical and inter-religious world.

Addressing the conference, LWF General Secretary, Rev. Martin Junge, spoke of the importance of communion and how the establishment of a federation of Lutheran churches in 1947 in a post-war context “was motivated by service and the deep desire to live as reconciled churches.”

“The concept of integral mission and the invitation to go from federation to communion forms part of that journey, reinforcing the commitment to witness globally and our vocation to serve,” Junge said. “I am excited to perceive the trust of churches sharing and reflecting in an environment where hierarchies or size has no weight, so that it becomes a space of mutual strengthening.”

“The leadership conference is an opportunity to thank God for this expression of communion,” said Rev. Roberto Trejo of the Mexican Lutheran Church. “LAC member churches are in fellowship, affirming diversity as a gift and the commitment to work hand-in-hand in God’s mission.”

Churches also shared their efforts to better respond with pastoral skills to changing and challenging societies. They affirmed that theological education and formation should consider social contexts and vulnerable populations.

Dr. Eddla Eggert from the Evangelical Church of the Lutheran Confession in Brazil, and focusing on hermeneutics form the gender perspective stressed “the need to listen (and engage) in the everyday lives of women and marginalized men. Theological education is a search for a balance between academia and (these) experiences,” she said. In the context of theological education and formation in LAC, the transformative action of God is a key tool for the enrichment and growing of the entire membership.

LWF Communication