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Seminary Extension awards first diplomas for Spanish studies

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Seminary Extension, a ministry of the six Southern Baptist seminaries, has awarded four Spanish-speaking students diplomas in pastoral ministries -– the entity’s first such diplomas for coursework taught entirely in Spanish.

Robert Nyberg, pastor of Primera Iglesia Bautista in Sarasota, Fla., since 1998, supervised the studies.

Several of the courses Nyberg has translated are among the eight Spanish-language courses now available from Seminary Extension, with work continuing by Nyberg and other volunteers to complete additional courses for Seminary Extension use. Sixteen courses are required as part of the curriculum to earn the pastoral ministries diploma.

The four diploma graduates are Santiago Acosta, a Texas native, and his wife, Daisy, a Panama native, longtime volunteer migrant ministry workers in Florida; Acela Yong, a native of Cuba, an adult Sunday School teacher at the Sarasota church; and Margarita Olga Nyberg, a native of Colombia and Nyberg’s wife, a pianist and the church’s music director. The students, who completed four years of study, received their diplomas April 3 at the Sarasota church.

The Nybergs were missionaries for 26 years with the SBC’s former Home Mission Board (now North American Mission Board).

Seminary Extension’s Spanish-language courses can be taught in local Seminary Extension centers across the world and, in various instances, transferred to colleges and Bible schools for credit toward undergraduate work.

Seminary Extension also offers 17 courses in Spanish in its basic certificate-level curriculum.

“The need for good theological training in Spanish is growing rapidly,” Bill Vinson, director of Seminary Extension, said. “Robert Nyberg is not only teaching in Spanish, but he is translating the courses as he teaches them. Because of wonderful volunteer help like this, we may eventually be able to offer all our courses in Spanish.”

Seminary Extension, located in the SBC Building in Nashville, can be contacted by mail at the 901 Commerce St., Suite 500, Nashville, TN 37203; by phone, 1-800-229-4612); or e-mail, [email protected].

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