COMPTON, CA (December 14, 2011) – Benito Amaya says the two scholarships he received during graduation ceremonies at Centro Hispano de Estudios Teologicos (CHET) will one day enable him to walk across the stage in a cap and gown as did the 74 graduates he watched earlier this month.
“The scholarships came just in time,” says Amaya, a member of El Encino Covenant Church in Downey, California. “They were a huge blessing because we just had a baby and I was out of work.”
He had thought he would not be able to continue his education at the denomination’s center for training Hispanic leaders. He was awarded the multiple scholarships based on criteria that included his academic success, service to his church, and leadership potential.
The 74 graduates who walked across the stage received diplomas that gave witness to their commitment to serving the church, says Delgado. Like Amaya, many of them make great financial sacrifices to attend.
The school has continued to grow and is developing Hispanic leaders around the world. It has now graduated more than 800 individuals during its 21-year history.
Donn Engebretson, executive vice president of the Evangelical Covenant Church, attended the graduation and said afterwards, “To see the graduates of all ages, both women and men, equipped for ministry and energized for serving the Lord in the Hispanic community is absolutely wonderful.”
Board member Richard Martinez, a Boeing 777 pilot for United Airlines and a member of Faith Evangelical Covenant Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado, said the worship service and graduation ceremonies inspired him. “You know the Spirit is present when those not fluent in Spanish – the language of the ceremony – are being moved emotionally.”
Roberto Ghione, pastor of Nueva Esperanza Covenant Church in Simi Valley, said, “It was an especially wonderful experience because I was there to witness the graduation of eight of my first students and a bi-vocational pastor from CHET’s pre-ministerial program.”