Fiesta Celebration Held for Graduating Students at CHET

Post a Comment » Written on December 19th, 2003     
Filed under: News
BELL GARDENS, CA (December 19, 2003)  – Centro Hispano de Estudios Teologicos (CHET) announced the graduation of 78 students on December 6, hosting a Fiesta Celebration to honor students, their families, and friends at the school.

The 78 graduates are part of nearly 36 million individuals of Latino heritage who make up more than 12 percent of the nation’s population, making CHET’s ministry particularly significant. In the last decade the number of Hispanics increased by 35 percent and is estimated to increase by an additional 18 percent by 2005.

During the graduation celebration Jorge Maldonado, president of CHET, reminded the students about the importance of training and equipping Latino Christians passionate about learning how to effectively reach out to the communities where we live. The students are a case in point of the different journeys people take in following Christ’s call.

Marco Antonio Quezada is a recent graduate of the Basic program (30 hours) at CHET, having never seen the campus. He has been incarcerated for the last 19 years and earned his degree through correspondence courses.

Quezada became a believer though his mother’s prayers and a chaplain in the jail. After his conversion he asked his mother to send him Bible study materials and she sent him the material from CHET. According to his family, Quezada is eager to continue onto the Ministerial Program. Marco’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Antonio Quezada, came to the graduation and received the certificate of graduation in behalf of their son. Their son will be released in a year and hopes to come to CHET to receive his Diploma in person.

Onofre Fernandez is a graduate of CHET’s Licenciatura en Ministerio Program. He teaches at the Basic Program on a voluntary basis. Of Mexican origin, Onofre is actively implementing newly learned CHET skills at El Encino Covenant Church in Downey, California. Fernandez hopes his training will improve his ability to reach out to other Spanish speakers.

Built on the Basic Program, CHET’s Ministerial Progoam gives students an opportunity to take about 20 courses on the areas of Bible, Theology, Church History, Context and Ministry to gain an additional 60 credits (to earn a total of 90 credits).

The Ministerial Program becomes the bridge to the Licenciatura En Ministerio Cristiano, endorsed by La Asociación Hispana de Educación Teológica, AETH (The Hispanic Association for Theological Education). This program requires an additional 36 credits and is composed of six modules. With the Licenciatura degree, students can pursue graduate theological studies at several Fuller Theological Seminary, Vanguard University, Azusa Pacific University, and North Park Theological Seminary in Chicago, with which CHET is affiliated.

About the Ministerial program, Fernandez said, “During the last three and a half years at CHET, I have learned to understand the Lord’s will for my life. My CHET experience without a doubt has marked a new beginning for my life.”

CHET’s 400 student enrollment this fall is representative of 19 Spanish – speaking countries.  Although CHET is affiliated with the Evangelical Covenant Church, it educates Latinos from a variety of denominational backgrounds. Along with the Basic and Ministerial programs, CHET, in agreement with the Latin-American Association for Pastoral Care and Family Counseling (EIRENE), offers Training in Family Counseling to community workers, pastors, church leaders, future ministers, and persons interested in working with families in education prevention and intervention. The program is composed of three levels: cognitive (seven courses), experiential (four workshops), and clinical (100 hours of supervision).

Besides the courses that CHET offers in Bell Gardens, there are 22 satellite locations that include California cities such as Claremont, Gardena, Simi Valley, and Westminster as well as locations in Utah, Washington, and Spain.

For more information, call the school at 562-806-8325 or email CHET at

Copyright © 2011 The Evangelical Covenant Church.

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