The Instituto Teologico de Puerto Rico Iglesia de los Hermanos (Theological Institute of Puerto Rico, Church of the Brethren) held its graduation service on Saturday, April 9, at the Yahuecas, Cristo Nuestra Paz Fellowship Church of the Brethren. Graduates include Ildefonso Baerga Torres, Carmen Cruz Rodriguez, Carmen L. Fernandini Ruiz, Miguelina Medina Nieves, Jose E. Medina Ojeda, María Otero Encarnacion, Elizabeth Perez Marrero, and Gloria Sanchez Piyeiro.
The theme text for the service was Ephesians 4:3, “Making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” The graduates selected Maria Otero Encarnacion as their representative to deliver the afternoon message. Worship was lively and filled with praise, prayer, and proclamation.
The graduating class dedicated the service to Carol Yeazell, one of the Congregational Life Teams staff for the General Board, for her distinguished work on behalf of the Spanish-speaking church. Yeazell was present at the service to receive a plaque, along with warm words of appreciation and affection. Mary Jo Flory-Steury, executive director of Ministry for the General Board, was present as well, on behalf of the Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership and bringing greetings and participating in the graduation service.
The Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership is a ministry training partnership of the Church of the Brethren General Board and Bethany Theological Seminary. The Instituto Teologico de Puerto Rico has worked closely with the Brethren Academy since its inception. Elba E. Velez is the director of the institute. Classes are currently being held in four locations. The institute also is in the process of becoming an Academy Certified Training System (ACTS).