The Samahan ng Teolohikal na Edukasyon sa Pilipinas (STEP) meet at the Philippine Baptist Theological Seminary for its General Assembly last April 29 – May 1, 2018 with the theme: “Communicate, Collaborate, Cooperate”. Founded in 2009, STEP is the association of ATESEA affiliated theological schools in the Philippines.

The agenda for the gathering include business meetings for its election of officers and planning. The assembly heard paper presentations including PBTS alumnus Kenino Nakhro (M.Div ’18). Representatives also gathered for worship with keynote address from Dr. Kristine C. Meneses, faculty member from the University of Santo Tomas. Her message centered on the inclusion of the “disabled” in one’s theologizing, especially the deaf. The “disabled” are not truly disabled but should be seen as people with a different way of life. Variety should be embraced rather than shunned. Her exposition of Mark 7:31-37 calls for solidarity with those who are “different”.

Present during the Biennial Assembly include representatives from Philippine Baptist Theological Seminary (Southern Baptist Churches), Union Theological Seminary (United Church of Christ in the Philippines and the United Methodists), Ecumenical Theological Seminary (United Church of Christ in the Philippines), Saint Andrews Theological Seminary (Episcopal Church of the Philippines), Aglipay Central Theological Seminary (Iglesia Filipina Independiente), Saint Paul’s Theological Seminary (Iglesia Filipina Independiente), Dansalan Bible College (United Church of Christ in the Philippines), Central Philippine University (Convention of Philippine Baptist Churches).

PBTS Academic Dean, Dr. Michael Janapin was later elected as president of STEP for 2018-2020. Dr. Janapin succeeds Dr. Ferdinand Anno, director of the Doctor of Ministry program at Union Theological Seminary as outgoing president. Other officers include:

Vice President for Luzon: Luna Dingayan (Ecumenical Theological Seminary), Vice President for Visayas: Fr. Larry Herrera (St. Paul Theological Seminary), Vice President for Mindanao: Dr. Fedelinda Tawagon (Dansalan Bible College Secretary), Secretary: Kakay Pamaran (Union Theological Seminary), Treasurer : Dr. Gloria Mapangdol (St. Andrew’s Theological Seminary), Auditor: Dr. Bernabe Pagara (Central Philippine University).

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