The Christian is a mind that Christ thinks with, a heart that Christ loves with, a voice that Christ talks through, and a hand that Christ helps with.
“Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!” (Psalm 34:8)
A beautiful image; the one who trusts in the Lord is lifted up. How lucky are you if you trust in God! He will ease all your matters and arrange everything for you.
(H.H. Pope Tawadros II)
Question & Answer
Do not feel that you are far. You are able to constantly repeat short prayers: “My Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy upon me a sinner… Make haste, O God, to deliver me! Make haste to help me, O Lord!”
This is communication with God.
Know that sin is the only thing that disconnects our prayers. In whatever you are doing, always do it whilst praying and asking for God’s help.
Written by Dr. Magdy Latif Al-Sendy
Dean of the Coptic Institute for Church Administration and Development
The Idea and the Establishment of the Institute
In 2015, His Holiness Pope Tawadros II established the Institute for Church Administration and Development, as one of the specialized educational institutes in the Coptic Church. This was to achieve His Holiness’ vision of developing institutes of service in the Coptic Orthodox Church, both in Egypt and abroad, as well as supporting the efforts of the church fathers in this field. The institute is one of the pioneering projects of the Papal office for enterprises and it is under the direct supervision of His Holiness.
The Institute’s Vision and Mission
“Every Coptic Church is a spiritual, purposeful, fruitful and developing organization”. The institute’s message is to support the dioceses and churches to apply institutional and developmental concepts, in order to help the Church succeed in its spiritual mission. This will be achieved through training, consultations, appraisals, research and education. The aforementioned is through the collaborative efforts of the institute’s male and female volunteer servants, as well as experts in the specialist fields of the institute.
The Institute’s Logo
The miracle of the five loaves and two fish (the Gospel of blessing) is a model for the Church in managing the service, where there is an interaction between God’s divine work (the blessing) and the efforts of man (organization and the optimal use of resources). This leads to an overflowing of fruits. The institute’s logo consists of four circles which represent the four aspects of the Church as a spiritual organization (spiritual identity, various resources, advanced services and systematic tools for pioneering administration). The four circles are integrated together through the Church as one body, or as a fifth circle that binds everyone together.
The Institute’s Aims
- Training of Leaders (the clergy, lead servants, church council members) to make a leap forward in the management and development of church services. There are three principles of training: scientific, written and ecclesiastical. The curriculum focuses on practical aspects of “adult education” through an interactive style.
- The granting of academic certificates and degrees: these are accredited by the Academy of Theological Sciences and Coptic Studies (which the institute aligns with) in accordance with the quality standards of the relevant international institutes.
- Offering consultation services to support dioceses and churches in the implementation of institutional development and the evaluation of developmental programs. This is in addition to documenting and publishing successful models inside and outside Egypt.
- Raising awareness through campaigns, scientific conferences, forums, education and research.
Training and Certificates Provided by the Institute
Between 2015 and Now
- Certificate of participation in the basic training course of ecclesiastical administration and development.
Between 2020 and 2025
- Certificate of completion of a specialized training course in aspects of ecclesiastical administration and development.
- Professional diploma certificate.
- Master’s degree certificate in ecclesiastical administration.
The Institute’s Achievements in Training Activities
Between May 2015 and June 2021, the institute has offered 70 basic and specialized training courses. These benefited 1549 trainees, representing 174 churches from 33 dioceses and service areas. They consisted of 534 priests (34.5%), 1015 lead servants and church council members (65.5%). Approximately 23% of the trainees were female.
Furthermore, in an unprecedented event supervised by His Holiness Pope Tawadros II himself, the institute ran three training courses on ecclesiastical administration for 132 priests during their forty day period after their ordination. This occurred in 2018, 2019 and 2021. In April 2021, the institute also ran a specialized training course for 16 monks, who were monastic leaders and candidates nominated for the rank of bishop.
His Holiness awarded the certificates of completion of basic training courses during two graduation ceremonies in 2017 and 2019. Candidates were honored by the presence of His Holiness, as well as some bishops from dioceses which benefited from the institute’s services.
Despite the circumstances of the COVID 19 pandemic during most of 2020, the institute provided an online set of specialized training programs from mid-September 2020 until now (June 2021). These programs were: “The Church and Institutional Development, “The Church and the Management of Change”, “The Church and Strategic Management”, “The Church and Digital Communication”, and “The Curriculum of Development in the Church Service.” Priests, monks and lead servants from within and out with Egypt have benefited from these programs. For the first time, a specialized course on “Service System Administration” was offered in January 2021 to a number of candidates nominated for priesthood in Hadayek El Qubba and Al-Waili regions, under the supervision of His Grace Bishop Mikhail (the general bishop for the region and the supervisor of the Theological College).
The Institute’s Achievements in Education and Research
With a generous invitation from His Grace Bishop Yolyos (Julius), general bishop of public and social services, the development team of the institute carried an interim evaluation of the comprehensive and integrated community development program in several rural and urban communities in Egypt, which has been under the management of the bishopric of services since 2018.
The institute’s committee of studies and research conducted a pioneer study named: “The Positive Experiences of Churches in Providing Spiritual and Pastoral Services Virtually During the COVID 19 Pandemic”. This study was distributed at the Holy Synod’s meeting in March 2021.
The Institute’s Achievements in the Church’s Pioneering Initiatives
The institute participates as one of the founding members of the: “Initiative of the Partners of Development in the Coptic Orthodox Church.” This was launched in June 2021 as a model for the co-ordination of development efforts. A co-operation protocol was signed between the dioceses of Biba, Al-Feshn and Somasta (represented by His Grace Bishop Stephanos) and the committee of partners (represented by His Grace Bishop Yolyos; bishop of public services and general bishop of churches of Misr Al-Qadima). Currently, the institute is implementing technical training for the development office team which is being established in the diocese.
Additionally, the institute is running a program titled: “Developing Leadership and Administration Skills.” This is for a number of newly ordained priests in central Alexandria, under the supervision of Hegumen Abraam Emil, the Patriarchate supervisor in Alexandria. The institute’s technical support committee is assisting one of the churches in Alexandria in the design and implementation of a program for institutional developmental of the service in the Church.
The institute is looking forward to the Seminar of the Holy Synod which will God willing occur in November 2021. The institute has been commissioned to prepare the seminar, as continuing support for the message of institutional development in the Church, led by His Holiness Pope Tawadros, and the venerable metropolitans and bishops.
For further details about the institute’s activities and programs, and information regarding enrolment in training courses, please visit the institute’s website (www.copticad.institiute) or contact the institute via its WhatsApp number (01274440865).
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