Hundreds of mission co-workers have served in Egypt for about 12 decades as educators, theological teachers, medical teams, rural health workers, agricultural experts, engineers and other specialists. The church planted by those early missionaries grew into the largest Protestant church in the Middle East, the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Egypt, Synod of the Nile. The church has enjoyed a resurgence of interest following the Arab Spring revolution that began in 2011 which brought rapid and deep change to society and previously-accepted norms. The country now has a new constitution, a new government, and unprecedented openness to the church’s role in society. The Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Egypt —the church that our missionaries planted more than 150 years ago—is seizing this opportunity by actively reaching out to communities and meeting people’s needs.
Rev. Michael Parker, firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael Parker is a Presbyterian teaching elder serving as the Director of Graduate Studies and a professor of Church History at the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo (ETSC), Egypt. The school, founded in 1863 by U.S. Presbyterians, has its main campus in Cairo and two branch campuses. The number of full- and part-time students is between 325 and 350, making ETSC the largest Christian seminary in the Middle East. Most of the students are from Egypt, but some are from other countries in the Middle East. As ETSC grows and develops it is well positioned to become a center for Christian studies for the entire region of the Middle East. Read more about his work here.
For more information about Presbyterians serving in Egypt, please contact the office for the Middle East and Europe.
The Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Egypt (a.k.a. Synod of the Nile) is the fruit of Presbyterian mission work in Egypt, which began in 1854. For many years, the Synod of the Nile grew as part of the PC(USA) until Egypt gained independence from British rule in 1952. The Synod of the Nile became autonomous in 1957 and officially independent in 1958. Today the PC(USA) has a strong partnership with the Synod of the Nile, which has a highly developed program of witness and ministry, including eight presbyteries and more than 400 congregations, and a membership of more than half a million.
Educating and equipping people for ministry in Egypt and around the Arab world, Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo (ETSC) is one of the only Protestant theological training centers in all of Egypt. Presbyterian mission personnel founded ETSC in 1863, with the first classes held on a houseboat on the Nile River. Since 1926, the seminary has been located in Cairo. The seminary trains ministers for pastoral positions in the Egyptian Evangelical [Presbyterian] Church and welcomes students from a variety of denominations who desire to deepen their skills and knowledge in preparation for a wide range of ministries.
CEOSS is one of Egypt’s largest development organizations, providing integrated approaches to poor communities in the areas of economic development, agriculture, education, health care, and the environment. Founded in 1952 by an Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo graduate, Samuel Habib, CEOSS grew from being a literacy program among the rural poor to being an internationally recognized organization dedicated to a holistic approach to sustainable development. Maintaining its Christian identity and focus, CEOSS’s mission is to promote the sanctity, equity, and harmony of life by nurturing moral and spiritual awareness, enhancing a sense of belonging, promoting respect for diversity, addressing conflict, and advancing social justice for individuals and communities.
The Bible Society of Egypt is the largest Arabic Bible publishing operation in the world. A trans-denominational organization, the Bible Society is considered the Bible publisher for all the churches (Coptic, Protestant, and Catholic) in Egypt. The Society freely distributes Bibles to refugees, the disabled, and prisoners and their families.
In 1896 two woman doctors—Dr. Anna Watson and Dr. Caroline Lawrence—arrived in Egypt and started a clinic for women and children. The clinic was a forerunner for the American Mission Hospital in Tanta which has been “serving others for the glory of God” for over 100 years. Indiscriminately serving all those who need medical care, the American Mission Hospital provides Christian medical services to the people in one of the most heavily populated areas of Egypt—the central Nile delta.
Lacey Gilliam, Mission Specialist for the Middle East and Europe, Presbyterian World Mission, email@example.com
Egypt Partnership Network
The Egypt Partnership Network is among more than 40 networks that connect Presbyterians who share a common mission interest. Most participants are involved in mission partnerships through congregations, presbyteries or synods. Network members come together to coordinate efforts, share best practices and develop strategies.
For information, contact Lacey Gilliam at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Growing the Church in Egypt Fund
The revolutionary events that began in Egypt in 2011 brought rapid and deep change to society, including unprecedented openness to the church’s role in society. Yet, due to the limited capacity of the Church (of all denominations), more than 70 percent of Egyptian Christians do not have access to a church. The Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Egypt (founded by Presbyterian missionaries in the mid-19th century) is seizing this opportunity to expand its outreach ministries to all segments of society. The church is currently planting more than 66 new church developments in new cities throughout the country, as well as villages and remote areas. Likewise, the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo is actively training pastors to serve in churches throughout the Arab World.
This project supports these outreach ministries of the church in Egypt. Donations to this fund will also help Presbyterian World Mission send mission co-workers who are committed to equipping and growing the Christian Church in Egypt. Support our work in Egypt here.
A major ministry of the Synod of the Nile is carried out at Beit El-Salam Conference Center at Agamy, on Alexandria’s Mediterranean coast, where more than 12,000 persons encounter Christ by the seashore each year. Hundreds of campers became leaders not only in the Egyptian church and society but also in the world church. The facility itself has grown, but is in need of further expansion. The vision is to expand it not only to accommodate the demand but also to embrace new opportunities for Christian witness in that land and region. The space is available and time is opportune, but funds are needed. You are invited to be a new “work camper” for expanding not only the facility but also the circle of witness from the center out. If you’d like to donate to support the conference center, you may do so here.
Care With Love is a training program for home health care providers. It is now becoming an NGO for training and employment of all kinds of caregivers. Together with the Friends of the Children with Cancer, Care with Love wants to establish a halfway house for children with cancer. It will be set on a farm outside Cairo, away from the pollution, where the children from underprivileged families will be taken care of in between treatment to boost their nutrition while providing respite for their mothers and other siblings. The mothers will be educated about proper nutrition and hygiene and will participate in income-generating projects. If you’d like to support Care With Love, you may donate here.
The social service organization implements a variety of preventive health programs and curative medical activities that target the priority health needs and education of poor urban and rural populations, especially women and children, in Egypt. You can donate to CEOSS here.
This designated account supplements the One Great Hour of Sharing offering to enable a significant response for relief and disasters in the Middle East. If you want to support disaster relief in the Middle East, you may do so here.
These schools are under the direction of the Synod of the Nile and are in need of support for the ongoing costs of operation. You can financially support their educational efforts here.
The American Hospital at Tanta, in Egypt, provides a range of health services, including ophthalmic surgery. Funds are needed to subsidize care for patients who cannot afford to pay and to purchase equipment, including that needed for retinal surgery. Support the hospital here.
The Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo enrolls more than 330 students at campuses in Cairo, Alexandria and Minia in full-time Master of Divinity and part-time Master of Arts in Theology, Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership, and Master of Theology programs. Gifts to this fund may be designated for the library, current capital improvement projects, distance learning, computer upgrades, continuing education for pastors, emergency funds, summer internships or other approved projects. Support special projects at the Evangelical Theological Seminary here.
The Evangelical Theological Seminary prepares, equips and trains pastors, ministers and leaders of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church and other churches in Egypt, the Middle East and Arabic speaking communities abroad. The school has an enrollment of more than 330 students in its Cairo, Alexandria and Minia campuses in full and part-time Bachelor and Master of Arts in Theology programs. This fund offsets costs to provide all qualified students a quality theological education. Give to the Student Scholarship Fund fund.
The Synod of the Nile Evangelical (Presbyterian) Church is the minority of the Christian minority. Around 90 percent of the population is Muslim with the remaining 10 percent population Christians, but mostly Coptic Orthodox. American Presbyterian missionaries began their ministry in Assiut, Upper Egypt in 1854. Much of the Evangelical Church’s strength and reputation has grown from the schools and hospitals founded by the early church workers of the American Mission in Egypt. The Church has significant outreach and evangelism programs that focus on new church development and on church redevelopment particularly in rural and urban settings. Support the Synod of the Nile here.