New Church Life NCL May/June 2018 - Page 45

     The New Church in Brazil In 1981 the Rev. Andrew Heilman moved to Rio de Janeiro as the pastor of the New Church Society there. Recognizing the need for Brazilian ministers, he began training Cristovao Nobre, who was ordained in 1984. Others were subsequently educated and have joined the teaching staff that includes other graduates of the program. The language of instruction in Brazil is Portuguese. The program consists of 12 courses, which are similar to those offered by the Theological School for distant learners.  Fortunately, almost all the Heavenly Doctrine has been translated into Portuguese so most of the courses are based on the theological works themselves, such as Divine Providence, Heaven and Hell and Conjugial Love. Other courses include the Doctrine of the Lord, the Word, Life and the Ten Commandments, the Church and Church History (Pre-Advent and Post-Advent).  The Study of the Letter of the Word is interspersed with the other courses, such as the Historical Old Testament with the Pre-Advent Churches, the Prophets and Psalms with study of the Word and its internal sense, the Four Gospels with the Doctrine of the Lord, and the book of Revelation, with both the Post Advent Churches and the study of the Spiritual World based mostly on Heaven and Hell. There are, of course, the more practical aspects of priestly training such as sermon writing, pastoral visiting, children’s talks and Sunday School, etc. This is done in conjunction with other courses, together with a unit on the principles of exposition. The program takes between three and four years to complete. Since beginning in 1981, five men have graduated from this school and been ordained in Brazil, and the current enrollment is five students, spread out across Brazil: two in Rio, two in Curitiba, and one in Maraba’, Para’, in northern Brazil. Because of the distances involved, all these students are part-time and most of the courses are done via e-mail. The students answer questions or write essays, classes or sermons and send them back to the teacher for comments. When Rev. Heilman visits from the United States, especially during the annual minister/ student meetings, faculty and students can meet face to face, adding community to the study program. Because there are so few ministers Currently there are five primary training programs around the world, each tailored to suit the needs of the area, each maintaining strict doctrinal integrity. 221