Meet the Graduates:
More than 700 students complete their degrees at Fuller this year, with plans that will take them into a range of ministries and vocations. This series highlights just a few of these graduates.
“There is an emerging situation in the church where a new kind of leadership is needed,” believes Assefa Gugsa, who graduates with his PhD in Intercultural Studies this June. “The church in Ethiopia has unprecedented opportunities for evangelism, mission, and social participation.”
Gugsa already has a lot of experience helping focus the direction of the Ethiopian church and shaping its next leaders: Before coming to Fuller he was national director of the Evangelical Students’ Union of Ethiopa (EvaSUE), the Ethiopian member of the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students—a network of 142 national movements around the world, including InterVarsity/USA. Gugsa also served in leadership positions at denominational and continental levels, in addition to being president of his local congregation.
School of Intercultural Studies professors like Paul Pierson, Chuck Kraft, and Dean Douglas McConnell mentored and supported Gugsa during his time at Fuller, and now Gugsa, too, plans to nurture minds and hearts as a professor. “I would like to teach at an Ethiopian seminary for a few years, and then start my own leadership school,” he explains. Gugsa’s vision is for such a graduate school to equip not only Christian leaders for ministry, but also business leaders and leaders in public service—responding to the varied opportunities and needs he sees in Ethiopia today.
Gugsa is especially concerned that social action has taken a backseat to evangelism among many Christians in Ethiopia, and he hopes to raise up leaders who will address this imbalance. “I am interested in showing Ethiopian evangelicals that the church has a social mandate that has to be expressed alongside evangelism,” he says. “There is an emerging generation interested in taking the good news in its wholeness to reach the whole person, and this generation of leaders needs sources from which to draw guidance.”
Learn more about Fuller’s PhD in Intercultural Studies program.
Read more stories about Fuller’s 2009 graduates.