One of the many mission programs First Presbyterian supports is Cedepca (Central American Evangelical Center for Pastoral Studies). The original program, Latin American Evangelical Center for Pastoral Studies (CELEP) was started in the 1970s by students and Professors at the Latin American Biblical Seminary in Costa Rica. CELEP became Cedepca in 1985. This program was started to respond to the needs of church leaders, men and women with little or no access to religious and Pastoral training. Religion is a vital and integral part of life in Central America. Cedepca works with the many different churches in Central America including Catholic, Protestant, Immigrant, Evangelical, Pentecostal Mission and National Pentecostal. Cedepca is privileged to work with different expressions of faith. Below is Cedepca’s Mission statement.
- Facilitate theological reflection and pastoral practice that is evangelical, rooted in our time and place, liberating, and inter-confessional.
- Accompany and serve those sectors of our churches that are anxious to articulate their own theological reflection and pastoral practice.
- Promote the dignity and self-esteem of women; work to eliminate violence against women; transform and consolidate women’s leadership in the church and community.
- Promote opportunities for reflection and encounter for people from different cultures and with widely differing personal stories, to help each participant understand his or her personal reality in terms of other realities, thus helping to build a more tolerant, just and equitable world.
- Study the role played by religion and spirituality in the socio-political, economic and cultural life of Latin America. Offers churches elements of social-religious analysis that assists them to orient their pastoral duties.
- Support service ministries; offer solidarity and consolation in times of crisis.