Haiti (MNN) — On average, out of every 500 children in Haiti, only three make it through fifth grade.
With those staggering statistics, it’s amazing to see how just graduating from high school or college in Haiti is a great accomplishment.
But graduating with your Master’s degree? That's amazing! And on May 12, 2012, 48 Haitian students did just that.
In the first graduation ceremony ever held by a fully accredited Master’s of Christian Education program in Haiti, 48 diplomas were passed out in front of 300 friends and family.
Baptist Haiti Mission (BHM) started the program six years ago after an idea to improve education in Haiti had been in the works.
Other education programs have operated in Haiti at the Master’s level, but this Master’s program with BHM is different as it is the first Master of Christian Education with full accreditation.
The program is fully accredited by Laurel University in North Carolina. Both Laurel University’s President Larry McCullough and Dean of Education Bob Brumley attended the ceremony.
According to BHM Field Director Rob Baker, “It was certainly a very high excitement level for the graduates and the families of the graduates.”
Graduates didn’t just come from Haitian churches and schools directly associated with BHM, either. They came from all over Haiti. "[The program] is offered to anyone [who] is qualified to enter a Master’s level program,” says Baker.
And one of the most critical factors of the program is the integration of faith and learning.
“I personally was extremely excited to see that this is coming from a thoroughly Christian Biblical perspective,” says Baker. “As [students] started seeing Biblical principles and foundations for what they do in education, it really started to transform their thinking and their approach to education.”
In January 2012, BHM plans to add a Master of Theological Studies branch to the program. They are also thinking about bringing in a Doctor of Ministries program.
Pray for growth of BHM’s ministry and for the "raising of the bar" in Haitian education.