Phil. Embassy in Berlin Commends Scholar from Divinity School
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) released on its website an article on the Philippine Embassy in Berlin extending its congratulations to a professor from the Divinity School who has recently completed his doctorate in theology, magna cum laude, at the prestigious University of Heidelberg in Germany.
Dr. Dennis T. Solon, who is on official study leave from Silliman, obtained his doctorate degree on a scholarship from the United Evangelical Mission (UEM).
UEM is a partner of Silliman University. Through its support, Silliman has become International Center for Mission Studies in Asia. This makes Silliman one of only three venues in the world that administer the program Master of Theology major in Mission Studies. Germany and South Africa are the other two.
Philippine Ambassador to Germany Maria Cleofe Natividad commended the UEM for its scholarship program and for providing promising students from the Philippines the opportunity for further academic training in Germany. Ambassador Natividad also congratulated Dr. Solon and urged him to be a “guiding theological voice in the United Church of Christ in the Philippines.”
Dr. Solon is also an ordained minister of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines.
“I thank the UCCP and Silliman University for the trust and confidence in sending me to Germany to pursue a doctorate in theology,” he said.
Dr. Solon started doing research for his doctoral dissertation concerning the social dimension of the death of Jesus in Paul’s letter to the Romans, under the guidance and supervision of Prof. Dr. Gerd Theissen, his doctoral adviser, in Summer Semester 2011. He submitted his dissertation in October 2013. It required him to learn the basics of reading Biblical Aramaic, French and Latin, while further learning Biblical Hebrew.
In January 2014, he successfully took the Rigorosum or academic oral exam in five areas: New Testament, Old Testament, Church History, Systematic Theology and Practical Theology. A month after, he received an overall rating (Prädikat) of magna cum laude at the official closing ceremony at Heidelberg University.
To celebrate the graduation of their scholar, Rev. Berend Veddeler invited the officials and staff of the Embassy to join in an evening get-together at the Internationales Evangelisches Tagungszentrum Wuppertal GmbH on April 28. Representing the Embassy at the event was First Secretary and Consul Mr. Adrian Cruz.
Dr. Solon shared with Consul Cruz his plans now that he has finished his doctorate. “I hope to be back to active teaching ministry at Silliman University and be able to contribute something to the theological formation program of the UCCP.”
(Portions of this news, including the photo, were taken from the press release on the website of the Department of Foreign Affairs.)