Mekane Yesus Seminary Gudina Tumsa Research Center

MYS is one of the oldest seminaries in Ethiopia but it has had no Research Center (RC), which is essential to demonstrate the main characteristics of a higher institution. Thus, the seminary have apprehended that RC is a central part of a healthy seminary to keep the school improving and achieving its vision and mission. The center is named after the late Reverend Gudina Tumsa and was launched on January 30, 2024.

Up coming Event

Lecture Series

MYS - GTRC Event

Join us for a Lecture Series on "Authentic Discipleship, the Cross, and the Lure of False Gospel" from April 17 to 19! The lecture series will be held from 02:30 PM to 04:30 PM, at the Helges Center 5th floor, Dr. Emmanuel G/Selassie Hall.

We are thrilled to have Emeritus Professor David A. Lumpp from Concordia University, Saint Paul, Minnesota (USA) as our esteemed presenter.

GT Reasearch Center Goals

  • The central goal of the research center is to enable interaction between faculties, scholars, students, and churches to enhance research opportunities and academic excellence, interact with and analyze theological and doctrinal controversies, and knowledge creation and dissemination in line with the sound biblical teaching and solid Lutheran (EECMY) doctrine and theology.
  • In addition to the research work, the center facilitates academic seminars, lecture series, conferences, trainings, symposiums, movie nights and workshops for faculty, graduate students and research scholars.
  • The center plans to have a publication center where outstanding research findings can be selected and published in journal articles, magazines, books, book chapters, and monographs.


Annual Lecture Series

  • By: Dr. Mark Schuler, ThD, professor Emeritus, Concordia University, St. Paul, MN
  • Date: April 26-28, 2023
  • Topic: “Some would be Apostles” Ephesians 4:11 

Monthly Academic Seminar

  • By: Dr. Haile Sadins, MYS CoTS Associate Dean and Lecturer
  • Date: August 3, 2023
  • Topic: “Holistic Theology and Mission”

Who is Gudina Tumsa?

Rev. Gudina Tumsa was born in Bodji, Wollega in 1929. He served at many church leadership roles and was the General Secretary of the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (EECMY).   He played a significant role in the formation of the Council for Cooperation of Churches in Ethiopia, an ecumenical and interdenominational council, and was selected its first chairman, the Ethiopian Evangelical Students Fellowship and other ecumenical bodies. Besides, he “gave his church a decisive push towards independence in theological thought and church practice”, criticizing many aspects of Western Christianity. He is in many regards the father of the indigenous theological thought of the EECMY, and especially its Holistic Theology also known as "Serving the Whole Person" theology. Much of his theology is contained in the letters he wrote to church leaders and the world in the 1960s and 1970s. (integrate with first chapter)

The main points of his theology center on a holistic hermeneutic that not only encompasses a broad ontology, but which also applies itself to both the life in this world and in the next. His theology can be portrayed as a type of “liberation theology”, but cannot be categorized strictly in this class. In fact, it contains a uniquely Ethiopian flavor that it can be attributed as a theology of liberation in the Ethiopian context. The Gospel, as his people understood it, is a religion of love and justice. This interpretation may stand as the overarching perspective on Rev. Gudina’s theology. As such his theology has to be seen as an African voice in the church universal.

Gudina describes his own theology as a holistic theology. Prior to the Ethiopian Revolution the identity and freedom of the church were at stake that his papers from this period, before 1974, focus on the power relations between the EECMY and missions/donor agencies. After the 1974 Ethiopian Revolution, since the very survival of the church was in jeopardy, the church-state relationship therefore lays at the center of his concern. In both situations he argued with a deep sense of compassion and on the basis of an African holistic interpretation of human life and the Gospel.

In one of his memos to Emmanuel Abraham who was president of EECMY at his time, he writes that “western theology has lost this-worldly dimension of human existence”; according to him, his holistic theology is merely “an effort in rediscovering total human life” in all its width and breadth. It does not allow the suffering of this world to eclipse the joy of the next – the physical reality to overtake the spiritual – but instead he says that both are in need of redemption, salvation, and liberation. It is in many ways a contextual interpretation of the meaning of “love and justice” in relation to two crucial phases in the history of the EECMY and the history of Ethiopia.

Because of his firm stand for gospel, he had passed through multiple imprisonments. In June 1979, he was arrested by the revolutionary government of Ethiopia, the Dergue. Fearing for his life, the president of the Lutheran World Federation at the time, Bishop Josiah Kibira together with other church leaders went to President Nyerere in Tanzania to ask for help. Nyerere managed to get him released from prison and offered him a possibility of living in abroad. However, Gudina refused with the following words: “Here is my church and my congregation. How can I, as a church leader, leave my flock at this moment of trial? I have again and again pleaded with my pastors to stay on.” He then quoted 2 Cor. 5:15 –  “‘Christ died for all that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.’ Never ever will I escape!” Here we see his heart for the flock and dedication for the call from the Lord. After a month, on 28 July, he was abducted and killed by strangulation. His murder brought to an end for creative and visionary theological reflection in the church, which was so much needed in Ethiopia at the time. It was a blow to African theology as well as to the worldwide church. His theology, which grew out of African soil, remains of great interest.

These and other unmentioned works of him are the reasons behind naming our center after him. His huge legacy are yet untold and not properly documented. In addition to revealing Gudina’s church contribution for the current and upcoming generation through research works, the research center also aspires to unpack his exemplary leadership role. But this does not mean that all our activities focus only on his works. Following his footsteps, we try to address the problem of the church through excellent research works that can make the church to be a sound Lutheran denomination. We also try to empower African theologians that can contribute sound doctrine to the church of Christ.

Meet our Staff


Rev. Dr. Tibebu Teklu: GTRC Director
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Mrs. Betheal Alemu: GTRC Coordinator
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