Argentina is the eighth largest country in the world, approximately 11 times larger than the UK. However, theological education is concentrated in the capital city of Buenos Aires and in a few cities in the central provinces.
There is no provision for theological education in Patagonia, a region roughly three-and-a-half times the size of the UK with a population of just over two million.
As a result Patagonian churches send their prospective leaders to Buenos Aires for theological training.
Few students, however, return to their home towns or churches, choosing rather to stay in the capital or other cities in the centre of Argentina.
As a result, Patagonian churches are deprived of potential future leaders. Moreover, the impact of this is felt beyond congregational life as church leaders are often recognised community leaders.
The situation is further exacerbated by the fact that many churches in Patagonia cannot afford a full-time pastor.
Since our foundation in 2010 we have established links with local evangelical churches in San Martín de los Andes, a major town in the Neuquén province of Southern Argentina.
San Martín itself has a population of approximately 29,000 and 20 registered evangelical churches which reflect a wide diversity of backgrounds. From here STS has sought to link in, not just with local churches, but also congregations in the wider region. We seek to support these congregations in a way which is culturally sensitive and provides relevant training for pastors and church leaders.