Kiribatians among Malua graduates
The Malua Theological College graduation ceremony on Saturday morning may have been dominated by Samoan graduates but among those to take their qualifications were Kiribatian theologians.
One of the Kiribati graduates, Reverend Beretia Unnang, graduated with a Bachelor of Divinity with Honors.
He is from the Kiribati Uniting Church.
The 33-year-old also holds a Diploma of Theology from the Theological College in Kiribati.
He told the Samoa Observer that he was fortunate to receive a scholarship together with another Kiribati graduate from Malua Theological College which was Rev. Teratabu Takaria from their church.
“It took us two years because we are already pastors; I have a Diploma from Kiribati which started last year,” he said.
When asked about the reason behind his chosen study, “I believe that God called me.”
“I was nothing but a fisherman, I passed the entrance exams and then passed the scholarship… God chose me.
“I admit that being away from families is kind of hard…it’s just my parents.”
Rev. Unnang said that his experience in Samoa was great because he learned many new things.
“Malua taught me how to be respectful, humble and be strong amidst suffering; these are some of the things I will take back with me home.
“When facing challenges you have to be strong but most importantly you have to trust God, because you cannot do it alone, leave everything to God and God will help.
“I would like to acknowledge my church for choosing –the Kiribati Uniting Church.”
He also wanted to dedicate his achievement to his Samoan family, Rev. Elder Iosefa Atapana Uilelea [the new Chairman of the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa (C.C.C.S.)], "they support me through my two years and my journey was easier because they helped me.”
The graduation was held at the Malua Jubilee Church where Diplomas of Theology, Bachelor's of Theology, and Bachelor's of Divinity with Honours were among the qualifications bestowed on the College's new graduates.
The celebration was well-attended by the leadership of the Congregational Christian Church Samoa (C.C.C.S.), His Highness the Head of States Tuimaleali'ifano Va'aletoa Sualauvi II, Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata'afa, Cabinet Ministers.
While most of the attendees include hundreds of families and friends of the graduates.
The service was led by the Chairman of the C.C.C.S. Elders' Committee, who is also the Chairman of the Board of Malua, Reverend Elder Asotasi Gu Time.
Overall, two students have emerged as the top students for the two programmes from the graduating class.
The graduating class this year, they will be the founding class for the Malua's Masters programme which will kick off starting next year.
The list of Malua Theological College (M.T.C.) graduates 2021:
Diploma of Theology: Samuelu Solomona Afutiti and Mane Afutiti.
Bachelor of Theology: Ailepata Ailepata Leuta and Lautele Ailepata Leuta, Aunese Anau and Fiona Anau, Eletise Vainu'upo Palemene, Fa'afetai Nepo, Iafeta Iese Vaopuka, Ioane Samuelu, Kereveta Tiumalu and Fa'anaitaua Lafaiali'i Tiumalu, Konelio Tuiai Taumaloto and Iota Tuiai Taumaloto, Laveai Fonomaalii Sene, Metusela Ioane and Avei Ioane Samoa, Navy Luatua and Amiafolau Luatua, Niutuiatua Onesemo and Cecila Onesemo, Paie Tapu Legalo, Penehuro Lilomaiava and Feagia'i Lilomaiava, Tafatolu Tapaleao, Vauea Esau and Susiefaafetai Vauea, and finally, Visesio Leilua and Fa'apenu Leilua.
Bachelor of Divinity with Honors: Beretia Unnang, Donimic Taeleipu, Isaako Junior Iose, Kapeni Matautia and Renolla Matautia, Lanceletotte Fasi Misa Alaimoana and Naomi Alaimoana, Loia Jr Fiu Kolia and Easterakesa Kolia, Peni Manila and Florence Manila, Sekuini Livigisitone Fiavaai, Tavita Reupena and Logosau Reupena and Reverend Teratabu Takaria.
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