Support for Mekane Yesus School of Jazz Music and Media, Addis Ababa

The Mekane Yesus School of Jazz Music and Media is the only church-owned educational institution in Ethiopia dedicated to producing leaders in Worship music. It draws from Ethiopia´s rich tradition of its own jazz style which has a long history of fusing elements of Ethiopian traditional music with Western music and fosters contemporary church music which is rooted in Ethiopian music traditions while integrating sacred music and Gospel. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the school has encountered substantial financial losses in 2020, many educational programs could not take place and many students and their families cannot continue their studies with further scholarships and tuition waivers. Read more in the text below and see videos of their work.

The Mekane Yesus School of Jazz Music and Media is the only church-owned educational institution in Ethiopia dedicated to producing leaders in Worship music. The School also does advocacy work to have churches create salaried positions for worship leaders who have worked hard to earn their degrees and their diplomas. The Music Department has also taken the leadership in formalizing an Association of Christian Musicians where musicians can network and brainstorm on solving problems facing worship musicians. Its vision is to develop musicians who are superior in talent, understanding and spiritual wisdom from secular musicians in the nation and to use this superior advantage to preach the Word of God and proclaim the Lordship of Christ to the nation and specially the youth. In the long term the Mekane Yesus Music School intends to have graduates who will change the quality, depth and effectiveness of the Ethiopia’s Gospel Music Industry and in the process sows the Love of Christ in the Heart of new believers.

Study programs
The school program awards an Advanced Diploma and Bachelor of Arts Degree in Musicology and Film & Media which are designed to equip candidates with advanced musical skills in modern instruments, traditional instruments and live recording technology. The program also prepares candidates to become professional musicians in and out of the church environment through integrated biblical courses which are uniquely designed for the Christian church today with highly qualified professional musicians and professors from all over the world. Graduates of the school have gone on to pursue successful careers in music and have won prestigious international music awards in the Gospel music category both in East Africa and the London Olympic Edition in 2012. Such high caliber students have brought immense prestige and joy to the school, the evangelical church, the country, and moreover glory to God.

The school of Jazz Music conducts grand Gospel Music Concerts, Annual spiritual conferences, provides workshops and cross cultural exchange programs among the youths across the country and in abroad with unexpected levels of resonance. The youth who came to attend the concert were so large in number that the auditorium could not accommodate all at once. accommodate. In the last 19 years (till 2019) the school has produced 338 (304 males and 34 females) graduates, it employs 6 MA instructors, 19 BA instructors, 1 A/Diploma instructor and 1 supporting staff, making the total number of teachers 27.

The Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus
The EECMY is one of the largest Lutheran churches in Africa which carries human services out with the motto: "Serving the whole person – Holistic Ministry." Ethiopia is the land with diversified ethnic groups of people, so are the members of EECMY. It is this multi-ethnic community of believers with different languages and cultures that the church engages to address their needs, and thereby accomplish her God given, divine holistic mission. As of 2019 EECMY (Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus) had more than 10,000 congregations and potentially needs 10,000 professional church musicians at least - the 338 who graduated so far are indeed just the beginning.

Mekane Yesus Seminary
The School is part of the Mekane Yesus Seminary (MYS) which was established in 1960. MYS started its training activities at certificate level with 13 students. It was the only seminary offering theological education (BTH) at degree level in Ethiopia until recently. Almost all of the EECMY leaders at the central office, synod, and parish levels are graduates from MYS, and the pastors of EECMY congregations are mostly from the Seminary. Moreover, MYS has also trained ministers for churches of other denominations who had and still have the interest in getting their theological education at MYS.

To address the human power need of the Mekane Yesus Church - pastors, leaders and musicians, the Seminary has expanded its fields of training and thus currently has three main units/schools – School of Theology, School of Jazz Music and Media and Management and Leadership College. In its present strategic plan, which is in line with that of the EECMY, it has vertical and horizontal growth plan - to launch theological post graduate school programs, and also to establish Mekane Yesus University (MYU) as a separate entity, to expand more its radius of services, not only to the Church Community but also to the entire Ethiopian Societies and beyond. Thus, the future vision of MYS is to train pastors, leaders, development planners, managers, musicians, film and media experts, engineers and more.