PhD Research Project for Mengistu Aytegeb Bogale

My name is Mengistu Aytegeb Bogale and I am one of the professors at St. Frumentius Abba Selama Kessate Berhan Theological College in Mekele, Ethiopia who is an alum of the MA Program in leadership and Community Development which was offered in partnership with Bridges of Hope International. Right now, I am serving the college as a lecturer and master’s program coordinator, side by side with the help of Bridges of International and kind-hearted people I am doing my PhD studies.

I hope that you may remember me because you have been supporting our project of studies when we going in to South Africa for our research courses which is quietly helpful for us to achieve our objectives and goal. Coming to my urgent point, I am highly in need of financial support for my academic journey. I am a PhD Candidate at Stellenbosch University in South Africa. The program is definitely a research based and needs critical thoughts. My research area is on “Work Ethic” on the basis of theology of work concept with the particular focus on the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church.

My Research Topic is very timely, urgent, and interesting. Hopefully, the area will be a great instrument to the Church, the country, and generally the African continent in eradicating poverty and creating good work ethic. Coming to the fact of the country Ethiopia, it is one among the poorest nations of the world and research showed that, analysis of poverty in the country is beyond the economical and statistical data rather it has a spiritual dimension.

I am sure that this paper will be a great instrument for the Church and the government in developing contextual theological dimension of seeing poverty, less productivity and work. Hence, I believe that, this is God’s great agenda for the country and it is with the generous help of godly people like you that my research and my PhD will come true. Therefore, I am kindly requesting you to be my sponsors for my research project since it needs huge investment.

Thank you so much in advance for your generous, kind, and timely help!

Yours in Christ,
Mengistu Aytegeb Bogale

Below is a letter from Mengistu’s Professor regarding the cost:


This letter serves to give an indication of the estimated financial costs of doing a PhD in the Faculty of Theology at Stellenbosch University. Mr Mengistu Aytegeb Bogale has been accepted as a PhD candidate in the Department of Systematic Theology and Ecclesiology and researching the question of a theology of work in the Ethiopian Orthodox tradition.

Conservatively, a PhD study done part time will take at least three years to complete. In line with the current university fees structure, this will require 2200 USD of tuition fees. However, there will be many additional costs involved in a study such as Mr Aytegeb’s. First of all, the study will include an empirical component, which requires local travelling and accommodation in order to conduct interviews. Since much of the Ethiopian theological tradition is oral Mr Aytegeb considerable amounts of data is accessible only via interviewing traditional scholars.

Other unique factors in this study include accessing and copying rare manuscripts that have not been published. The researcher will have to find these and copy them himself. Documents will be exclusively in Amharic or Ge’ez. Although Mr Aytegeb knows these languages the documents need to be translated into English for research purposes and qualified translators need to verify the accuracy of the translations. In order to do a proper comparative study, existing academic sources need to be accessed as well. A preliminary search of Ethiopian theological and university library holdings show that many of the sources are currently not available in Ethiopia, if at all. Therefore, it will have to be bought in either hard or electronic copy.

Finally, the study will also require some international travel as Mr Aytegeb is required to spend a minimum of 6 months’ residency in Stellenbosch. This period will be calculated cumulatively over three years. It will take the form of three two-month residential visits to Stellenbosch for intensified research under the direct guidance of myself, his supervisor.

The above requires an estimated financial commitment of 10,000 USD in total. Mr Aytegeb’s study will be of great benefit for the Ethiopian Orthodox Church as well as for the broader theological fraternity in Africa and beyond in opening up this unique tradition to other Christian scholars. Any efforts to assist Mr Aytegeb in raising these funds will be highly appreciated.

Yours faithfully,

Professor Leonard D. Hansen

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$11,141 raised of $14,000

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