Welcome to SETECA


SETECA began in 1929 as the Central American Bible Institute, located in Guatemala City. Its original purpose was to train pastors and leaders for the churches in all of Central America.

With God’s blessing, the current campus was purchased in 1937 and in 1944 the main building was completed. The student body increased numerically and internationally, with students from Mexico to Panama.

In 1966 a university-level program was begun, and the school became the Central American Theological Seminary/SETECA. The school experienced growth in the following years both in enrollment and in its international outreach.

The number of academic programs also began to grow. New initiatives sprung up such as the Pastor’s Monday, the Joy of Serving program for women, and the School of Sacred Music. Master’s and doctoral classes were offered, and extensions were established in Guatemala as well as in other countries.

The pandemic brought special challenges, but we are grateful for God’s faithfulness through that time. We look forward with anticipation to what He will do in the coming years.



We form disciples of Jesus Christ who incarnate the gospel of the kingdom of God, communicate the Holy Scriptures, and exercise servant leadership

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To be a transformational seminary, with global impact, close to the Church and its immediate community, accessible to those who have been called by God, and at the forefront in responding to the demands of contemporary society.



The values which we desire to see practiced corporately and individually include the following: The Authority of the Bible, In-depth Academic Study, Life in Community, Teamwork, and Servant Leadership


SETECA is evangelical in its doctrine. The full doctrinal statement reflects the convictions of the founders. The expression of the school’s theological identity serves as a guide in its relationships with the broader Christian community.

The Theological Identity of SETECA is expressed in the following convictions which we believe are essential to the Christian faith:

  1. The inspiration and authority of the Scriptures
  2. The Trinity
  3. The full deity and humanity of Christ, and His resurrection from the dead
  4. The salvation of sinners only in Jesus Christ, by grace, through faith
  5. The Church as the people of God and the body of Christ
  6. The person and work of the Holy Spirit as the one who baptizes and equips the believer
  7. The second coming of Jesus bodily and in glory

Leadership and Faculty

The school is led by the executive team composed of Dr. Paul Branch, president; Dr. Nelson Morales, academic dean; and Mr. Carlos Ávila, director of finance and administration.

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Dr. Paul Branch


Dr. Nelson Morales


Mr. Carlos Avila

The SETECA faculty is international, with 37 full-time professors plus several adjunct teachers representing 11 nationalities: Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, México, Venezuela, Cuba, Argentina, Chile, United States, Great Britain, and South Korea. One-third of the full-time professors have earned doctor’s degrees, and several others are pursing doctoral studies.


The SETECA campus is located in the heart of Guatemala City and covers about 5 acres. The buildings on the campus serve a variety of needs including classrooms, offices, student housing, guest facilities, food service, and hosting of events. 

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