African Christian College is praying “God’s will be done” as it seeks a directional vision for its future. We are clear on our mission and our goals: we are a higher learning institution focused on equipping African students for excellent service in God’s kingdom. Our mission and goals, however, can be accomplished in many different ways.
We’re introducing a series of possibilities to help us imagine a God-led vision for the future of our beloved school. We hope this will start conversation, sharing of ideas and feedback, and lead us to a clearer picture of what the future of African Christian College could be.
Below is another model — Christian Seminary of Africa. Please, don’t get distracted by its name (we’re not proposing that as the actual name), it’s there to be descriptive and distinguish it from other models we’ll be presenting. This model focuses more tightly on theological education and a closer relationship in helping the church and other Bible schools.
Please, take a moment to read this model and then, please share your feedback with us!
The goal of theological education in Africa must be to prepare the church as an agent of change that brings possibilities of hope and new life in the midst of the distortions of life, death, and destruction.” – A. Akong, Journal of African Christian Thought, December 2006
The centre of Christianity continues shifting to Africa. Yet, the impact of Christianity – as many African theologians have noted – has little to show across the continent. So, instead of attempting to broadly and thinly spread Christian thought across the continent, the Christian Seminary of Africa chooses to focus on theological education as its focus of transforming lives, hearts, actions and being an agent of change for the Kingdom of God and the church.
The Seminary offers undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate theological education programmes. Some are offered in partnership with other institutions, but all have a decidedly African focus with a dedication to bringing African Christian theology to the forefront not only for the church in Africa, but the global church.
If Africa is the centre of Christianity, it should also be a leader in Christian thinking and discipleship. Christian Seminary of Africa is dedicated to that work and the impact it will make to the glory of God.
Now as a lecturer at a Bible college near his home community, Akashinga graduated from Christian Seminary of Africa with an undergraduate focus in Biblical Leadership and a graduate degree in theology. He is working to complete his doctorate in theology as he leads the Bible College at home.
Akashinga keeps close ties with the Seminary in eSwatini because it provides many helpful resources.
- He purchases textbooks from the Seminary for all the Bible college courses. Written with a keen focus on solid biblical interpretation from an African perspective, they are indispensable resources for Akashinga’s students.
- As a doctoral student, he contributes to the Seminary’s academic journals and resources as an African theologian and has written some chapters in the textbooks himself.
- He subscribes to the Seminary’s online resources which include academic and non-academic Christian resources, access to theological resources, and videos. The Seminary has worked to compile the most complete African theological library in the world and has negotiated terms to digitise and make available these resources to Christians around the globe.
- Akashinga sends his brightest students to Christian Seminary of Africa to continue their studies in earning degrees – especially when they show promise as future lecturers and leaders at the college and have strong academic ability.
- He attends regional workshops (along with his colleagues) that are hosted by the Seminary for Bible college faculty and administration to improve their teaching and theological skills. He believes this has greatly benefited his Bible College’s success in student learning and transformation.
For Akashinga, Christian Seminary of Africa is equipping the church not only through the students it teaches, but the ways it uses its academic platform to benefit the church and other schools and Bible colleges across Africa.
Thandi graduated from Christian Seminary of Africa with a graduate degree in biblical counselling. She loved her time as a student. It was fun, transformative, and helped her become the person she is today.
Though challenging, she really enjoyed the work she did on a master’s thesis as a student. (This was in addition to her practical counselling hours!) She loved the thesis work because it forced her to take what she had learned, conduct additional research, and write a very long paper about the basic, necessary counselling skills for preachers, elders, and other church leaders.
Her thesis was then turned into a book for church leaders and published and sent across churches in Africa. She knew that her work was not just for her to get a degree, but that it would serve the church for years to come.
Now, back at home, Thandi provides counselling services through her church to hurting people in the community and in the congregation. She works closely with the elders and pastors of the church in caring for others – and in thinking theologically about ministry and how the Word of God is shared in their church and community.
She often uses resources from the Seminary in teaching Bible classes at her congregation. And she finds it hard to resist purchasing every book the Seminary publishes for Christian growth and development. She also cannot keep them very long because she finds them so good that she must share them with others in her church who need the spiritual food they provide.
Thandi encourages other bright young people to attend Christian Seminary of Africa because she knows it prepared her well as a theologian, counsellor, and church leader . . . and she is confident that it will prepare others for good service as well.
A Seminary for the Future
In order to more deeply form Christians into the way of Jesus, Christian Seminary of Africa places its emphasis not on becoming a Christian university, but on deeply forming people as committed Christians and church leaders. Decidedly African, the Seminary is also leading the way in bringing African thought and theology to the table to strengthen and grow the Kingdom of God around the world.
The important questions are:
- How could this model help us to accomplish our mission ‘glorify God by equipping students for excellent service in God’s kingdom‘?
- How could this model help us accomplish our Ends priorities of (1) academic excellence, (2) Christian character, (3) servant leadership, (4) global awareness, and (5) personal resourcefulness?
- What part of this should be part of African Christian College’s future?
- And, what is the ideal relationship between a school and the church?
Feedback from our alumni, students, faculty, staff, board, and other stakeholders is very important to us in this process! We want to hear from you. Tell us what you like, what you don’t like, and whether this sounds like a vision that would honour God and be worth pursuing for the future of African Christian College.
Or share your feedback through WhatsApp at +268.7860.5889