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Botswana summit on the future of Theological Education

First published on: 17th November 2022

In a promising new initiative, church leaders and theological educators from across seven African provinces met this month to discuss the future of theological education in Africa. Hosted by the Anglican Diocese of Botswana, archbishops, bishops, principals and deans of theological institutions gathered in Gaborone for this auspicious summit organised by USPG. Its remit was ambitious: Towards Building Strong and Sustainable Theological Education. From 8th to 11th November, supported by representatives from the wider Anglican Communion, attendees wrestled with the challenges particular to Africa and the opportunities arising from them.

Discussions were lively, wide and far reaching, ranging from the complexity of the inheritance of missionary Christianity and the need to decolonise the curriculum to the practical and financial considerations of building a sustainable model of theological education rooted in the Africanisation of Christianity. The equipping of clergy, the development of theological educators, increasing the role of women and young people, e-learning and digital platforms, curriculum development and review, and university accreditation, were all deliberated; conversations that not only provided a forum for review but also the impetus for change. They “energised us to explore with courage and conviction new ways of participation in God’s mission through the ministry of theological education” said the Most Rev’d Albert Chama, Primate of the hosting Province.

To ensure continuing momentum, a communique arose from the summit highlighting the ongoing responsibility of churches and their leaders to take things forward: to recognise that building sustainable theological education is a question of Christian stewardship, to reimagine existing models and institutions of theological education to meet the challenges of a changing world; and to recommit to developing a shared understanding and identify a trajectory for supporting theological education in their local contexts. Three Rs - Recognition, Reimagination and Recommitment – that have a relevance far beyond the bounds of Africa.

Speaking of this watershed moment, the Rev’d Dr Duncan Dormor, General Secretary of USPG said: “Strong, sustainable Theological Education is the lifeblood of a healthy and growing Church. It has been a privilege, on behalf of USPG, to witness the sheer energy, creativity and profound commitment to working together in building sustainable Theological Education in service of the Church and its mission across Africa. The challenges are great, but this has been a key step on the journey.”

Communique from the Summit on the Future of Theological Education

Communique from the Summit on the Future of Theological Education (Portuguese version)

Communique from the Summit on the Future of Theological Education (French version)




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