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African Ministry Students Graduate from Aberdeen

Tuesday September 24 2019

The first group of African ministers to study at the Aberdeen University Centre for Ministry Studies were awarded their degrees last week.

Fourteen ministers from Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe began studying part-time two years ago, taking courses in spiritual formation, leadership, preaching and Christian practices before writing a 20,000 word dissertation. Eleven have been awarded an MTh in Ministry Studies, two  received diplomas and one suspended studies due to personal circumstances.

The programme was introduced in 2017 after a Draft Agreement was signed between Aberdeen University and Zomba Theological College; and sponsored by the Church of Scotland, the Presbyterian Church in Ireland and the Presbyterian Church of the USA.

It was co-ordinated by Church of Scotland minister the Rev Dr Ken Jeffrey, senior lecturer in church history. He said: “It has been a joy and a privilege to have this opportunity of working with our friends in Malawi and to support the church in the theological education and training of their leaders. We are delighted by the achievements of this first cohort of students and look forward to starting work with a new class of students later this year."

One of the students, Falitsani Kansilanga, said: “The Masters in Ministry Studies programme has transformed the way I do and perceive ministry. It has really been a lot of learning and unlearning. In a nutshell, this programme is not only a course for the mind, but for the heart as well. The mind has been enriched, the heart has been refreshed.”

A second cohort of students, including four women ministers, will start the programme at Zomba Theological College in October.

The 14 students who began the class are pictured with Dr Jeffrey and Dr Leon van Ommen, who helped to deliver the programme in Malawi: the Rev Innocent Chikopa, the Rev Maxford Chilindeni, the Rev Moses Chitawo, the Rev Moffat Garnet, the Rev Paulo Joao, the Rev Pofera Kalimbuka, the Rev Helmart Kaliza, Falitsani Kansilanga, the Rev Hudson Kaseko, the Rev Watson Kazembe, the Rev Mizeki Mndola, the Rev Donnex Ngalande, the Rev Cosmas Pamaso, the Rev Maurice Sabuni.


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