African Christianity is Thriving!
African Christianity is thriving! Protestant Churches here are thriving! The commuter buses (“combies”) are just as busy Sunday morning as they are during the week.
Christianity is thriving! Protestant Churches here are thriving!
The commuter buses (“combies”) are just as busy Sunday morning as they are
during the week. United Theological College is flourishing—enrollment
grows every year. UTC is the primary venue for the education of ministers
in mainline Protestant churches (The Methodist Church in Zimbabwe, the United
Methodist Church, the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the Evangelical
Lutheran Church in Zimbabwe, the Uniting Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa
and last but not least the churches with congregational polity related to
Global Ministries, the United Church of Christ in Zimbabwe, and the United
Congregational Churches of Southern Africa) in Zimbabwe. It is the
largest, longest-lasting ecumenical theological school south of the Sahara.
arrived at UTC, the students were not being taught Hebrew at all and they were
not learning enough Greek to read the New Testament. Now first year
students in the Bachelor of Theology program are required to take a full year
of either Hebrew or Greek, enough to read the prose portions of the Old
Testament or much of the New. There are a number of Hebrew students
already thinking of going on to become teachers of Hebrew to the next
generation of African church leaders.
Christians must deepen their knowledge of the languages of the Bible, as well
as the history of ancient Israel and the early church, and learn how to discern
the Word of God in the text. We are convinced that quality theological
education is key if African Christianity is to take on the burden of leadership
of the Christian church in this millennium.
God, the peoples who once bore the torch of Christian revelation have lost
their conviction and you have passed the torch to the newly converted areas in
Africa and Asia. Give these new churches the power to fulfill their
calling, the wisdom to apply this inheritance in difficult and challenging situations,
and the faith to remain true to the heritage that they have been given. In the
name of Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of the whole world, Amen.
Mary and Dale
Dale and Mary Patrick
are long-term volunteers with the United Theological College in Zimbabwe. Dale
is a professor of Hebrew and Old Testament.
Mary is a professor of Greek and New Testament.