Over the last century the Christians have risen from 9% to 54% of the population of Africa, yet it remains the poorest continent. How can this be if Christian faith claims to transform people’s lives?

Seminaries prepare people with good Bible knowledge and counselling skills to speak from the pulpit and visit people in their homes. While necessary, is that sufficient for the church to enable the transformation in society held forth in the holistic vision of the Kingdom of God?

Over 100 African theological educators from the Anglican, Baptist and Pentecostal networks across Africa and the Network for African Congregational Theology met by Zoom with Tearfund, OCRPL and Barnabas Fund for four hours on Tuesday 20 October to share how  training might be enhanced to this end.

Transformation from within, giving people a new identity in Christ is key to empowering people to engage in the mission of the Kingdom of God that enables people to be the stewards of creation God intends them to be. Theology while necessary is not sufficient. Through over twenty papers discussed in breakout groups, emphasis was placed, for example, on bringing the experience of the people to the reading of the Bible; on placing trainees in ministries that exemplified Christian care for people in body, mind and spirit, in families and communities; and on strategic planning to use IT to collaborate with other training bodies and agencies.

The papers are to be made available in electronic form and further consultations will assist in developing curricula for training in holistic mission.