ACTEA eNews #27 -- May 2006

Download May 2006 eNews here

The mission of ACTEA is to promote quality evangelical theological education in Africa by providing supporting services, facilitating academic recognition, and fostering continental and inter-continental cooperation.

In this edition of ACTEA eNews:

  1.  World Scholars to Address ICETE Event
  2.  Theological Schools Consultation held in Sudan
  3.  African Theology conference to hold in Kenya
  4.  Schools progress with ACTEA accreditation
  5.  Keeping up with Africa--Reviews of Recent Books

1. World Scholars to Address ICETE Event

Two distinguished scholars of global Christianity have accepted invitations to address the forthcoming ICETE International Consultation for Theological Educators in Thailand. Professor Andrew Walls of Edinburgh University will speak on the Consultation theme: "Global Christianity and the Role of Theological Education"; while Professor Lamin Sanneh of Yale University will consider "Post-Western Christianity: Whose Christianity?" The programme will also feature interaction with two leading representatives of global evangelicalism, Geoff Tunnicliffe, International Director of the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA), and Doug Birdsall, Executive Chair of the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization (LCWE).

ICETE's International Consultations are especially valued for offering evangelical theological educators from all parts of the world a unique forum for engaging with one another on larger issues of common concern.

The ICETE 2006 Consultation will take place 7-11 August 2006 in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Those interested should contact the ICETE Consultation Directorate at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

The ICETE Consultation is intended for the ICETE constituency throughout the world; available space will therefore be prioritised for representatives from schools affiliated with one of the eight continental associations that make up the ICETE family, namely ACTEA, AETAL, ATA, ABHE, CETA, EEAA, E-AAA, and SPAEC.

The composite Consultation participation fee per individual will be US$450 (covering registration, accommodation, meals, etc.). Travel and related expenses are the responsibility of the individual or sponsoring institution. Any school that is formally linked to one of the ICETE member associations listed above will be eligible for a 50% discount on the Consultation fee, for up to two delegates per institution. Guests or observers will be accommodated on an invitation basis as space is available. The deadline for Consultation registrations is now set at 15 June 2006. [In case of contact difficulties, an alternative email address for the Consultation is: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ]

The 2006 Consultation is focusing on the new reality that the Christian community is now global, and increasingly a community with a 'southern' tilt with implications that directly impact the future of evangelical theological education around the world. The Consultation programme will include a range of seminars, workshops, panel discussions, and multiple opportunities for informal contacts and interaction. In addition, plenary sessions will feature: Carver Yu of China Graduate School of Theology in Hong Kong; Carlos Pinto of the Seminario Biblico Palavra da Vida in Brazil; Dieumeme Noelliste of the Caribbean Graduate School of Theology in Jamaica; Douglas Carew of the Nairobi Evangelical Graduate School of Theology in Kenya; and Brian Stiller of Tyndale University College & Seminary in Canada. Regrettably Philip Jenkins will not be able to participate in the Consultation as earlier announced, owing to planning and itinerary complications.

Intended participants holding passports from most African countries need to be aware that obtaining visas for Thailand is an extended process. (Nigerians, for instance, need to first obtain an official government clearance before applying for the visa through London.) The Consultation Coordinator will provide visa information to all enquirers. ACTEA may be able to provide additional assistance through email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ; don't hesitate to contact us if you need help on this matter.

2. Theological Schools Consultation held in Sudan

The Fellowship of Christian Theological Schools in Sudan (FCTSS) held its first consultation in Khartoum on 9-11 May. The aim of the consultation was to encourage awareness, cooperation, and coordination of theological education activities within Sudan.

The timing of this consultation was significant, coming after the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), and there was particular attention paid to the involvement of the theological schools located in the South and what effect the CPA might have on the activities of theological education around Sudan.

A number of international visitors with extensive experience in theological education were invited to participate and present lectures on various contemporary issues of concern to FCTSS Colleges. Dr Manfred Kohl of Overseas Council International, for example, spoke on the common needs of theological schools.

Among other outcomes of the consultation, the consultation formed a working group to facilitate cooperation among the various schools involved in theological education by extension (TEE), which plays a very important role in Sudan. Another working group will be developing proposals for coordinating curriculums across into theological training spectrum in Sudan.

For further information on the consultation, contact the FCTSS Secretary, Rev Philip Eisa (email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ).

3. African Theology conference to hold in Kenya

The African Institute for Contemporary Mission and Research (Chadwick Library) is pleased to announce its Annual School of Theology for 2006, to be held at its Chadwick Library in Butere, Western Kenya, 2-4 August 2006.

The keynote speaker will be Rev. Professor Kwame Bediako (Founder Director of Akrofi Christaller Institute of Theology, Mission and Culture, Ghana), addressing the topics: "'Their past is also our present'. Why all Christians have need of ancestors - Making a case for Africa" and "'Missionaries did not bring Christ to Africa, Christ brought them.' Why Africans need Jesus Christ."

Other speakers include: Dr. Margaret Gecaga (Department of Philosophy & Religious Studies, Kenyatta University), speaking on "The Gospel symbol of the banquet of the Kingdom and African traditional values of hospitality and sharing: A response to the problems of famine in Africa"; and Rev. Dr. Dickson Chilongani (Principal of the Msalato Theological College, Tanzania) speaking on "'Prosperity Gospel' in Africa: A Response from the Book of Job." Bible Expositions will be offered by Rev. Benjamin Shikwati Keya Focusing on "An African Reading and Application of 1 Corinthians 11:2-33."

Accommodation will be at Eshimuli Guest House. Applications for accommodation must be received by 30 June at the latest.

For more information and application forms contact AICMAR by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

4. Schools progress with ACTEA accreditation

ACTEA is pleased to announce that two schools have made significant steps in the accreditation process.

The Evangelical Theological College (ETC), located in Addis Ababa, has been awarded re-accreditation for its Diploma of Theology and Bachelor of Theology programmes. For 22 years the College has had a unique ministry with an urban focus, training for non-vocational as well as vocational ministry, and with a diverse student body drawing from many denominations. Among other observations, the Visitation Team commended the school for its high degree of nationalisation in its governing and administrative personnel; its excellent staff development programme; the high quality of the facilities; its excellent library; and its strong community life among students. ETC was first accredited by ACTEA in 1994. For further information, contact the Principal, Rev Semeon Mulatu at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

The Ghana Christian College and Seminary (GCCS), located in Accra and headed by new President, Mr Manuel Adjei, has achieved candidacy for accreditation of its diploma and degree programmes. During the period of candidacy GCCS will be conducting its institutional self-study, to be followed by an official week-long visit by an ACTEA Visitation Team. GCCS, a non-denominational institution, has graduated over 650 students since its establishment in 1966. In 1998 its academic programmes were accredited by the National Accrediting Board of the Ghana Ministry of Education. Since 2003 GCCS has been operating at its new 33 acre campus in northeast Accra. GCCS also offers a Master of Arts in Christian Organisational Leadership. For further information on GCCS, contact the Principal at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

5. Keeping up with Africa--Reviews of Recent Books 

Kapolyo, Joe M. The Human Condition: Christian Perspectives through African Eyes. Leicester: IVP, 2005. 175 pp, pb, £6

Joe Kapolyo is from Zambia, formerly principal of the Theological College of Central Africa in Ndola, and more recently principal of All Nations Christian College in Britain. His book appears in the fairly recent series from IVP, The Global Christian Library, which intends to reflect the changing centre of gravity of world Christianity by publishing books from non-western authors that reflect their cultures while also speaking to western readers, thereby facilitating a multi-directional flow of biblical understanding. This book therefore offers a biblical approach to the understanding of humanity, but in the context of traditional understanding of the author's own people, the Bemba of Zambia.

Kapolyo first asks what it means to be human, looking briefly at a number of approaches ‹ Darwinian, Marxist, African ‹ as well as the Christian view. A fuller examination of biblical perspectives follows, including a substantial and helpful discussion of the meaning of the image of God in human beings, elaborated in terms of structural and functional dimensions. A particularly lengthy section treats the stewardship of creation as first of the functional attributes of humanity as divine image-bearer. Here the author makes considerable use of the African context; here too he discusses gender relationships which he views in largely egalitarian terms. Kapolyo next discusses sin, which he defines in terms of both condition and act, before explaining its origins in the fall described in Genesis. He goes on to speak of its consequences and universal scope, and spends some time discussing bondage to the world, the devil and the flesh, drawing very helpfully on illustrations from the Zambian context. The next section concentrates on African culture, explaining Bemba anthropology through a number of core values which touch on the whole of life: spirituality, spiritual activities, group solidarity, exploitation of whatever circumstances to personal/family advantage, belief in the afterlife, distinctive concept of time, and social definition of truth. Finally, the author discusses the communication of the gospel in terms that will make sense in the cultural context.

With its African perspective the book is a creative contribution to a hugely discussed area, in itself a valuable achievement. Certainly it is those sections in which Kapolyo draws on insights from his cultural heritage that are most original. Also in his treatment of African culture there is no idealisation or nostalgia; throughout, the author is willing to be critical of aspects of his culture and to identify areas that must be transformed. His underlying concern is that the truth of the gospel be effectively communicated within such settings. The volume is to be welcomed in opening up new approaches to the writing and teaching of theology in Africa.

[Review supplied by "BookNotes for Africa", a specialist journal that offers 40+ such reviews per issue on recent Africa-related publications 40+ relevant for theological educators and libraries in Africa and overseas. The subscription rate within Africa is US$8 for four issues (airmail); $12 to overseas addresses. Send inquiries and orders to: BookNotes for Africa, PO Box 250100, Ndola, Zambia, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ]

"This journal is readable, affordable and essential for effective Christian awareness in the African continent."

Dr Scott Moreau, Editor of Evangelical Missions Quarterly