June 2009

Download June 2009 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. ACTEA Council meeting in August postponed
  2. ICETE news
  3. Workshop on Critical Thinking
  4. Training Youth Workers in the Majority World
  5. The latest book by Terence Ranger: a BookNotes for Africa review
  6. Contacting ACTEA

1. ACTEA Council meeting postponed

The ACTEA Council meeting originally scheduled for August 14-16 in Nairobi has unfortunately been postponed until further notice. We will try to get together in 2010 if possible. The ACTEA Executive Committee will still meet on those dates.

In the meantime, ACTEA will endeavour to keep the constituency informed of developments in the topics that had been on the agenda—especially revising the ACTEA Standards and evaluating the growing trend of institutions to seek both government and ACTEA accreditation.

2. ICETE news

ICETE will be holding an International Consultation for Theological Educators in Sopron, Hungary, on October 5-9. See the attachment for details and readings. Institutions will also want to check out the journals listed at the end.

Please note that relatively few people from Africa have registered, and we have often had the largest representation at ICETE meetings like this one, so let’s try to ensure that Africa is well represented.

3. Workshop on Critical Thinking

For over ten years now, the Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at Daystar University, has been offering the two-week workshop: Helping Learners to Think: Facilitating Critical Reflective Thought in Students. This year’s course (27th July to 7th August) has been revised and updated. The venue is Daystar University’s Athi River campus, Lukenya Hills, Kenya.

Each year, this course is limited to 35 participants who typically come from all over Africa to attend. Therefore, the earlier you apply, the better are your chances of acceptance. If there is a very high number of applicants, they will consider adding a second section of the workshop.

For further information, contact Dr. Chip Kingsbury at ckingsbury@daystar.ac.ke

4. Training Youth Workers

Sean Marston of SIM has written a helpful paper entitled, “The Need for Training Youth Workers in the Majority World”

5. BookNotes for Africa review

Ranger, Terence O., editor 2008. Evangelical Christianity and Democracy in Africa. Oxford: OUP, 304 pp, pb, £18

It is rare to see evangelicals acknowledged for playing any type of roles in developing and sustaining democracy in the Global South, let alone substantive analysis of those roles. And when evangelicals are acknowledged, they are usually the subject of sharp critique, especially for their apolitical orientation. This is the book on Africa in a four-book series Evangelical Christianity and Democracy in the Global South. The fact that this series offers a more tempered set of perspectives on evangelicals and democracy should be encouraging. A fairly broad sense of who is evangelical is deployed. After the excellent introduction by Ranger, the wide variety of roles played by evangelicals in the development of democracy in Africa is explored in case studies of six nations: Nigeria, Kenya, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and South Africa. Ranger acknowledges the limitations of having only six case studies (e.g., no francophone countries are included). Also in at least two case studies the criteria used for determining who are evangelicals are stretched in ways that render them too plastic. In the Kenyan study literally all Protestant Christians are considered evangelical, so that the usefulness of the term is lost. Further, the author’s clear disdain for the Evangelical Fellowship of Kenya (“a feeble Luo-Kalenjin alliance”), and in particular the dismissing of the Africa Inland Church (with a membership of 3 million—almost ten percent of Kenya’s population), results in a less than balanced perspective. Likewise, in the Zimbabwe study the Masowe Apostles are included as evangelicals, even though the majority of evangelicals in Zimbabwe would not consider them such. This is nevertheless a groundbreaking book that deserves inclusion in theological libraries across the continent. Evangelical readers in Africa will benefit in particular from seeing the diversity of responses within their communities to significant political issues. One would hope that greater ongoing and constructive engagement would be one result. At the very least, the authors have largely managed to portray evangelicals even-handedly, making it easier for evangelicals to understand themselves as others see them, and to gain a clearer picture of ways they can be more constructively engaged in the process of building their nations.

[Review supplied by “BookNotes for Africa“, a specialist journal that offers
40+ such reviews per issue on recent Africa-related publications relevant
for theological educators and libraries in Africa and elsewhere. The
subscription rate within Africa is US$8 for four issues (airmail) or $12 to
overseas addresses. Send inquiries and orders to: BookNotes for Africa, PO
Box 250100, Ndola, Zambia, or email Stuebing@post.harvard.edu]

6. Contacting ACTEA

General ACTEA correspondence can be sent to Rev. Joe Simfukwe, ACTEA Director, at actea.africa@gmail.com or PO Box 250100, Ndola, Zambia. Accredited institutions may send their annual reports to the same address or contact the Deputy Director for Administration, Dr. Rich Stuebing, through email at adm.ass.actea@gmail.com.

Enquiries regarding Affiliate or Candidate institutions can be sent to Dr. Stephanie Black, ACTEA Accreditation Officer, at drstephanieblack@gmail.com. Correspondent schools should send information to the ACTEA Administrative Assistant, Ms. Sarah Fundulu, at adm.ass.actea@gmail.com.
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