About the Faculty
In 1984, Bishop Emilio J.M. de Carvalho of Angola and Bishop Arthur F. Kulah of Liberia challenged both the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) and General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM) to think about the education needs in Africa. A year later, the GBGM, through the Africa Church Growth and Development Committee, sponsored a consultation on theological education on the continent of Africa, held in Harare, Zimbabwe, in August 1985. The urgent need for theological education at the tertiary level then became priority number one in the process of establishing a university on the continent. This university was to be, according to the planners, international in its design and ecumenical in its spirit. The original plan presented to the 1988 General Conference of the United Methodist Church was to start the new University with the Faculty of Theology in March 1990. However, it was only in March 1992 that the first class was open to nine Bachelor of Divinity degree candidates, under the leadership of the founding dean, Dr. David K. Yemba. In fact, the Faculty of Theology and the Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources are the two founding Faculties of Africa University. Through its degree and continuing education programmes the Faculty of Theology extends its community of learning. It prepares candidates for degrees and participates in continuing education programmes to increase their knowledge and skills for theological scholarship and the practice of their vocations and Christian ministries.
The Faculty of Theology of Africa University is a community of learning whose purpose is to educate women and men to be pastors and teachers of the Christian Gospel for the churches of Africa. The Faculty is committed to excellence in teaching and research where an understanding of the Bible's transforming and prophetic message is central. Students gain knowledge and understanding of God's mission in today's Africa and the world. Generations of teachers are prepared to teach church leaders across the continent through pastors' schools, continuing education programmes, and e-learning courses. The Faculty of Theology, related through the University to the United Methodist Church, welcomes to its community persons of other churches, celebrating unity in Christ through theological study. The mission of the Faculty is to prepare women and men to be "servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God" (I Corinthians 4:1) for the work of the Church of Jesus Christ.
The goals and objectives of the Faculty are:
- to provide well-trained Christian leadership for the life of the church;
- to provide well-trained faculty for African seminaries and Bible training schools;
- to provide Christian leadership for theological education by extension and continuing education in collaboration with African theological institutions and the churches;
- to facilitate research and promote dialogue and publication concerning authentic African theology and methodology;
- to stimulate collaboration among existing theological institutions within the continent of Africa.
- to assist the community in training in religious studies.