Magazine article Anglican Journal

Challenges of Training for Minstry in Africa

Magazine article Anglican Journal

Challenges of Training for Minstry in Africa

Article excerpt

NAIROBI - One of the most unwieldy acronyms in the Anglican communion probably belongs to ANITEPAM - the African Network of Institutions of Theological Education Preparing Anglicans for Ministry.

ANITEPAM, as the awkward name implies, is an association of African Anglican theological schools that struggles to overcome the unique problems associated with theological education and training for ministry on the African continent.

Based in Nairobi, ANITEPAM was formed in 1991 following a meeting of theological educators in Harare. The Anglican Church of Canada has supported the group since its inception.

The association, according to Rev. Dr. Leon Spencer, an Episcopal Church U.S.A. appointee to the Church of the Province of Kenya who serves as ANITEPAM's secretary, struggles "with the theological issue of `doing' and `being'."

He explains: "We cannot be the concrete answer to a particular theological program's problems; we cannot, for instance, offer scholarships or send funds for buildings or libraries. But we can be present with people who have felt a call to the ministry of theological education. We can let them know that we value what they are doing with what they have. We can find ways to break through their sense of isolation.

"Much of our efforts, therefore, centres around those intangibles of nurturing people and their very real gifts, and in so doing, we hope we are strengthening them and the African church for ministry and witness."

ANITEPAM, he adds, also does more concrete things. …

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