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Growing Christian community in Nepal needs strengthened theological education

Growing Christian community in Nepal needs strengthened theological education

Children at Sunday school in Kathmandu, Nepal. Photo: Elbert Chu

09 May 2008

Firsthand reports on the extraordinary development of Christianity in Nepal and the growing need for improvements in theological education and participation in the ecumenical movement were all part of recent consultation on the future of theological education in South Asia.

The consultation was held 28 April to 1 May, in Kathmandu, Nepal and was organized by the World Council of Churches (WCC), the Christian Conference of Asia (CCA) and National Council of Churches of Nepal (NCCN).

The meeting was attended by leading representatives of the national councils of churches and theological colleges from Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal and the president of the Board of Theological Education Senate of Serampore College in India (BTESSC).

During the session participants learned of the history of some 50 to 60 years of enormous church growth and the zeal to improve education and participation in the ecumenical movement in Nepal.

Being one of the fastest growing Christian communities in the world there is a tremendous need for upgrading and strengthening small institutions of theological education in Nepal which have just begun their work. Creating an additional major fund for support of theological education in Nepal was seen as a necessity by the consultation participants.

The courageous and outstanding role of the National Council of Churches in Nepal, which will celebrate its 10th anniversary 2009, was reflected in the formation of local Christian councils throughout the country, the strengthening of social involvement of Christians, interfaith dialogue and interaction between church and society.

The NCCN has contributed significantly in conflict resolution, peace building and lobbying for human rights in Nepal. These efforts were all part of the country preparing for recent elections of a constitutional assembly which is now entrusted with building a new constitution for Nepal.

The group agreed on new working procedures and accountability structures within the Solidarity Fund for Theological Education in South Asia.

National committees for theological education were created in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal in cooperation with the respective national councils which regularly will report to the regional committee. It was agreed to explore the possibility of including Bhutan in the solidarity fund.

WCC's Ecumenical Theological Education

National Council of Churches in Nepal

More information on churches in Nepal