World Council of Churches

A worldwide fellowship of churches seeking unity, a common witness and Christian service

West African Association of Theological Institutions (WAATI) in Ghana 2010

Theological Consultation Forum held at Presbyterian Women’s Conference center Abokobi, 12th -14th October 2010.

14 October 2010

All Africa Council of Churches (AACC) and West African Association of theological Institutions

Theological Consultation Forum held at Presbyterian Women’s Conference Center Abokobi 12th -14TH October 2010.

PRESENT WERE

Monday 11th October- Arrivals

Present were.

Ghana

Name

Organization /Institution

Telephone and e-mail

Dr. Thomas Oduro

Good News Theological College and Seminary

Tel: 233 21 275 779 388

Email- taoduro (at) gmail.com

Professor. Abraham A. Berinyuu

Faculty of Integrated Studies, University For Development Studies, Box 520, WA, Regional Coordinator EDAN

Tel- 0243103098

e-mail- menvolima (at) yahoo.com

Professor . Kwabena Asamoah-Gyadu

Trinity Theological Seminary P.O. Box LG. 48, Legon Accra

Tel- 233 208 151 936

asagyadu@hotmail.com

Dr. Emmanuel K. Anim

Pentecost University College, Accra

Tel. 0244449427

Email- emmanuelanim@yahoo.co.uk

Rev. Dr. David N.A. Kpobi

Trinity Theological Seminary

Tel. 024-467 6580

Email- kpobid (at) yahoo.com

Rev. Joseph Awkomah Cromwell

Presbyterian Church of Ghana Resurrection Congregation

+233 244 808 975

e-mail –cromwell2002gh@yahoo.com

Mrs. Gertrude Oforiwa Fefoame

Sight Savers West Africa

233 30 2774210

233 244 326 635

Email –gofefoame@sightsavers.og

Professor Cyril Fayose

Trinity Theological Seminary

Pastor Emmanuel Oppong Donkor

Pentecost University College

emmldonkor (at) gmail.com

Rev Dr Bridget Ben-Naimah

AACC Member of General Committee

stevelibadzo (at) yahoo.com

Nigeria

Professor. Matthews A. Ojo

Department of Religious Studies Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria

+234 8033716633

Email –matthews_ojo@yahoo.com

Professor Deji Isaac Ayegboyin

Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary, Ogbomosho

+234 7035671293

dejigboyin@yahoo.com

Very Rev. C.C Ekebuisi

Methodist Theological Institute, Umuahia, Nigeria

+234 48065430607

revdekebisi (at) yahoo.co.uk

Sierra Leone

Rev. Tannie Barbington- Johnson

The Evangelical College of Theology, Jui Freetown Sierra Leone & Baptist Bible Institute

+232-76 642 983

teebeejay2000@yahoo.com

Rev. James E. Davies

The Evangelical College of Theology. Freetown

+232 76 633 773

Email- davies_james (at) yahoo.com songodavies2009@gmail.com

Kenya

Dr. Samuel Kabue

Ecumenical disability advocates Netwok

+254 20 444 58 37

Email- skabue@edan.or.ke

Mrs. Anjeline Okola

Ecumenical disability advocates network Edan

+254 20 444 58 37

aokola@edan.or.ke

Rev. Dr. Simon Kossi Dossou

All African Conference of Churches

+254 20 4441483 4441338/9

Email- kossidossou@yahoo.fr

Germany

Rev. Dr. Verena Grüter

Association of Protestant Churches and Missions in Germany (EMW)

0049 40 25456 -182

Email : verena.grueter_ta (at) emw-d.de

www.emw-d.de


PROGRAM FOR THE WEST AFRICA

THEOLOGICAL CONSULTATION

12 – 13  OCTOBER 2010

ACCRA- GHANA

Monday 11th October 2010: ARRIVALS

Tuesday 12th October 2010

Facilitator: -

7:00 – 8:00 am

Breakfast

8:30: - 9:00 am

Devotion & Bible Study: Prof. Kwabena Asamoah-Gyadu

9:00: - 9 :30

Presentation of participants.

9:30: - 10 :30

AACC and the objectives of the Consultation : Rev Dr Simon DOSSOU

10:30: - 11

COFFEE/TEA BREAK

11  – 12 : 30 pm

Ecumenical Experience and current dynamics : Rev Dr Verena GRUTER

12:30 – 2: 00 pm

LUNCH BREAK

2:00:3 :00 pm

Information’s sharing on West Africa Theological Institutions

3:00:4 :00 pm

History of WAATI and Challenges and hope :Dr Thomas ODURO

4 :00 – 4 :30 pm

COFFEE/TEA BREAK

4 :30 – 5 :30 pm

Session : Hope, challenges and how to revitalize WAATI

5 :30 – 6 :30 pm

Plenary

7 :00 PM

Dinner

Wednesday 13th October 2010

7:00 – 8:00 am

Breakfast

8:30 - 9:00 am

Devotion : By EDAN Rev Joseph Awkomah Cromwell

9:00 am – 10:30 am

The Ecumenical Disability Advocates Network (EDAN) and Theological Education Samuel KABUE and Prof. Abraham Berinyuu

10.30 - 11: 00 am

COFFEE/TEA BREAK

11.00 - 12:00 pm

The EDAN : Studies curriculum Sam Kabue

12:00 – 12:30

Plenary

12:30- 2:00 pm

LUNCH BREAK

2:00 – 3 :00 pm

WAATI, and the 2011 activities : publications, themes , dates etc. Chairperson Prof. Matthews A. Ojo

3 :00 – 4 :00 pm

Reorganisation of WAATI, Chair by Dr Simon Dossou

4:00: - 4:30 pm

COFFEE/TEA BREAK

4:30 – 5:30 pm

The way forward

5:30 – 6:30 pm

AOB and Closing

7:00 pm

Dinner

Tuesday 12TH October

TIME

ACTIVITY

Facilitator

Points

9.00am-

Devotion

Professor Kwabena Asamoah-Gyadu

· Theological education is all about exercising discipleship.

· A good disciple becomes a master eventually

· A disciple must exhibit attitudes that facilitate learning through humility and commitment.

· The teacher must have a sound tested record for validity’s sake. Christ’s teaching was valid because it influenced public life

· The teacher in a seminary is different from teaching religion in a university. Theological education then becomes a different type of learning.

· Christian disciples have committed themselves to this form of learning

· Three reasons for seminary theological training. 1. Maximization of biblical and theological resources in the church 2. There is a hunger for theological training 3. To make disciples

· We must be able to answer the question of “Who Jesus is”

· Networking helps to build the Kingdom of God. Theological education must be inspired by the Spirit of God. Not by the spirit of competition, or of education for the sake of academia. The Spirit helps to define our task and give meaning to discipleship it its biblical sense.

· Theological education must not be entered into for financial gain.

· The things that God wants us to do in theological education must be paramount in our minds

9.30-10.42

Simon Dossou

Reviewing the agenda

· No additions were made to the agenda

· Participants were chosen to lead aspects of the programme as listed

10:42-1055

Simon Dossou

Presentation of participants as listed above

A total of 12 participants introduced themselves as listed above

10.55-11.15

Simon Dossou

AACC and the objectives of the consultation

· Since the Maputo assembly of 2008, the AACC was mandated to address issues of social and economic concerns which gave rise to the establishment of various office structures in AACC including Theology, Ecumenism and Interfaith Relations.

· Theological education must be as such that students must be able to reproduce what they receive from theological training. But it is evident that in many cases in the context of African Christian ministries at grassroots level students may not be able to reproduce expectations of teachers when they meet the challenges of everyday Christian service.

· Thus the consultation is meant to reverse the trend and to provide answers to the task and challenges of theological training in the various theological institutions in West Africa. This can be done by adjusting the various curricular of theological to address these issues.

· In addition focus on meeting the needs of people with disabilities through the products of theological institutions

· The financial weakness of the churches present challenges to assisting theological schools in meeting their goals. Therefore, the AACC is raising the question of how the local churches can own their theological institutions and depend less on overseas partners. One hundred and twenty million members in 39 countries still have to respond to the question of how we can say- “we own the AACC” both in terms of our membership and in terms providing the financial resources for the AACC. The Methodist Church in Ghana is doing very well in maintaining the dignity of the AACC.

· Therefore we need to know how to revitalize our networking in WAATI and amongst Theological institutions in Africa. This of course has always been impeded by the poor financial base.

· This consultation is meant to address these issues in both the regional and continental context as theological education becomes a major means through which this networking can help and become very much meaningful.

11.16-

Proffesor Asamoah-Gyadu

Response/reaction/questions on Session above

· Q. How does AACC equipping the church for self reliance?

· R. Local church leaders can train trainers to share the campaign with members of their congregation. The MCG is an example.

· Q- AACC has focused more on the leadership why?

· R- The leadership is supposed to share the dream with other heads of churches and at grassroots level

12:13

Rev. Dr. Verena Grüter

Ecumenical experience and current dynamics

· EMW- in working with reputable and accredited and ecumenical theological institutions in Africa. Work is involved with Theological Education by extension programs run by various institutions. EMW also collaborating in the Ecumenical HIV/AIDS Initiative in Africa. EHIA.

· EMW is concerned with the quality of theological education through various initiatives in Europe to improve the quality of theological education all over the world through improved structures, programs and infrastructure, resources, academic output and addressing issues of contemporary theology.

· EMW is also working with Ecumenical theological education in their TEE Programs.

· EMW is networking with the WCC in ETE.

· EMW is working with the WCC on an IT Theological library

· The question of How EMW can help theological education to build up sustainable programs and how theological education can access funding for their programs.

· How EMW can help revitalize WAATI to realize its objectives in the short term.

12:00-

Professor Asamoah-Gyadu

Questions and and Answers

· Q. IS TEE a guarantee for ordination

· R. Depends on the church denomination and the issue of accreditation. It can involve lay people as additional resource for self-edification.

· Comment-TEE can beyond just training for lay people edification, to make it find a place in the regular ‘academic’ programmes for theological training.

· Comment: The lethargy of WAATI has reduced networking and making individual institutions developing their own systems. But networking for instance can help people publish materials in a virtual library.

· Q. ETE-Is there a data base of Theological institutions in West Africa

· A. Yes there are several data basis by other bodies on theological institutions in Africa.

· Q.-are there resources for faculty development in ETE for Africa

· A. Yes there is but we need platforms in Africa that would be able to develop them

Q. To what extent do diplomas and degrees from institutions are accepted by other institutions

A- This depends on the institutions and accreditation policies which are not generalized.

· Comment- bodies like AACC and EWM must ensure networking is helping to make partner bodies accountable of both resources and in the sharing of concerns with other institutions. This forum should be able to help institutions know how to network good enough for the good of theological education in the sub-region

2.15-3.50

Information sharing

Matthews Ojo

· All the participants made a review of their various theological colleges in order for the consultation to be aware of what is happening in

4.00

History of WAATI

Thomas Oduro

Chairman of WAATI

· WAATI was formed for only Anglophone speaking countries

· Not much information on the organization is available

· Chairman underscored that much of WAATI has been limited to Ghana and Nigeria and limitedly to Sierra Leone.

· The constitution of WAATI was read by the chairman.

· WAATI has been limited in its functions due to lack of funds.

· All proposed projects are still in the files and still to be implemented.

· WAATI does not have a website.

· Apart from other financial challenges WAATI does not have a secretariat which has hindered effective networking.

· WAATI also lacks the all important faculty exchange programmes.

· Heads of member institution are not warmed up to the challenges of WAATI.

· But- WAATI hopes to reconnect to other Christian organizations with interest in Theological organizations.

· WAATI hopes to tap the resources of available personnel to invigorate the organization

· WAATI hopes to advertise theological colleges to the wider public.

· WAATI hopes to enlarge its membership

· WAATI hopes to create a data base of theological institutions in and to also involve students in its program.

5.00-

Group session on challenges and Hopes of WAATI

Emmanuel ANim

· The chairman hinted that a clear vision and mission of WAATI would generate an interest in the activities of WAATI.

· WAATI can be an instrument of scholarship in African theology- in terms of production and distribution of literature, publishing, etc.

· WAATI can facilitate accreditation of some institutions in the sub-region.

· WAATI institutions must make their contributions regularly and attention must be focused more on the institutions rather than on individuals in the institutions.

· The issue of publications was discussed at length with several organizations like Langham, Feed the Minds etc. Mentioned as possible partners to help WAATI.

· Chairman to write to member institutions to open communications with member institution to begin the process of revitalization. In addition membership drive to include new members must be made in the short term.

· Member institution present need to work on reminding other theological institutions in their various countries on the rejuvenation of WAATI.

· The chairman to compile a data base of existing members and share with members on the new move to bring life to WAATI

Wednesday 13th

Time

Facilitator (s)

Activity

Points

8.50-

Anjeline Okola & Joseph Ankomah Cromwell

Reading John 9:1-9 The man born blind

· The disciples connected the man’s disability to sin. (This is part of Jewish Culture) (Stigmatization is part of African culture similar to Jewish culture)

· But Jesus introduced the God factor in disability. Disability could not be tied to sin.

· Christians need to pay attention to people with disabilities and give them the attention that they need as normal people would have

9.06

Samuel Kabue

& Dr. Gertrude.

Of sight Savers in Ghana

EDAN

· A review of EDAN’s history, challenges, and activities was made

· Disability needs must cut across all peoples.

· Networking is an effective mechanism for sharing information and fellowshipping

· Disability work should be a joint venture with the AACC

· A discussion on the document “A church of All and for all” was presented as on of the two issues to be discussed.

· How do we introduce disability discussions in the churches? The document provides insight into how we can bring the church on board in the discussion on disability and the church.

· The church is called to tear down the walls of discrimination and apathy to people with disability.

· There are 650 million people with disabilities in the whole world.

· Concepts in the book were discussed namely -, the commonalities and differences of people with disabilities, the problem of a disability hermeneutic and the imago dei factor.

· The discussion on disability and the church was climaxed with the beckon to the challenge of theology.

12.00- 1.20

Samuel Kabue

& Abraham Berinyuu

The EDAN curriculum

· The absence of a curriculum on disability for disabled persons in theological institution was a concern.

· Model curricula on disability were discussed. One from the India perspective and one presented by Dr. Abraham containing several models already employed by various countries that can be used in Theological schools not only as a theological supplement but also in the social sciences.

· However it was seen that the introduction of this curriculum into a school’s programme will not follow a strict EDAN pattern, but individual institution can fix a program within the ambit o the resources available. Schools are encouraged to work out a particular program in relation to this and report to EDAN as early as is convenient and workable for the institution.

2.48-

Simon Dossou

& Rev. Dr. Bridget Ben-Naimah

Involvement of AACC in Theological Education

· The AACC is concerned with the theological education and Institutions as a tool for helping the work of the AACC

WAATI and its activities in 2011

· All institutions must be involved in preparing a handbook of theological education in Africa as part of the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the AACC in 2013

· WAATI to come up with a theme on which writers could write and submit articles to be edited and published in 2011, by the editorial board of WAATI.

· WAATI should meet in the second half of 2011.

· The theme selected for the next publication of WAATI should focus on disability.

· A disability curriculum development workshop should meet in the last week of (28th -31st July 2011) in Nigeria at Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary. The chair of WAATI, the Chair of the editorial Board of WAATI, and EDAN Africa, and EDAN International to work together on this proposal.

The way forward October2010-July 2011

· Disability, inclusiveness and the response of the church in Africa was agreed as the theme to be shared

· The conveners are Proffessor Deji Issac Ayegboyin, Professor, Abraham Berinyuu, Professor Matthews Ojo and Rev. Dr. Thomas Oduro.

· The total number of participants is 25 persons from Nigeria, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ghana and Anglophone Cameroon. EDAN will come in as consultants.

6.00pm

Simon Dossou

Closing and Appreciation

. Prof. Kwabena Asamoah-Gyadu from Ghana and Prof. Deji Isaac Ayegboyin from Nigeria are nominated as member of the Theological Advisory Committee of the AACC from West Africa.

The Consultation ended by a closing prayer led by Prof. Ayegboyin.

Compiled by

Rev. James E. Davies (HTC, B.Th, M.Phil, Ph.D (Cand))

Vice Principal and Extension Programs Director

The Evangelical College of Theology, Jui, Freetown Sierra Leone