Justo Mwale Theological University College
Fifty-eight Students to Graduate from JMTUC
Thirteen students will graduate on November 26 from the Bachelor of Theology program and become pastors in the Reformed Church in Zambia, the Reformed Church of Zimbabwe, the Uniting Presbyterian Church of Southern Africa (Presbytery of Zimbabwe), the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (Synod of Zambia), and the Igreja Presbiteriana de Mocambique. Five additional students will graduate from the women’s program. The Stewardship and Sustainability Program at the Booth Center is graduating twenty students, five of whom are evangelists and fifteen of whom are ministers. Twenty will also graduate from the Booth Center’s Certificate in Christian Mission program. We are proud of our graduates and grateful for all who have helped to make their education possible.
Distance Learning Courses Begin
JMTUC introduced a Bachelor of Theology with Education degree via distance learning. Students include teachers and pastors who have not yet obtained a bachelor’s degree. Twenty-three students attended our first contact session (residential school) in August. Now that the program has started, JMTUC is working to market the program in multiple ways. We intend to have a two-week contact session in December and have started receiving new applications for the next session, which begins in January of 2012. Rev. Gerald Phiri coordinates the program.
First M.Th. Candidates to Graduate in 2012
The two-year Master of Theology program, in conjunction with the University of the Free State, is reaching its peak. All ten students are still running the race with perseverance. The majority should get their degrees from UFS in the first months of 2012, and those who have to finish their remaining modules will hopefully get their degrees by the end of next year. The official graduation ceremony will take place during the annual service here at Justo Mwale in November 2012. We are all looking forward to this distinguished celebration, capping the hard work of both students and lecturers involved in the program. Throughout these two years, our students had to study part-time while still in full-time ministry. And they had to research and write their “comprehensive mini-dissertations” of 80 pages in a time span of just over three months. Those who are capable of this achievement really deserve their Master’s degrees. And their wives should be highly appreciated as well!
Before the second group of candidates can start their two years, a thorough assessment of the present group shall be made. As it goes with first things, challenges are faced along the way and new possibilities are discovered. The new course will be adapted according to the outcome of the evaluation. It is envisioned that the new candidates - 26 at present - will be interviewed by April/May, and the new two-year program will start at the beginning of the second semester (July 2012).
Faculty Works to Revise Curriculum
Drs. E. Zulu, D.T. Banda, Dustin Ellington and L. Banda attended a workshop on curriculum development in theological institutions which was organized by the Network for African Congregational Theology (NetACT) and held at Africa Bible College in Lilongwe, Malawi in January. The conference inspired the JMTUC faculty to review the curricula of the Bachelor of Theology and Women’s Ministry programs. We hope to conclude the process by the end of 2011.
Students Serve Local Churches during Practical Training
One of the strong points of the theological training offered by JMTUC is field work, which provides an avenue for students to put their education into practice. The importance of fieldwork does not only rest in the fact that it is one of the graduation requirements for ACTEA accreditation; this practical training also bridges the gap that can divide a seminary from the church. All students in this year’s group that were eligible for field or practical work were assigned to congregations within the sending denomination or sister sending denomination. Our students were well-received and carried out successful ministry in both weekend and five-week intensive practical work.
Students Grow as Disciples
The theme for JMTUC’s spiritual life in 2011 was “The Church Today and Contemporary Challenges.” Members of the community discussed this theme in chapel services each Friday morning and during their weekly Spiritual Companionship Group meetings. Each term had its own sub-theme: Church and Media, Church and Family, and Church and Politics. The chaplaincy committee works to encourage the spiritual growth of the students and has chosen “Maturity in Christ” as the theme for 2012. The sub-themes for 2012 are Worship and Prayer, Character and Integrity, and Relationship with One Another. Students meet for prayer every Sunday and Wednesday, and the staff meets every other Wednesday for a Bible study.
Grateful for your partnership,
The Outreach Foundation
Note: This update was compiled and sent by PC(USA) mission co-worker, Dustin Ellington, a Professor of New Testament and Biblical Interpretation at Justo Mwale Theological University College.