A new course of study to help the Church address the shortfall that many Christians have in understanding the African Church and its impact on faith in this country has been announced this week by Church Mission Society, as part of their Pioneer Mission Leadership Training course offering.
Led by African scholars, MA students at CMS will study Africa as a creative, vibrant centre of Christianity and site of theology for the 21st century. Subjects explored will include African religion, Global Pentecostalism and African theology in addition to other pertinent themes such as race, colonialism and migration.
Through the programme it is hoped both African diaspora students and those from other ethnic backgrounds will gain an understanding of God’s work in Africa, and among African Christians in the UK and around the world. Under the accreditation of Durham University the new study programme modules will be included in CMS’s existing MA in Theology, Ministry and Mission.
CMS will be drawing on the expertise of Missio Africanus, a mission organisation established in 2014 as a learning community focused on releasing the missional potential of African and other minority ethnic Christians living in the UK. The course hopes to attract church leaders, theologians and those with a genuine interest in learning from the African Church to gain a more complete picture of mission in the 21st century. Harvey Kwiyani, founder and executive director of Missio Africanus, said: “British Christians prayed for revival. When it came, they did not recognise it because it was black. We aim to be a part of untangling this injustice.”
The course is the first of its kind in the UK and aims to intentionally incorporate more from an African world view into current mission education and theological thinking, as well as helping African churches to effectively engage in mission. Applications are now open for the first student intake in September 2021; the course will be based in Oxford.
Dr Cathy Ross, CMS’s Head of Pioneer Mission Leadership Training in Oxford and course coordinator, said: “Respected Scottish mission historian Andrew Walls once said, ‘If you want to learn something about Christianity today, you must know something about Africa,’ and this new focus is a chance for students to grasp that opportunity.”
Dr Ross continued, “Our vision is to see a vibrant network of pioneers and diaspora leaders in mission engaged in transforming mission. We hope that this new initiative marks the first steps towards our vision where theological education is established in diverse communities where students from different cultures can flourish.” The newly designed MA in Theology, Ministry and Mission starts in September 2021 and more information is available at pioneer.churchmissionsociety.org/ma