Earlier this year, pastors from Ghana, Kenya, Uganda and South Sudan gathered at the LCMS Africa region’s field office in Nairobi, Kenya, for an in-person, one-week intensive course with the Rev. Dr. Joel Elowsky, professor of Historical Theology and dean of Advanced Studies at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis (CSL). The pastors are enrolled in an online program leading to a Master of Arts in Theology, and the course gave them the opportunity to meet each other and Elowsky.
In recent years, the number of African Lutherans has grown remarkably, resulting in an urgent need for more church workers. The LCMS Office of International Mission worked with CSL to create the curriculum, which is dedicated to providing pastors in Africa with an opportunity to further their pastoral education through advanced leadership training. This training will equip them to teach in African seminaries.
The first cohort of students in the program began their studies in August 2022. With 24 master’s degree credits required, the program will take three to four years to complete.
The Rev. John Lanbon, a pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ghana, was happy to meet fellow students during the week. “I am very excited to be in Nairobi for this special program with Dr. Elowsky and to meet other students from South Sudan, Kenya and Uganda,” Lanbon said. “I am grateful to God and looking forward to more interesting courses as we continue in the program.”
The Rev. Peter Maganda said he is looking forward to using what he is learning as he continues to serve in the Lutheran Church of Uganda (LCU).
“I am optimistic because I want to serve the LCU with sound doctrines,” Maganda said. “This program trains and equips me so that I can serve and teach many people who will come after me in the seminary in Uganda. Thank you to those supporting us financially and with prayers. May God continue blessing you.”
The students took part in a variety of activities during the week, including leading daily devotions, attending lectures and participating in group discussions and reflections. Final exams and a term paper capped a learning-filled week.
Posted April 17, 2023