FILIMOA CHAMBO LETTER-July, 2009
Fili's Letter To EDUF--
(Note: Personal information about ANY particular institution or persons have been deleted)
It was good to see you and EDUF team in Orlando, Florida, USA. The election of Dr. Duarte to serve the Church as General Superintendent, was the highlight of my time at the General Assembly.
Thank you for your note and inquiry regarding the need in Malawi.
The priority for Africa Region at this stage is ministerial training. We value all other Nazarene schools on the Region: liberal arts, vocational training institutions, secondary, elementary schools and kindergarden and we do all we can to support and facilitate the work done in these institutions. However, it has been decided that our focus should be on raising support and providing leadership to ministerial training educational systems. While liberal arts, vocational/technical institutions, secondary and elementary schools can access funds from various sources for their educational activities, this is not usually the case with ministerial training educational providers. There are usually funds from government organizations, NGOs and often through NCM to support the above school systems.
As indicated above ministerial training is our priority. The Church of the Nazarene on the Africa Region has a goal to have 1,000,000 (one million members) and 12,000 local churches by 2012. Currently we have over 600,000 people that worship in Nazarene congregations on the region. Those who are full members are 410,816. We have 2,893 organize churches and 3,463 new starts (preaching points). The growth is so rapid and as a result of this tremendous growth there is a great need of trained leaders/pastors for the church in Africa. We currently have 701 ordained elders in the entire region, 1389 licensed ministers and 19 deacon. My vision is to have 5000 ordained elders by 2012. This is possible if all those who are currently in our ministerial training program can complete their studies within a reasonable amount of time. However, because of lack of instructors and resources for ministerial training some of our students take up to 8 years of study to complete a course of study for ordination. To address this problem we need to intentionally focus on faculty and instructors development for ministerial training (this includes providing scholarship to a few to study in some of our schools overseas, e.g. currently EDUF is supporting two individuals from Africa who are studying at NTC - UK Manchester); we also need to prioritize resources development (instructional and learning material - this should include recording of lessons on DVDs and CDs with some of our best faculty members and make this available and use in the extension systems that would hardly afford to bring someone with great expertise to teach in this remote areas. Included in this priority is the need to develop libraries for ministerial training programs). The development of sustainable financial systems for ministerial training is vital, e.g. endowments, scholarship funds and special grants/chairs for specific subjects... In my view these initiatives are priorities that address the need for clergy on the region and the training can be done in a reasonable time frame because instruction and instructors will be available for all our education systems. Overall we are attempting to focus on implementation of holistic system for ministerial training and yet our avenues to access funds for ministerial training are limited compared to those related to other educational subjects.
Thank you for partnering with Africa in education.