FROM THE PRINCIPAL'S DESK: Distinctives of Carlile College

There are a number of theological colleges in Africa. So, apart from the fact that the College has a School of IT, Business and Social Studies, what distinguishes Carlile College? The answer is simple, we are a specialist mission training college. While other theological colleges may aim to prepare people for ministry in local churches or offer a general theological education, Carlile College aims to train people who will preach the gospel to Africa peoples and seek to transform Africa towards God's kingdom by promoting shalom (e.g. life, justice, unity, peace, love) in their communities. We have focused our mission training on five particular areas of mission:

Cross-cultural Mission:

The focus in the cross-cultural mission programme is on the peoples of eastern Africa in their varied cultures and cultural orientation. Students are trained to decode and probe cultures, to understand them, warts and all, in order to preach the gospel to African people with clarity and intelligence. The evangelism promoted here is one where evangelists go to wherever the people are, geographically and culturally. It is an evangelism whose scope is not limited to any ethnic group, or bound to the trappings of any, but takes the gospel across cultures.

Urban Mission:

The focus in the urban mission programme is on people living in the slums and informal settlements of African cities. A selection criterion for admission into this programme is a current engagement in ministry within a slum or an informal settlement. It is thus priests, pastors, and evangelists familiar with the urban slum context whom we train to understand the realities of slums in Africa more deeply and not superficially. We aim to help them understand how best to proclaim the gospel in slum contexts and bring about transformation towards God's kingdom by alleviating poverty, promoting justice, health, education etc. We have embraced a contextual model of mission training by having students in this programme take the majority of their classes in a slum, namely, at our Kibera campus in Nairobi! A good number will also live in Kibera for the duration of their urban mission programme.

School Chaplaincy:

The school chaplaincy programme is focused on young people within school contexts. We aim to train chaplains to be effective in the evangelisation of young people in African schools, and to provide pastoral support to Christian girls and boys in their schools.

Children and Family Ministry:

The focus in the children and family ministry is on children. Students learn to evangelise and disciple children in appropriate ways by understanding their development and psychology, how they learn, their contexts, their spirituality. The significance of this mission programme is in the fact that, as confirmed by a myriad of studies, childhood influences last a life time. So we train people to evangelise where influence is greatest and lasting.

Christian Ministry and Civic Responsibilities:

The focus of this programme is mission in the public sphere; mission in the socio-political and economic spheres of Africa. Students are equipped with knowledge, skills, and understanding in civic matters and agency in order for them to be involved in efforts to transform their communities and nations towards God's kingdom.

At the centre of all these programmes is the Bible justifying, informing, enlightening, and engaging with, them. Pray with us that God will help us live up to the ideals of our distinctive training.

Dr. Peter Nyende

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