Only around five percent of Rwandan pastors have received formal theological training, which means many pastors find themselves poorly equipped to lead and disciple their congregations, provide counseling for church members, or adequately study and teach the Scripture. But the cost of education is prohibitively high, preventing these leaders from returning to school.
New regulations set by the Rwandan parliament in July 2018, however, require all pastors to acquire and hold a bachelor’s or higher level of training in theology or a similar field– something the majority of pastors in the nation cannot afford to do. Without this education, though, they will not be allowed to lead congregations or plant churches. The need for affordable, accessible theological training in Rwanda is therefore higher than ever.
Africa College of Theology (ACT) is an internationally-accredited college offering non-traditional biblical education using a flexible, blended learning format in terms scheduled in six-week segments. This format and schedule allows students to continue ministering at their churches while they complete their training. ACT is one of the only evangelical institutions in the nation offering an accredited bachelor’s degrees in theology and Bible.
Every Africa College of Theology student pays for a small portion of his or her own education, but scholarships through Africa New Life cover the majority of tuition and other program costs. This makes ACT’s programs some of the only accessible options for pastors who wish to attain the education required to continue leading and planting churches.
ACT offers the following academic programs:
- Certificate in Christian Ministry: theological instruction for non-English-speaking pastors
- Special Certificate in Bible & Theology
- Diploma in Bible & Theology: 2-year college preparatory training in Bible, theology, and English
- Bachelor of Arts in Theology & Christian Leadership: internationally-accredited bachelor’s program with American equivalency
- TOEFL and English training
- Certified Public Accountant (CPA) training
- College discipleship program
- Post-secondary discipleship and leadership training
- Leadership/training partnerships with ministries and organizations including the John Maxwell Training Center, Mending the Soul, EQUIP Leadership, and Eastern University’s Global Leadership and Development program
In 2016, 125 students were enrolled in ACT’s traditional certificate and degree programs. Today, 350 pastors and ministry leaders are currently enrolled in these programs, while another 226 high school graduates are receiving discipleship and leadership training through the school. Through ACT’s additional class offerings and partnerships, hundreds of other individuals are reached each year. The school’s first cohort of bachelor’s students will graduate in September 2018, and a new group of thoughtfully trained, passionate leaders will be able to bring the light of the gospel to all corners of Rwanda.
Below is a video of Pastor Sam, who prayed for the opportunity to attend the Africa College of Theology. Pastor Sam shares his experience of becoming a servant leader and learning the value of good character through his training. Africa College of Theology is transforming leaders like Pastor Sam and blessing the nation of Rwanda.
Video by Justin Nunes of Parkway Community Church in Fairfield, California.
The Africa College of Theology student body is composed of men and women from Rwanda and surrounding nations: Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Burundi, and Nigeria. Many of these students are currently serving as pastors and ministers in their churches while acquiring theological training. Religious leaders from some of the largest churches and networks in Rwanda have chosen to receive training at ACT. A number of additional students attend ACT’s English and TOEFL training classes and CPA certification program.
Professors at the Africa College of Theology come from both East Africa and the United States. Currently, Johnson Karamuzi serves as the Director of ACT, and Dr. Charles Mugisha, founder and president of Africa New Life, serves as Chancellor and teaches classes. The school possesses a 20,000-volume theological library, one of the largest such libraries in East Africa, which provides unprecedented resources for pastors and the public.
$3,100, or about $260 per month, sends one ACT student to school for a year. With the nation’s new church and pastor regulations in view, Africa New Life is seeking to train as many pastors as possible in the coming years. Your support will help bring discipleship, spiritual nurturing, and leadership to communities across Rwanda!Give to Africa College of Theology