The leaders of the Congo Central Conference believe growing the body of Christ is essential to the future of the United Methodist Church; however, this cannot be accomplished without unwavering faith and reliable resources. Grants from the Central Conference Theological Education Fund (CCTEF) have assisted with making a positive impact on theological education in the Congo Central Conference, contributing to the growth of the United Methodist Church in Africa.
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, over half of the population is under the age of 18. With such a large young adult population answering the call to ministry, it is necessary to have a solid theological foundation that can support, cultivate, and inspire Godly ministry. Theological schools and seminaries in the Congo Central Conference have embarked on a mission to train and equip a new generation of principled Christian leaders.
Many theological institutions in Africa have limited financial means, making it difficult to properly compensate qualified educators or provide financial assistance for those seeking pastoral training. CCTEF funds have made it possible for United Methodist theological institutions in the Congo Central Conference, such as the Methodist University of Kamina, to help hundreds of young adults interested in theological education pursue their call.
In 2008, the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, General Board of Global Ministries, and United Methodist Communications, committed $2 million dollars in new funding for theological education in Africa. Then in 2012, the General Conference established the Central Conference Theological Education Fund with $5 million dollars for the quadrennium, which was increased to $10 million dollars in 2016.
The Methodist University of Kamina receives more than 500 applications from hopeful candidates aspiring to answer the call to ministry. Recently, decreased funding from past partners has put access to theological education at risk for potential students. CCTEF funding has been a vital and reliable source of support for training these new Christian leaders.
Despite the funding challenges, CCTEF funds have made it possible for theological institutions in the Congo Central Conference to provide a space for quality theological education. Locally, funds are used to purchase school equipment, such as computers and printers, which help to enhance the learning experience. The university has also been able to start a small library collection, provide financial support for school tuition, pay for student health care fees, and participate in the E-Reader project. “It is difficult to financially manage our theological institution without support from the CCTEF,” said President of Methodist University of Kamina, Kandolo Kasolwa.
CCTEF has made a significant impact on the growth of the church and spiritual development of its surrounding community. Students who gain a theological education also develop into active community leaders. The political and spiritual involvement of United Methodist leaders has a strong impact on the communities around them. “CCTEF funds make a significant contribution to the development of clergy who are able to meet the growing needs of the United Methodist Church and community,” remarked Kasolwa.
The continuation of CCTEF funding is pivotal to ensuring the formation of new generations of leaders for the worldwide church.
Learn more about the Central Conference Theological Education Fund and how to apply here: