Addis Ababa, April 2024

AEA launched a major initiative aimed at enhancing theological and biblical training for undertrained pastors and Christian leaders across the continent by convening a conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on the 10th of April 2024. The conference was aimed primarily at enhancing capacity of AEA National Alliances to ensure that theological and biblical training is increased by at least 20% in Africa.

Recognizing the critical need for theological training, AEA initiated a Training of Trainers (ToT) program to reduce the percentage of untrained pastors and church leaders from 90% to 70% by January 2025. The program been running from 2018 and although the pandemic largely affected the implementation and progress of the program, the felt need of enhancing pastors biblical training in Africa has been growing.

The program aims to equip church leaders with essential biblical and theological knowledge within the church to address societal challenges.

Representatives from all seven AEA regions attended the conference. The event was aimed at securing commitments from leaders to nominate participants for in-person capacity-building workshops in their regions. These workshops, set to be conducted in strategic countries, will use developed materials to train local leaders, creating a ripple effect as trained leaders further train others.

The conference gave emphasis to the establishment of regional hubs as the most effective approach for implementing the ToT program. These hubs aim to maximize cost efficiency and facilitate participation from all countries within each region. Benefits include; centralized meetings, enhanced collaboration, streamlined resource distribution, and increased capacity for regional leaders to support the ToT program.

Feedback from regional leaders highlighted the program’s potential impact. In West Africa, there is an emphasis on incorporating trauma healing, peace and conflict resolution, spiritual warfare, and Christian education into the curriculum, with an event scheduled for later this year. In East Africa, training received commendations for its simplicity and effectiveness, with a session scheduled for the region. Southern Africa leaders praised the curriculum’s timing and inclusivity, with training planned for August 2024 in Zimbabwe.

AEA, through its accrediting institution, Association for Christian Theological Education in Africa (ACTEA), will work on standardizing non-formal training programs to ensure quality and effectiveness. The formation of a network of non-formal curriculum providers, strategic partnerships with theological institutions, and continuous development of contextually relevant training resources is on course. The conference has laid a strong foundation for future training initiatives, promising significant advancements in the theological and biblical education of African pastors and church leaders.