Bolstering Pastor Training in South Sudan
The Church in South Sudan is large in number but most pastors have had little if any, training and there is a danger of shallow faith. For more about the Church in South Sudan click here.
There is currently an active theological college in Juba called Bishop Gwynne College (BGC). This has a long-standing history in South Sudan, having trained most of the leading clergy and bishops of the Episcopal Church of the Sudan. It began in the early 1900s, but suffered, like most of the nation, during the two 20-year civil wars and was torn down, deserted and later rebuilt. As a result most faculty members have not had the opportunity to be educated beyond diploma level and this limits the training which they can offer. AID believes that bolstering this existing structure will be invaluable in strengthening the nation’s Church.
Train Pastor Trainers
CORE Training and Development, an organisation which works to strengthen churches in Sub-Saharan Africa, has developed a programme to train BGC graduates or faculty members to a Master or Bachelor degree level at George Whitefield College (GWC) in Cape Town, South Africa. Graduates from the scheme will not only be able to train pastors to a higher level but also be able to train others to become trainers. The aim is to make BGC self-sustainable over 10-12 years.
The project began in September 2015 with waves of teachers connected to GWC travelling to BGC in South Sudan to teach students. This was in anticipation of BGC temporarily losing a faculty member to study at GWC. In January 2016, John Jal Dang (left), a graduate of BGC and its librarian, was able to travel to Cape Town along with others to begin a three year theology degree. AID has been sponsoring John through his studies:
‘The situation is fragile and even pastors are not safe to travel around and preach due to the tribal war that has caused hatred amongst the people. However, we want to make sure that the Church stands firm and continues to preach peace as a neutral body. Preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ without fear would greatly have a positive impact in the lives of our people. I trust the Church is the possible solution to the crisis we have in our country. Therefore, it is a tremendous privilege to study at George Whitefield College and go home fully equipped.’
Please pray for John as he nears the end of his degree course and prepares to return to South Sudan in November. Also pray that national security in South Sudan would improve so that pastors and teachers may lead peaceful and quiet lives in which they can be trained for God’s ministry.
If you could give to this project please email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our donate page here: (please give to ”Bishop Gwynne College”).