Bishop Gwynne College

Bolstering Pastor Training in South Sudan

The Church in South Sudan is wide 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, in partnership with AID, has developed a programme to train BGC graduates or faculty to a Master or Bachelor degree level by enabling them to study at George Whitefield College (GWC) in Cape Town, South Africa (CORE has close links with GWC and is also based in Cape Town). Thus 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 the college self-sustainable over 10-12 years.

The project began in September 2015 with waves of teachers from and known to GWC travelling to BGC in South Sudan to teach students. This was in anticipation of BGC temporarily loosing a faculty member to study at GWC. In January 2016 John Jal Dang (left) a graduate of BGC and the college’s librarian, was able to travel to Cape Town to begin a three year theology degree, he was joined a year later by Elias. AID is particularly supporting John through his studies:

 

“I also studied some other subjects: preaching, exegesis and I actually learn it in detail, now I will actually be able to read my text and see what does the text mean to me, what should it mean to others…I’m willing to go back and teach my country. This is my desire: to go and teach” John

The aim is that each year a new BGC graduate or faculty member will travel to South Africa to begin a higher-level training course and return to BGC better qualified, and able to teach others. In addition the programme will strengthen pastors already at work throughout South Sudan with ‘on the job’ Bible training.

Please pray that God would establish these plans (Proverbs 16:3) and strengthen the Church. Also pray that national insecurity in South Sudan would decrease so that the 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 alice.lane@interanglicanaid.org or visit our donate page here: (please give to ”Bishop Gwynne College”).