I write this entry from Embu, Kenya, while sitting in a class on leadership taught by Pastor Dale Miller, Winebrenner graduate and pastor in the Eastern Region of the Churches of God, General Conference (CGGC). Other courses include a study of the book of James (taught by Winebrenner graduate, Tom Myers), OT Wisdom Literature, Finance, Discipleship, and CPR/First Aid. I have the privilege teaching Homiletics (preaching) to 18 Kenyan pastors. Our team was organized and is being led by current Winebrenner student, Pastor Nancy Boyer who currently serves in the Eastern Region of the CGGC.
In addition to teaching, my purpose for coming to Kenya is to explore a collaborative partnership between Voice of the Gospel Ministry (VOGM) and Winebrenner Theological Seminary. As I understand the situation, the Kenyan government is moving toward requiring all pastors to have training from an accredited seminary. The past few years, Pastor Boyer has coordinated with the Ministry Training Institute (of the Eastern Region, CGGC) to provide much needed ministry training for Kenyan students. The Institute is non-accredited and as such, Pastor Boyer invited Winebrenner to join in this ministry opportunity. Our hope is that our longstanding accreditation will assist in providing theological education to Kenyan pastors.
Yesterday, I sat down with Pastor Boyer, Pastor Lance Finley (Executive Director of the CGGC, a Winebrenner graduate, and a Winebrenner Trustee) and Pastor Joseph Mwaura, the leader of the VOGM here in Kenya. Together we dreamed, prayed, and envisioned how Winebrenner might respond to the need for greater access to accredited seminaries in Kenya.
Winebrenner Theological Seminary is committed to equipping leaders for service in God’s kingdom around the world! Just this week, we confirmed dates for our next course in Haiti (more information coming soon). Developing this opportunity in Kenya is a fresh expression of our strategic commitment to Collaborative Relationships, Contextual Education, and building Communities of Learners!
– Dr. Brent Sleasman, President