Very few priests in Angola have had any theological training in the form of a degree course in their own language. A few of the 60+ clergy in Angola have who have had access to funds have travelled to South Africa and had some education in english but the majority have not had adequate education.
This is a pressing need for the churches in Angola and therefore this year, with the support of other partners, MANNA aims improve theological training in Angola in two ways.
Firstly, it would be hugely beneficial for Pastors to have an theological degree in Portugese. So this year beginning in February 2017, two prospective ordination candidates have been selected and they will study for a theology degree at the Universidade Católica de Angola in Luanda funded by a grant from a theological trust via MANNA. Jeremias Joao Bunda and Francisco Santana Issenguele are both active in their current churches in Luanda and Uige and are very keen to work for the church full time and deepen their theological understanding and knowledge.
Secondly, there is no Anglican theological training college in Angola but there are 4 basic theological centres in Luanda, Uige, Mucaba and Songo that train catechists and run a home-grown training programme which is led by the Archdeacons for local pastors and church leaders. We are delighted that Revd Dr Marcus Throup has been invited by Bishop Andre to give short conferences in these centres in August 2017. Marcus met Bishop Andre in the summer when Bishop Andre was visiting the UK. Marcus is a theological educator, having previously lectured at St John’s College, Nottingham and now teaches at Diocese of Winchester’s School of Mission. For over a decade, he taught in Brazil and has published several works in Portuguese and has translated theology textbooks for major publishers.
We look forward to being able to share updates of these two important developments as the year continues.