Since its inception in 1984, the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP) Synod of Zambia has expanded from originally 16 congregations to now 83 congregations. There is tremendous congregational growth happening within the church, so there is a constant need for more pastors to serve CCAP congregations and address the spiritual needs of church members. In 2004, a shortage of pastors became the catalyst for forming Chasefu Theological College in eastern Zambia, which was established on the original site of a Scottish missionary station. The missionary station dates back to 1913 and was a center for Christian teaching, health, agriculture, and education until the colonial government confiscated it on June 2nd, 1952 just before Zambian independence. Now, structures at the college include a men’s hostel with a solar system, the principal’s house, latrines, bathhouses, 3 deep wells, a classroom space (loaned from a nearby primary school), and a library with over 6,000 books. Chasefu is still undergoing infrastructure development, which includes building a new classroom block to serve students, lecturers, and administration.
The college currently has seven lecturers who work on a voluntary basis while simultaneously working full-time as parish ministers. It is necessary for classes at Chasefu to be taught in one or two-week time blocks in order for the lecturers to teach at the college as well as meet the need of their congregations. In addition to teaching classes on the Old Testament, New Testament, Greek, Hebrew, and other theological courses, Chasefu Theological College also provides courses on addressing poverty in rural congregations to better prepare their theological students to serve CCAP church members. For example, students learn from lecturers about sustainable agriculture so that they can support their families and spread this knowledge to their congregations. They also take classes on Community Health Evangelism (CHE) and learn how congregation members can work together to save money and invest in small business ventures through Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLA).
Since 2009, a total of 38 theological students have graduated from either the two-year Licentiate program or the 3-year Diploma of Theology program at Chasefu, including the original 16 who were the first students at the college. These 38 pastors are not only comprised of CCAP Synod of Zambia congregates but also pastors from CCAP Synod of Livingstonia in Malawi and CCAP Synod of Harare in Zimbabwe. These pastors are now serving CCAP congregations and working with programs such as community schools for orphaned and vulnerable children, home-based care for people living with HIV/AIDS, Women’s Guild programs, Men’s Guild programs, and Christian Youth Fellowship (CYF) programs. The increased numbers of pastors has enabled the CCAP Synod of Zambia to divide its congregations amongst more pastors, helping congregation members be given more care and spiritual guidance. A single congregation could consist of 8 different locations spread across several kilometers so most pastors have to travel by foot or bicycle in order to pastor to multiple locations. Therefore, it is necessary to have enough pastors to meet the needs of CCAP congregations that are spread over a large area.
“We have had several pastors graduate from Chasefu Theological College who have made tremendous contributions to their congregations. For example, Rev. Abedenego Kunda has been very instrumental in building his congregation spiritually and physically. He has built a manse (pastor’s house) at roof level at Chililabombwe that will be occupied by the next pastor to serve the congregation. Spiritually, Rev. Kunda helped his congregation become more active, and realize the importance of prayer, bible study, and fellowships. Another Chasefu graduate is Rev. Happy Mhango who empowered his congregation through Village Savings and Loan (VSLA), enabling them to be financially self-sustaining. Because Rev. Mhango’s congregation was invested in one another, they attended church more often and were more committed to the church as a whole. Finally, Rev. Pythias Kamaga has helped to build a new church at Muyombe congregation. He has also helped the congregants realize the importance of giving to the church and encouraging people to become united as children of Christ. These are just a few examples of influential pastors that are applying what they learned from Chasefu Theological College to their congregations.”
- Rev. Sevatt Kabaghe, General Secretary for the CCAP Synod of Zambia
Status: Chasefu Theological College is currently receiving support from PC (USA) and PCA for student scholarships. CCAP Synod of Zambia and local congregations also contribute to the development of Chasefu Theological College. Chasefu is actively seeking funding for infrastructure development and scholarships for future students.
Plans for a new classroom block
Chasefu Theological College
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The agricultural IGA is currently partnering with an NGO, Cross Border Network Africa (CBNA), to grow red onions. Participation in the program requires payment of a nominal fee and, in return, CBNA provides seed, training, and a market whereby it buys the onions harvested.
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