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How St Philips Began/ A vision for the church in Tanzania

Posted by St Philips Theological College on November 22, 2011 at 9:55 PM Comments comments (0)

T.B.R. Westgate: Huron University College’s connection to St. Philip’s Theology College The Rev. Dr. Thomas Buchanan Reginald Westgate (1872-1951) graduated from Huron College, London, Ontario in 1896. He was then ordained Deacon (1896) and later Priest (1897) by the Huron Diocese. After a short period of deputation work in the Diocese of Huron he began work as a missionary, first in Paraguay (1898-1901) under the South American Missionary Society, then in German East Africa (now Tanzania) (1902-1917) with the Church Missionary Society and finally in Canada (1917-1943). When serving in German East Africa, T.B.R. recognized the need to build a African theological college which would train native teachers. The staff of the Mission could not meet the demand for teachers from the local people. T.B.R. also believed that although European missionaries were necessary in the evangelization of the African Church, they should stand to one side or pass out of sight altogether and let the Africans go on to build their own Church. Accepting a post on the Deputation Staff of the Missionary Society of the Church of England in Canada, T.B.R. returned to Canada in March 1913 for three months. As the MSCC was raising support for its own Missions in Asia, T.B.R. was not permitted to publicly appeal for the building or operational funds required for his proposed training college in Africa. According to T.B.R. Westgate: A Canadian Missionary on Three Continents the alumni of Huron College undertook a private fund raising on T.B.R.’s behalf in celebration of the Golden Jubilee of the College (1913). Owing to the generosity of the alumni and the Rural Deanery of East and West Middlesex in Ontario, the bulk of the money needed for the African based training college was raised. This publication was put together by Westgate’s son, R.I. Wilfred Westgate (a classics professor from Harvard), and daughters, Maureen (Westgate) Carter and Dorothy (Westgate) Leach. It is based on T.B.R.’s diaries, professional reports, essays and correspondence. James Talman’s, Huron College 1863-1963 and the Huron College Council Minutes report Huron College marked its Golden Jubilee (1913) by awarding the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity on T.B.R. in recognition of his service in missionary work in South America and German East Africa. As was the arrangement at the time, the University of Western Ontario conferred the degree. Neither Talman’s, Huron College 1863-1963 or the Huron College Council Minutes for meetings held in 1913 and 1914 mention the African college or the alumni’s fund raising efforts on T.B.R.’s behalf. This may be due to the necessary private nature of the fundraising campaign. T.B.R. named the African theological college, ‘Huron College’, in honor of his alma mater in London, Ontario. The first classes were held January 12, 1914 with two hundred students. The college has since grown and been renamed St. Philip’s Theological College. A plaque on the building still identifies it as the original “Huron House” of 1914. It is located at Kongwa in the Diocese of Mpwapwa, Tanzania.

A Farewell to Kees and Cindy

Posted by St Philips Theological College on November 22, 2011 at 2:05 PM Comments comments (0)

On Thursday the 17th of November, the college community gathered to say goodbye to Kees and Cindy Bootsma. Kees and Cindy who were Mission Partners sent out by CMS Australia joined the college last September. They had previously worked for 5 years in the Diocese of Tabora before moving over to St Philips. At St Philips Kees taught Old Testament and New Testament, while he also helped a lot with the library and the college computers. Cindy was involved in teaching the wives course and English. The event which was marked by singing, prayer, bible reading, speeches and a community meal, was a mixture of both joy and sadness. Kees and Cindy hope to return and settle in Australia. They will both be missed. St Philips community on behalf of the churches it represents want to thank Kees and Cindy and CMS Australia for this partnership in the gospel through the services and support they have offered, and wish them a good and blessed future, while hoping to extend our partnership.

A Kiswahili Language Course for You

Posted by St Philips Theological College on October 18, 2011 at 7:30 AM Comments comments (0)

St Philips Theological College is now offering a residential Kiswahili Language course. The course is suitable for you if you are a missionary or ex - pat, living and working in Tanzania or just visiting. This can be attended at any time of your convenience. The course can be held for one to two weeks intensive to one month. If you would like to learn Kiswahili contact the college.

Visit from the Diocese of Rochester UK

Posted by St Philips Theological College on October 15, 2011 at 1:30 AM Comments comments (0)



Following a two week half term break, the college had an opening service on Sunday the 9th of October 2011. This was a special opening service as it was accompanied by the visit of a team from the Diocese of Rochester. This team was led by the Revd Jolande Marcussen. The Diocese of Rochester is a link Diocese to the Diocese of Mpwapwa, and the teams visit was in conjunction with the Dioceses celebration of 135 years since the gospel arrived in Mpwapwa, 20 years since the fomation of the Diocese of Mpwapwa which was split from the Diocese of Central Tanganyika and 50 years of the countries independence. The first missionaries who started the work such as John Price and Henry Cole were remembered. Revd Jolande was accompanied by Linda, Mike, Steve and his wife Sylvia. On the same occasion in Mpwapwa, Revd Jolande was made canon of the Diocese of Mpwapwa. At St Philips Revd Canon Jolande had an opportunity to preach and in her message emphasised on the significance of putting knowledge into action. Linda and Steve also took part in the readings. A month earlier, the college was also visited by The Revd Canon Archford Musondya from USPG. Canon Musondya's visit was also in part connection to his provincial tour, and to learn and share the experiences and challenges around the province.

NEW BISHOPS FOR TANGA AND MOUNT KILIMANJARO DIOCESES

Posted by St Philips Theological College on September 6, 2011 at 1:30 PM Comments comments (0)

The Diocese of Tanga and the Diocese of Mount Kilimanjaro have both had a new bishop. The Revd Canon William Maimbo Mndolwa was installed on Sunday 04th September 2011, at the Cathedral of St Michael and All Angels in Korogwe Tanga to be the second bishop of the diocese since it was split from the Diocese of Zanzibar and Tanga. The consecration which was done by the Most Revd Dr Valentino Mokiwa was attended by many including representatives from abroad. Earlier in May, the Diocese of Mount Kilimanjaro also witnessed an installment of Revd Stanley Hotayi as third diocesan bishop..........................................More information to follow when available. NEW FACULTY AT ST PHILIPS: Here at St Philips, we are delighted to receive two new teaching staff in the faculty. The two are The Revd Lemson Chally from the Diocese of Mpwapwa and The Revd Simon Irunde from The Diocese of Mount Kilimanjaro.

NEW COURSE ON MISSION LEADERSHIP AND DEVELOPMENT

Posted by St Philips Theological College on August 18, 2011 at 7:30 AM Comments comments (0)

We praise God that after a long period of planning and praying, finally, the new diploma course on "Mission Leadership and Development Practise" has been launched. At the moment the course is being taught alongside the existing Diploma in Theology course with a total number of 17 students attending it. We do hope that as we continue to develop the course, it will grow to become a separate track, while giving more advantage to those who have done the Theology course.

The course aims towards preparing students face a more holistic approach to ministry taking both the spiritual and the physical aspects of ministry to consideration. It also aims towards looking at the relationship between the bible and culture (hermeneutics) and the various contexts in which we engage in. In addition the course provides an insight on our role as a church in mission and looking at the transformative impact of the holistic gospel. Other aspects of life such as biblical ethics, and development theories and strategies, with issues relating to development leadership and management including the environment, rural development, gender, health, education etc being covered.  At the end, the student is required to present a research paper based on a certain area of interest from the course.

A great deal of the program will help the student gain accumulative knowledge from various aspects of bibilical revelation and social engagement, with strong reflection on the life of the church and society.

The Revd Dr John Stott

Posted by St Philips Theological College on August 2, 2011 at 12:59 PM Comments comments (5)

 

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On Wednesday 27th July 2011 at 3.15pm John Stott went to be with the Lord whom he had loved and served for over 70 years. Aged 90 years and 3 months to the day, he died with close family and friends around him. They were reading through 2 Timothy and listening to selections from Handel’s Messiah, including the refrain “I know that my Redeemer liveth”.

 

He died peacefully at St Barnabas College Lingfield Surrey where he had been for the last three years.

 

His death was reported the following day on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme, and obituaries came out in all the major papers on Friday 29th July. He has been called the most influential Anglican clergymen of the 20th century apart from William Temple, a previous Archbishop of Canterbury.

 

He was Chaplain to the Queen; university missioner on six continents; the subject of original research in 10 universities, and author of over 50 books. His name appeared in Time magazine in April 2006 as “one of the 100 most influential figures in the world”

 

Born in the parish of All Soul’s Langham Place, where his father was a Harley Street Physician, he became in turn curate, rector and rector emeritus in that church. However that was probably the last thing he dreamed about when he used to sit as a child in the gallery of the church and drop rolled up pieces of paper onto the hats of the fashionable ladies sitting in the pews underneath. Or indeed when in his father’s drawing room he and his sister would roll back the carpets and dance together.

 

He was educated at Rugby school, where he was head boy in 1940 and committed his life to Christ as a school boy when he heard an address by EJH Nash, on an annual camp that “Bash” used to run at Iwerne Minster in Dorset. After leaving Rugby he entered Trinity College Cambridge where he obtained a double first in modern languages, before reading Theology at Ridley Hall, and in 1945 he became assistant curate at All Souls Church.

 

In 1954 he purchased a small farmhouse, the Hookses, on the Welsh coast near Dale in Pembrokeshire, and it was here that much of his writing was done, from his study overlooking the Atlantic. He would wake to the BCC World Service News at 5am, and then, before breakfast, have a quiet time, usually reading four chapters of the Bible a day following Robert Murray McCheyne’s scheme. At 8am he would join others in the larger house for breakfast, before returning to his study and working for the morning. Sometimes he would join the others for lunch and sometimes, if he felt he was behind in his writing, he would lunch by himself or with his study assistant and secretary Frances Whitehead.

 

After lunch was the compulsory HHH (horizontal half hour) followed by some work in the garden in which everyone took part. After that came tea, and then back to work, coming up to the main house for the evening meal. John would never cook but always wash up. After supper and a piece of chocolate, he might read part of the work he had written during the day, and then usually with a minimal amount of persuasion, he would read one of his favourite Saki stories by HH Monro. In the pre-electricity days the group would be gathered in the small sitting room with John reading by a gas lamp. In December the fire would be on, the curtains drawn and often a wild wind would be battering on the windows as it came off the Atlantic Ocean and up the narrow valley to the house. Snug in the living room peals of laughter could be heard from John as well as his audience as he read “The Story teller” or “The Secret Sin of Septimus Brope”. A Bible reading and prayer followed with bed at 10pm. Sunday was more relaxed and after church and lunch there would often be a bird watching expedition to the Gann estuary a few miles away, or possible a trip to Skomer to see the Puffins and the Manx Shearwaters.

 

John Stott was the Chief architect of the 1974 Lausanne conference and friend and advisor to Billy Graham. While Billy Graham filled football stadia, John’s arena was the universities, and to him, the most strategic goal imaginable was to make Christ known in every university in the world.

 

In 1982 he founded the London institute for contemporary Christianity for participants from all over the world, to apply biblical truth in their own context. He expressed his desire for the church to practice “double listening”. Listening both to the Word and the world; with the Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other.

 

He established the Langham partnership in 2002 under the leadership of Chris Wright, to unite and expand three earlier initiatives. To train preachers in the two thirds world, to provide books for them and to fund doctoral scholarships for the most able amongst them.

 

Bird watching and photography were his great hobbies, the former started when, as a child his sister accidentally destroyed his collection of butterflies. He managed to see 2500 of the worlds 9000 species of bird, writing to the Duke of Edinburgh on one occasion, also a keen bird watcher, when he had spotted a particularly rare one. His favourite was the Snowy Owl which he managed to see on a nest in the Canadian arctic after a long search in the 1980’s, and several pictures of snowy owls adorned his bedroom and study.

 

As Chaplain to the Queen he spent at least one weekend with them at Sandringham where he preached in the church on Sunday. At a Barbeque when one of the royal family spilt a glass on the floor the Queen found a broom and began to clear up the mess. John offered to do it for her. She thanked him but refused his offer of help as she “was quite used to doing this herself”.

 

He became a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in 2006, for services to “Christian Scholarship and the Christian World” and although grateful for the honour, he was bemused by the title as the British Empire had long ceased to exist.

 

Throughout his life remained a very humble man who always deflected praise from himself to Christ. He often used to say that “flattery is like smoking – its ok if you don’t inhale”! He lived simply in a one bedroom flat in London until his move to St Barnabas, and put all his book royalties into the Langham Trust.

 

In 2008 he wrote that “The Oxford Centre for Mission Studies (OCMS) is an organisation with which I have been involved since its inception in 1983, and I have watched its development with great satisfaction. I am delighted to have this opportunity to commend its work to you for your prayerful and financial support. It is the conviction of OCMS, which I share, that during this century many of the influential leaders in the church will come from the global south. The ongoing work of OCMS in preparing many of them for leadership, through its postgraduate and research programmes will be a key part in this process”.

 

It was wonderful that despite his failing health his brain remained active to the end. I had the joy of visiting him at St Barnabas on 4th July. I read 1 Peter chapter 1 to him, and very slowly had my last mini sermon from him.

 

“Did you know” he said “that every chapter in 1 Peter talks about suffering? Peter refers to physical suffering, but I think it is legitimate to apply it to all forms of suffering”

 

We all have our own memories which will remain forever special to us. As we do so, and give thanks for Uncle John, a great servant of God. Let us remember his greatest ambition,

 

“To become more like Christ”.

 

Respected as a preacher and teacher around the world, his desire was always that Christ Jesus, not John Stott, was glorified. Above his bed at St Barnabas when he died were the words that had been in his study for many years, which summed up his life:

 

When telling Thy Salvation free,

 

Let all absorbing thoughts of Thee

 

My heart and soul embrace.

 

And when all heads are bowed and stirred

 

Beneath the influence of Thy Word

 

Hide me behind Thy cross

 

David Cranston, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Council of Trustees

 

1 August 2011

Thank you Dr Cranston

A LETTER FROM THE PRINCIPAL

Posted by St Philips Theological College on July 26, 2011 at 9:57 AM Comments comments (0)

Colossians 3:23. Whatever you do work at it as working for the Lord.......


26th July 2011

Dear Friends,

 

Peace and Grace be to you.

 

I am delighted to be writing the letter to you during this very exciting and challenging era of God’s work through the church, here at St Philips Theological College - Kongwa.

 

Thank you

To begin with, we here at St Philips have a great reason to say thank you to God and to all our friends for the many ways we have experienced God’s and your support to us as a college. Things would have been much more difficult without your support and prayers.

Many thanks too for the hard working team of staff who are few in number but together we managed to accomplish a great deal of work. 

 

This year we had 54 students and out of those, 30 graduated in June to go and fill in places in various parishes in the Anglican Church, the Moravian Church and the Lutheran Church. This year we have already got some confirmation of 29 students coming to begin their studies in the new academic year 2011/2012 which starts on 31st July 2011. We pray for all those men and women who have secured this opportunity for study to join the others who will continue on to their second and third years. At the same time we remember the 30 students who graduated in June as they continue to settle back in their dioceses and take on their new roles in the church.

 

 

Knowledge that leads to service: Our Challenge 

St Philip’s is working under a huge amount of challenge and pressure relating to readdressing our vision, that of equipping the church with relevantly and adequately trained people to serve the church, and that remains to be our vision today. Our aim is to impart knowledge that leads to service. However, this in itself raises certain challenges.

Costs

In terms of running costs, St Philips would like to achieve its objectives within an affordable cost to the churches we serve who have limited resources. This means our fees are highly subsidised in order to enable the church to train its clergy. At the same time we need to offer standard training in an acceptable environment with adequate facilities, and this requires good qualified staff and facilities to house both staff and students and other training equipment such as books, computers, printers etc. For that matter, we face challenges of paying staff salaries, and maintaining the premises to create a conducive environment for excellence in what we offer.

 

Looking back

For the last five years St Philip’s has grown from strength to strength. That needed certain decisions to be made and steps to be taken. Some of those included.

a. Student fees to come directly from donors to the college

b. The college to begin paying staff salary instead of salaries to be paid by the sending diocese of the teaching staff.

c. To be able to meet the increased expenditure on salaries, the college had to increase the fees in proportion to the increase in spending, without regulating the spending in fees subsidy.

d. To strengthen our college projects by seeking extra funding. These projects have included dairy, poultry, a small vegetable garden, grain milling, sunflower pressing, technical department and transport. These projects have helped towards the fees subsidy, but have also been used to help students learn on some basic skills fom those areas.

e. In this past academic year, each student took part in planting a tree. It was our call as well as joining efforts with the country and the world at large towards creating a sustainable environment. These efforts led the college to receive the first price in the district, for the effort on environmental conservation the recognition given to us by the District Commissioner.

At the same time we are very grateful to God in helping us to strengthen our links and partnership with various organisations who have supported us financially, and by supplying us with material such as computers, books [both exercise and text books]. Some of the funding has helped us in subsidising college fees and, in improving the projects.

 

However there are some complications which as an institution continue to be a challenge. These include the delay in receiving the fees and sometimes lack of fees from some of the students. One of the main reasons is that our financial year is different from that of our sponsors, and sometimes we begin the year with promises and have to find ways of running our activities before the funds arrive.

Although the increase of fees has helped us in supporting staff salaries, on the other hand it caused a drop in student numbers. This continues to keep us in a fragile situation

 

Looking to the future

 

In 2013, we plan to celebrate our centenary, marking 100 years of the college which began in 1913. We are still in the thinking and planning stages. We would like to make it a special year as we appreciate the work done at the college for the last 100 years and the impact it has had in Tanzania and abroad, and within the Anglican Church and other denominations. We invite any thoughts and ideas to help us in this planning stage of events, and we hope to keep you informed on the progress. 

Looked at the college from a wider perspective as a provincial institution, we find ourselves challenged by the increase of diocesan bible schools and theological colleges, and the University of St John’s. With the recovery and progress we have made so far, it is the right time for us to scale up our program in order to keep up with what is going on around the province and around the world. Our vision is to start a degree course in mission with a special emphasis in pastoral leadership. This is a project which will help us to retain our vision of equipping the church with holistically trained pastors, something which will not be in competition with other institutions but will help as a complementary program. This we hope, to start as soon as possible provided we get the right resources.

Staff

We are still in need of staff especially those who are able to teach at the degree level, and on subjects relating to Pastoral leadership and Mission. 

Guests

We were very grateful to receive the guests who passed through and some who stayed for a while with us here. This included former mission partners, present mission personnel, former residents and students, pastors and bishops both local and from overseas. We thank you all for your encouragement, and the time of sharing your experiences with us. If you are thinking of paying a visit, you are most welcome, and may God of all Mercy enrich you with His love.

Yours sincerely

 

The Revd John Madinda

 


Theological College Principals Communique

Posted by St Philips Theological College on May 28, 2011 at 11:58 AM Comments comments (0)

Inaugural consultation for theological college Principals – stimulating and productive The first ever international consultation for Anglican Communion theological college Principals and Deans, gathering together representatives from 27 countries, has been held in Canterbury. We celebrate and affirm the vital significance of theological education for the life and health of the Church and the whole people of God. We believe that good theological education has transforming power, and can promote a global understanding of Anglican identity. Our consultation has contributed to the unity of the Anglican Communion, as well as enabling various models of ecumenical engagement to be explored. We identified through our meeting a shared commitment to fostering active and discerning Christian discipleship which embraces holistic mission and enables the building up of the Kingdom of God. In our Bible Studies we explored a number of passages from Matthew’s Gospel, which focused on the ministry of Jesus as a teacher and highlighted Matthew’s call to all Christians to become disciples who bring out of their treasure store what is both new and old (Matthew 13.52). The consultation was held under the auspices of TEAC (Theological Education in the Anglican Communion), the Anglican Communion working party on theological education. We particularly appreciated the rich diversity of our meeting and the considerable number of Anglican Provinces which were represented among us. The disparity of resources available for theological education between our different Provinces was a challenge that we were conscious of throughout our time together. We also heard of a number of colleges and seminaries which lack resources to the point that they are simply struggling to survive. The absence of some colleagues due to visa difficulties reminded us of the challenges theological educators face in a number of parts of the world. We also regretted the small number of women at the meeting. This was due to the under-representation of women in such roles around the Communion. The consultation was held in the International Study Centre, Canterbury, England 12-18 May 2011. We were grateful for the opportunity to worship in Canterbury Cathedral and for the welcoming hospitality of those who live or work there. We were immensely privileged to be addressed by Archbishop Rowan Williams. He described theology to us as a ‘position report’, a description of where we start and where we are now, namely standing ‘in Christ’ by virtue of our baptism and the Spirit, enabled along with Christ to cry ‘Abba, Father.’ Theology draws out implications of being in that particular place. The Archbishop asked us to explore how partnerships within the communion can be better used to do theology together. He challenged us not to lose sight of the ‘big picture’ among all the varied specialisms of theology, reminding us that ‘the reason we follow the star’ is to ‘discover how to be human now.’ The Archbishop ably conveyed to us his own sense of the joy of theological education and reminded us that if a theological institution did not engender a sense of excitement about being in Christ, then such an institution was ultimately failing. (The complete text of the Archbishop’s address will shortly be made available.) We express our thanks to Bishop Chad Gandiya, Bishop of Harare, Zimbabwe, a member of the TEAC Steering Group, who chaired most of our meeting, and to Bishop Stephen Pickard, also a TEAC Steering Group member, who led a number of key sessions, in particular one on the nature of being a theological college Principal. Other contributions were made by TEAC Steering Group members Revd Dr Patrick Tanhuanco, Revd Dr Helen-Ann Hartley and Canon Dr Edward Condry, and the TEAC Secretary, Mrs Clare Amos. There were a number of invited speakers: Canon Kenneth Kearon (Secretary-General of the Anglican Communion), Canon Dr Christopher Irvine, Canon Dr Jeremy Worthen, Dr Alison Le Cornu, Mr Stephen Lyon and Mr Jan Butter. Representatives of several agencies or institutions (SPCK, USPG, Feed the Minds, Christ Church Canterbury University) shared in a session on partnership. As the consultation has drawn to a close we have gathered together our thoughts and hopes in a number of practical proposals which we would like to see taken forward. These include the following: 1. Complete and publicise the database of theological colleges. 2. Establish a Network/network/Association of Anglican Theological Colleges and seminaries. 3. Support the development of regional networks. 4. Establish a mechanism – through a social networking site or similar – for the exchange of students and staff across the Communion. 5. Seek to establish a fund to facilitate such exchanges. 6. Facilitate conversations and dialogue between theological college Principals, bishops and Primates. 7. Seriously explore various possibilities to assist with accreditation of theological courses. 8. Explore with GlobTheoLib whether there can be an ‘interest group’ for Anglican Studies on their website. 9. Survey and collect syllabus from institutions about teaching Anglican Studies (ideally making these available online) 10. Seek to provide (online where possible) resources on Anglicanism in the languages of the Communion. 11. Hold a further gathering for Principals/Deans in 3 years time. 12. Include theological colleges within the Anglican cycle of prayer. We wish to express our thanks to the Steering Group of TEAC, the TEAC Secretary, Mrs Clare Amos, the Dean and Chapter of Canterbury, the Trustees of the St Augustine’s Foundation and the Trustees of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Anglican Communion Fund, for enabling this consultation. On our return to our Provinces we pledge ourselves to sharing with our Archbishops and Bishops, and with appropriate Provincial structures, the significance and outcomes of this consultation. The words of the following prayer, written for TEAC a number of years ago, affirm our commitment to the work of theological education: Christ our Teacher, you alone are the way, the truth and the life: so lead the Theological Education group in its work, building trust and understanding, that, in sharing our stories, vision and resources, all your people may grow in faith and your whole Church built up in love, in the power of the Holy Spirit and to the glory of the Father. Amen. Victor Atta-Baffoe, Ghana Oge Beauvoir, Haiti William Danaher, Canada Sabiti Tibafa Daniel, Congo Maurice Elliott, Ireland Mark Harding, Australia David Hewlett, England Allen Hill, Peru Alinafe Kalemba, Malawi Anthony Kame, Solomon Islands Ian Lam, Hong Kong John Madinda, Tanzania Peter Moi, Papua New Guinea Joshua Musiyambiri, Zimbabwe Seth Ndayirukiye, Burundi Andrew Norman, England Barney Pityana, South Africa Ian E. Rock, Barbados Jerome Sahabandhu, Sri Lanka Peter Sedgwick, Wales James B. Sellee, Liberia San Myat Shwe, Myanmar George Sumner, Canada Patrick Tanhuanco, Philippines Jenny Te Paa, Aotearoa/New Zealand Aladekugbe Williams, Nigeria Jeremiah Guen Seok Yang, Korea Douglas Travis, United States of America John Masato Yoshida, Japan For more information contact Clare Amos at clare.amos@anglicancommunion.org

Historic link with Huron College Canada

Posted by St Philips Theological College on May 6, 2011 at 2:49 PM Comments comments (1)

The Painting in the Attic: Huron College in Tanzania On the third floor of Huron University College, in what is now our Attic Club, hangs a watercolour of a stately colonnaded building backed by a mountain range. If you look closely at the painting you’ll see at the bottom the words “Huron Training College, Kongwa, E. Africa.” A few years ago Huron Theology professor Gary Badcock, his curiosity piqued, resolved to track down the source of this painting and its connection to our own College’s history. With the help of Theology student Jacqueline Marr and the Huron Diocesan Archives, he was able to recover for our current community a remarkable episode in Huron’s past. The painting, as it turns out, is the work of the Reverend T.B.R. Westgate, drawn to illustrate an article he published in the May 15, 1919, Canadian Churchman about an institution he had recently founded in East Africa. Who then was T. B. R. Westgate, why did he build this College, and why did he choose Huron for its name? Jacqueline Marr’s research into the Diocesan archives yielded answers to all these questions. The book T. B. R. Westgate: A Canadian Missionary on Three Continents, housed within the archives, tells the story of a man born in 1872 in Watford, Ontario, educated at Huron College, ordained deacon at St. Paul’s Cathedral in 1896 and priested a year later. Westgate went on to a career as a missionary that spanned 45 years and included service in Paraguay, German East Africa (now Tanzania), and finally in Canada as Secretary of the Indian and Eskimo Residential School Commission of the Missionary Society of the Church of England. In 1913, at Huron College’s request and in connection with our Golden Jubilee, Westgate was in fact honoured with the doctorate of divinity awarded by The University of Western Ontario. As I read further about Westgate, I learned that during his 15 years in East Africa he nourished a vision that European missionaries should, as soon as possible, stand aside and let the Africans build and independently lead their own Church. To achieve this vision, he knew that education and theological training were essential, and no less essential was the founding of a college for this purpose. In the lead-up to the celebration of Huron College’s Golden Jubilee, Westgate began to approach his fellow Huron alumni to contribute to a fund for the establishment of a training school for indigenous Christian leaders in East Africa. His efforts bore fruit, and in recognition of the generous Huron graduates who had supported his cause (along with the Rural Deanery of East and West Middlesex), Westgate named the new institution Huron Training College—hence, the painting that hangs in Huron’s Attic Club. The institution that Westgate founded exists to this day, although it now goes by the name St. Philip’s Theological College. Since Gary and Jacqueline completed their research, our faculty and students have reached out by e-mail to their counterparts at St. Philip’s to re-establish a connection. And this past spring, when I was given an opportunity to travel to Tanzania to visit a project Huron University College currently has underway in partnership with the University of Dar es Salaam, I made contact with the Principal of St. Philip’s and was invited to come to their campus as part of my journey. About six hours by bus from the Tanzanian capital of Dar es Salaam, St. Philip’s is situated in the Diocese of Mpwapwa, near the village of Kongwa against the backdrop of the spectacular Kiboriani mountain range. It is one of two provincial (national) Anglican theological colleges in Tanzania and, remaining true to its founding, is theologically evangelical and “low Church.” The College offers two three-year programs to prepare graduates for ministry—a certificate taught in Swahili and a diploma taught in English—with the curriculum of each program essentially the same. Altogether St. Philip’s enrols about 70 students, 40 in the diploma and certificate programs and 30 in the Wives’ Course. There has been, for much of the College’s history, a two-year Wives’ Course which the spouses of all male students are expected to attend in order to prepare them to be partners in ministry. Wives in residence are allowed to bring with them the couple’s two youngest children, with older children left in the care of extended family members. Although in the past all students studying for ministry were men, the ordination of women is now allowed by local Bishop’s option in Tanzania, and a small handful of the diploma and certificate students at St. Philip’s are women. The sermon at the chapel service I attended was indeed eloquently preached by a female student—on the subject of women’s power as disciples of Christ. I was delighted to discover, as the centrepiece of the campus, the original building erected by the Reverend Westgate, bearing a plaque identifying it as “the original Huron College.” To this building, over the years, have been added classrooms, a chapel, a library, a “mess” where students and their families are fed, water tanks, workshops, a grain mill, offices, and houses for faculty, students, and their families. The buildings are sheltered by stately baobab trees, with tropical flowers and shrubs abounding in the tranquil campus setting. The campus is also dotted with gardens where vegetables are grown to aid the community in supporting itself. It was apparent during my visit that the College is well cared for but resources are scarce. The one-room Library, for example, is small—there is space for only 18 students at a time to study there, so they use it in rotation—but the collection is tidily shelved and maintained. I saw evidence everywhere both of great need and of thrift and good husbandry. Among the greatest needs, I learned, is for a supply of qualified faculty to teach at the College; salaries are low and there is constant turn-over in the teaching staff. The current Principal, the Reverend John Madinda, taught at St. Philip’s some years ago before leaving to earn his master’s degree at Oxford. On his return to Tanzania he was appointed Principal, but he continues to work on a doctorate from Oxford during the summer breaks. The son of a former Bishop of the Diocese of Central Tanzania, John Madinda is a remarkable young leader, devout, intellectually gifted, and tireless in his work of behalf of the College and its students. He and his wife Marlene and their two children (Cornelie, 11, and Ruel, 3) extended gracious hospitality to me throughout my visit. The College’s students were equally gracious during my time with them. Huron’s Theology students had donated funds for me to present to the students of St. Philip’s, and I was presented with gifts and “love greetings” for our students in turn. The President of the student body sent a letter home with me to their “dear associate students” in which he wrote, “We received the gift that you send for us. God’s blessing be all over you.” While at St. Philip’s I was given a copy of a history of the College published in 2002 by a former Principal, Hugh Prentice. Prentice notes in his closing chapter that “The work of St. Philip’s College is now bearing fruit . . . The clergy in those dioceses who foster the Christian lives and ministry vocations of potential Kongwa students are often men and women who have studied in St. Philip’s College, and whose ministry gifts and knowledge of God have increased in maturity through their student years” (210). Prentice concludes, citing the Reverend Westgate, “This is the purpose for which St. Philip’s Theological College was founded in 1913, and which it is fulfilling to the glory of God in the present generation. The College has played its part in ‘the establishment of a native Church among the Wagogo and Wakaguru tribes, and through them, amongst races still unreached on all sides,’ as Westgate expressed its goal in the language of his day” (212). T.B.R. Westgate’s vision of an Anglican Church in Tanzania led by native Tanzanians, to which he devoted 15 arduous years of his life, has been amply realized. The current Huron community can take pride in this fine work done by an alumnus and supported by fellow graduates of his day. In 2013 Huron College will celebrate its sesquicentennial and St. Philip’s its centennial. It is my hope that we can continue to build our relationship with our sister college in Tanzania and find ways to commemorate our anniversaries to the glory of both institutions. Ramona Lumpkin, Principal Huron University College


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