Transforming Chaplaincy: Africa University and Wesley Theological Seminary Provide Cutting-Edge Training for Military and Prison Chaplains

Story by Juliet Sithole

In a resolute stride towards meeting the evolving demands of our dynamic world, Africa University’s Institute of Theology and Religious Studies, in collaboration with the Wesley Theological Seminary, is spearheading a groundbreaking initiative: a two-week intensive training session marking the inception of the Doctor of Ministry Chaplaincy program that shall be jointly hosted by the two institutions.

Gathered within this transformative endeavour are 10 distinguished individuals, representing the vanguard of spiritual support in the military, police, and prison services across Malawi, Zambia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe. This consortium, drawn from diverse denominational backgrounds, converges with a shared commitment to fortify their ministry through advanced education, equipping themselves with a formidable arsenal of skills to further the cause of the gospel.

Dr Douglas D Tzan from the Wesley Theological Seminary

One of the facilitators from the Wesley Theological Seminary, Dr Douglas D. Tzan, believes the program presents an opportunity for those already engaged in the frontlines of ministry in various spaces in Africa to become more competent. He also went on to express his appreciation of the host institution, Africa University, and the enabling environment created for fellowship, dialogue and camaraderie.

“It has been a joy and privilege to be here. The hospitality I have received here at Africa University has been overwhelming. It’s been an honour, as well, to get to know the students and to hear about their passion for ministry in their countries.

Rev. Shadreck Mwale, Director-General (Chief Chaplain) in the Zambian army

Brigadier-General (Rev) Shadreck Mwale, the Director-General (Chief Chaplain) Religious and Moral Service in the Zambian army, said the program’s scope and content was relevant to the current and future realities in the field of chaplaincy.

“We are working on our own training, so information becomes more important to be able to impart knowledge, much more as I serve in the military. Of course, the kind of information we are getting now goes beyond the military. So even if I leave the military, I will still be useful to my nation and the world at large,” he said.

He added that the multi-cultural environment at Africa University made the experience much more fulfilling as it allowed a free-flow exchange of ideas between individuals from different countries on the continent.

Pastor Rabson Enock, Staff Officer Chaplaincy in the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services

Superintendent (Pastor) Rabson Enock, Staff Officer Chaplaincy in the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (HQ) says the program professionalises chaplaincy, as it goes beyond the usual doctrinal and denominational training.

“This program does not only make me relevant in my profession, but it has also helped me in my church and it is opening many international doors,” Pastor Enock said.

Major Reverend Samba Mosweu, Joint Forces Chaplain for Botswana Defence Forces

Major Reverend Samba Mosweu, Joint Forces Chaplain for Botswana Defence Forces, weighed in saying the program will make a huge difference in his chaplaincy career.

“As a Chaplain at work and a servant of God at church, people look up to me as a spiritual guide, thus, I have to act accordingly and it is only this program that can make a change in my career. Also, the word of God in 2 Samuel speaks of David taking comfort in the Lord and that’s what I am also trying to live by.”

Rev. Jeremiah Doyce, Assistant Commissioner and Chaplain General in the Zimbabwe Republic Police

Reverend Jeremiah Doyce, Assistant Commissioner and Chaplain General in the Zimbabwe Republic Police, said according to 1 Timothy 4:15, if one is to be an effective leader, the issue of training is vital.

“I am now able to make some proposals in policies that can benefit the organisation. I am now covered in terms of knowledge of the ministry, as this program explores in detail the duties of a Chaplain,” he said.

Colonel Rev. Noah Tsoka, Chief Chaplain in the Malawi army

Colonel Reverend Noah Tsoka, Chief Chaplain in the Malawi army, expressed satisfaction with the program sayingit deals with contemporary issues that are very pertinent and practical in his day to day duties.

In its unwavering commitment to shaping Africa’s future, Africa University stands at the vanguard, championing bespoke academic programs tailored to the exigencies of the modern era. Through initiatives like the Doctor of Ministry Chaplaincy program, the university heralds a new dawn of excellence in spiritual leadership, poised to leave an indelible mark on the fabric of society.