versão On-line ISSN 2412-4265
Studia Hist. Ecc. vol.35 supl.1 Pretoria Dez. 2009
Department of Religious Studies, Classics & Philosophy, University of Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe
This article seeks to explore the meteoric rise of the United Theological College as a centre for ecumenical education in Zimbabwe. Since its inception in 1956, the college has grown to be the epicentre of inter-denominational theological education. The college is run by the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe, the United Methodist Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zimbabwe, the United Church of Christ in Zimbabwe, the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa, the Uniting Presbyterian Church and the African Methodist Episcopal Church. The college recognises and values the different traditions of worship and doctrines of the participating churches and believes that individuals and communities can be transformed through the witness of a united church of Jesus Christ. In the framework of ecumenism and Christian unity, matters related to doctrinal and liturgical issues, the interpretation of the Bible, social thought and social action of different Christian communities are studied and discussed. Despite their different doctrinal approaches, a strong ecumenical awareness within the churches drives them to train their pastors at this ecumenical college. This article will argue that in this ecumenical process, however, the college has experienced not only dynamic growth, but also limitations. The article is intended as a contribution to the ongoing ecumenical dialogue and inter-church relations among students of different denominations.
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1 Co-Researcher for the Research Institute for Theology and Religion, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa.