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Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae

versión On-line ISSN 2412-4265
versión impresa ISSN 1017-0499

Studia Hist. Ecc. vol.37 no.1 Pretoria may. 2011


The ecumenical vision of the Organization of African Independent Churches from an educational perspective



Masilo Molobi

Research Institute for Theology and Religion, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa




This article will concentrate on the African Independent Churches (AICs) unity and the articulation of their theologies in the global context beyond Africa wherever AICs are found, such as in Europe and North America. This implicitly should be seen as a process of covering fresh ground through constant self-renewal focusing on ministerial training in the rural and urban areas. This will also apply to those who are living on the margins of our society. How can the AICs living on the margins be trained theologically without making them become over-dependent on the centres of training or sponsorship? The task of the Organization of African Independent Churches (OAIC) is to bring AICs together in fellowship and enable them to preach the gospel in word and deed. However, the environment in which people are ministering the gospel has changed over the years. When the OAIC/Theological Education by Extension (TEE) programme was started in the early 1980s, HIV and AIDS may have been there but were not known of. Since then, through the influence of NGOs working in HIV and AIDS and development, secular development discourses have overtaken even the churches. Terms such as "faith-based organisations" were not used in the 1980s. Such terms did not emanate from the church but from secular sources, very often for the purpose of using the church for a development project. How do we facilitate theological education in a grassroots environment that is continuously being shaped by this development discourse? Everywhere in Africa pastors are coming under pressure to conform to the demands of NGO partners.



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1 Prof Masilo Victor Molobi is an Associate Professor of Missiology working for the Research Institute for Theology and Religion at Unisa.

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