A unique partnership between the University of Aberdeen and Zomba Theological College in Malawi has produced its first cohort of graduates.
The 13 students from Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe graduated with an MTh in Ministry Studies at a special ceremony held in Malawi on Friday (February 7).
The partnership has seen the University’s Centre for Ministry Studies offer additional training to Ministers at Zomba Theological College, in order to ensure students no longer have to come to the UK to study special Masters degrees.
It’s the first time a Scottish University has facilitated a postgraduate programme for church leaders in Africa, with the first class running from 2017 to 2019.
A second cohort of fifteen students from Malawi and Zambia, including four women, started the programme in October last year.
The graduating students had their degrees awarded by the Rev Prof Andrew Clarke and the Rev Dr Ken Jeffrey, who also delivered a class as part of a course on Christian Leadership to the latest cohort of students.
Rev Jeffrey, coordinator of the MTh Ministry Studies programme in Aberdeen and Zomba said: “The graduation ceremony was a very colourful and joyful occasion, with much singing and dancing.
“It’s difficult to describe the feelings I experienced when we conferred these degrees upon our students. Suffice to say, it was one of the happiest days of my life.”
One of the graduating students, Rev Helmart Kaliza wrote a letter to Rev Jeffrey in which he praised the training he and his fellow graduates received.
“Your participation in building my future is greatly appreciated and will never be forgotten,” he wrote. “As I always say, you were used by the Lord to prepare me for the greater ministry. I am here because of your passion for the ministry and hardworking spirit. May the good Lord continue using you to shape us for effective ministry in Malawi and beyond.”