Malawi Initiative

REF 2021

1st in the UK

Divinity at the University of Aberdeen was ranked 1st in the UK for overall quality of research

Malawi Initiative

While this programme is no longer running, the activities of the Centre and participants in the course are archived below.


Pictured above: The first group of African ministers to study at the Aberdeen University Centre for Ministry Studies.

The programme was introduced in 2017 after a Draft Agreement was signed between Aberdeen University and Zomba Theological College; and sponsored by the Church of Scotland, the Presbyterian Church in Ireland and the Presbyterian Church of the USA.

It was co-ordinated by Church of Scotland minister the Rev Dr Ken Jeffrey, senior lecturer in church history. He said: “It has been a joy and a privilege to have this opportunity of working with our friends in Malawi and to support the church in the theological education and training of their leaders. We are delighted by the achievements of this first cohort of students and look forward to starting work with a new class of students later this year."

One of the students, Falitsani Kansilanga, said: “The Masters in Ministry Studies programme has transformed the way I do and perceive ministry. It has really been a lot of learning and unlearning. In a nutshell, this programme is not only a course for the mind, but for the heart as well. The mind has been enriched, the heart has been refreshed.”

The 14 students who began the class are pictured with Dr Jeffrey and Dr Leon van Ommen, who helped to deliver the programme in Malawi: the Rev Innocent Chikopa, the Rev Maxford Chilindeni, the Rev Moses Chitawo, the Rev Moffat Garnet, the Rev Paulo Joao, the Rev Pofera Kalimbuka, the Rev Helmart Kaliza, Falitsani Kansilanga, the Rev Hudson Kaseko, the Rev Watson Kazembe, the Rev Mizeki Mndola, the Rev Donnex Ngalande, the Rev Cosmas Pamaso, the Rev Maurice Sabuni.


When the Centre for Ministry Studies was created three years ago, the Business Plan included the suggestion that we would explore the idea of delivering short intensive programmes in Africa and that we would investigate the existing connections between the Church of Scotland and Malawi. Finally, after many meetings, countless emails and a visit to Malawi, a Draft Agreement was signed that created a new, collaborative partnership between the University of Aberdeen and Zomba Theological College.

The first partnership of its kind, it provided the opportunity for church leaders across Africa to join the MTh Ministry Studies programme, which has become a popular and successful course at Aberdeen University. Staff from the University travelled to Malawi where they taught the four module, part-time programme in Zomba.


The photos below were taken during the first teaching session of the Malawi MTh Ministry Studies programme.









Rev Dr Ken Jeffrey leads the students in a class session.









Dr Andrew Clarke leads the students in a class session.









Students on the MTh Ministry Studies programme with their laptops donated by the University.

The second cohort of students.