Identifying the multicultural gift, and making use of it

Our awards in Theology, Ministry and Mission are accredited by Durham University and include an African Christian Diaspora pathway to an MA and now undergraduate study too. Harvey Kwiyani, programme lead for African Christian Diaspora MA, and Joseph Ola, African Christian Diaspora MA lecturer, teach for us fully online (making this course accessible around the world).

Every year we recruit students for our courses via open day sessions both onsite and online. Harvey and Joseph will be running some open day sessions online, for all who have an interest in undergraduate or MA level study with us here at CMS.

I was delighted to catch up with Joseph Ola, and I asked him to tell me more about the significance of the African Christian Diaspora in theological study.

Few factors converge to emphasise the significance of the African Christian Diaspora study (both at undergraduate and Masters level) at such a time as this. First is the rapid growth of Christianity in Africa, so much so that Africa now has more Christians than any other continent, and has become the global centre of World Christianity.

Second is the decline of Christianity in the West, especially in the UK where, for the first time in a UK census (2021), the population of Christians are less than half of the general population.

Third is the unrelenting reality of migration, such that, in the UK context, about 60 per cent of the increase in population in the last decade has been as a result of migration.

When all these factors come together, one cannot ignore the significance of Africa on the UK Christian landscape and, indeed, on the global Christian landscape. Unfortunately, it is yet to be the case that the production of Christian resources and theological writing has shifted in the same direction as global Christianity.

We need African (and Latin American and Asian) histories of Christianity. We need​ African contributions to the disciplines of theology, missions and ecclesiology. We need churches in the UK that will identify the multicultural gift in their cities and appropriate these gifts to the glory of God. We need pioneering mission initiatives that will deliver African flavours to the salad bowl of missio Dei. The African Christian Diaspora studies at CMS are designed to meet these needs, and where better to embark on such a study than CMS whose organisational goal is to follow Jesus to the edges!

Joseph Ola

Our open day sessions provide the chance to ask questions to Harvey and Joseph about the courses, to learn more, and also these sessions will provide opportunities to:

  • share stories
  • listen to each other’s journeys
  • explore what’s right for you

Dates for 2023 undergraduate and MA African Christianity open evenings (online only) – 7pm start, to end by 8.30pm (UK time)

  • Tuesday 7 March
  • Tuesday 25 April
  • Tuesday 20 June

Pioneering is not something new, however, our CMS approach to pioneering and to a multicultural study environment is something that chimes with a lot of pioneers. In fact we could say that if you don’t fit into regular church and mission settings, you may fit well with us. We are supportive; some say we are like family! So, please do take the first step and book onto an open day session to find out more.

We also have general open days running from 10.30am to 2pm (onsite at CMS House and hybrid online) on Tuesday 28 February, Tuesday 9 May, and Monday 19 June

Our students are drawn from many denominations, and you can listen to some inspiring short testimonials.

Booking for all sessions, online or onsite, is essential.

Email pioneer@churchmissionsociety.org

Download Flyer for UG and MA African Christianity Open Evenings 2023

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