Original Research - Special Collection: Christina Landman Festschrift

Theological education in tropical Africa: An essay in honour of Christina Landman and a Kenyan perspective

Julius M. Gathogo
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 75, No 1 | a5194 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v75i1.5194 | © 2019 Julius M. Gathogo | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 19 July 2018 | Published: 25 March 2019

About the author(s)

Julius M. Gathogo, Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya; and, Research Institute for Theology and Religion, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa


Christina Landman is a professor of Theology at the Research Institute for Theology and Religion, University of South Africa. As an East African serving under her as a research fellow at the Research Institute of Theology and Religion since 2014, and as somebody whose articles have been published in the two journals where she has been the editor, I can only honour her by contributing to her festschrift and in basing my reflections on my understanding of theological education in tropical Africa, where she plays a critical role – despite my bias towards East Africa, and Kenya in particular. In other words, the goal of this article is to focus on the future of theological education in Africa, with special reference to Eastern Africa, and Kenya in particular. How has Africa journeyed with theological education since its inception in the 19th and 20th century? How is it reflected in the academic institutions of higher learning, in ministerial training, in general academic contexts and in local congregations (churches)? Is it Africanity without ethics? Does it have a future? In addressing these concerns, the article employs historic-analytical design in its endeavour to assess the efficacy of theological education as an agent of social transformation in 21st-century Africa. Considering that Africa cannot be identified as a single geocultural context and/or as a monolithic entity, the article builds its case by mainly referring to the Kenyan context. Its methodology includes an extensive literature review of some materials that are connected to theological education, participant observation and personal reflections as an educationist in an African context. The methodology will also include the Protestant divinity school that was established in Frere Town, Mombasa, and later shifted to Limuru, Central Kenya, in 1929. It is set on the premise that the future of theological education in Africa is guaranteed by the growing interest in theological education among the youth, especially in the 21st century.


Theology in tropical Africa; St. Paul’s United Theological College; Christina Landman; Stages of theological education; Holistic nature of theological education; current trends in theological education


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