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Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae

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

Studia Hist. Ecc. vol.43 no.1 Pretoria  2017 



The goodhall-nielsen report and the formation of the united Church of Zambia theological college



Jonathan Kangwa

United Church of Zambia University.




Following resolutions of the World Missionary Conference of May 1948, Norman Goodhall and E. W. Nielsen were assigned by the International Missionary Council to conduct a survey of theological education in southern Africa. The present article discusses the Goodhall-Nielsen report and its recommendations for theological education in Africa. It reflects on how the Goodhall-Nielsen report inspired the formation of the United Church of Zambia Theological College at Mindolo mission station in Zambia. The article traces the development of this college and its search for a paradigm shift in theological education and ministerial formation.

Keywords: Goodhall-Nielsen report; International missionary Council; United Church of Zambia Theological College; Mindolo Mission; London Missionary Society




The introduction of Christianity in modern central Africa can be traced back to David Livingstone, who in 1840 was sent as a missionary to Africa by the London Missionary Society (LMS). Livingstone's work opened the way for modern Christianity and civilisation to develop side by side in Africa. Postcolonial scholars insist that Christianity and commerce were the root reasons for the European scramble for Africa's natural resources and blame Livingstone and other European missionaries (Kangwa 2016b). However, in spite of certain inadequacies, Livingstone's work in central Africa was basic and set the stage, not only for the course taken by Christian history in Zambia,1 but also for the region's political and economic development. His activities in central Africa covered the period 1849 to 1873, when Livingstone died on the Bangweulu plains in Zambia (Bwalya 2003, 9).

The real impact of Livingstone's work was felt only after his death when missionary organisations in Europe started to come to Africa to evangelise the terra incognita - the unknown lands of central Africa (Bwalya 2003, 9). According to Bwalya (2003, 9), Frederick Arnot of the Plymouth Brethren opened a mission among the Lozi in 1883/4 where he laid the foundation for missionary education, although he did not succeed in making converts. The London Missionary Society (LMS) extended its mission work in 1883 to include the northern part of present-day Zambia (Chuba 2005, 17). In 1884/5, the Paris Evangelical Missionary Society (PEMS) under the leadership of Francis Coillard established a mission among the Lozi people. Other missionary bodies followed: The Primitive Methodists in 1894; the Church of Scotland Mission in 1894; the White Fathers in 1898; the Dutch Reformed Church Mission in 1899; the Seventh Day Adventists in 1905; the Jesuits in 1905; and the Universities Mission to Central Africa (UMCA) in 1910 (Chalwe 1989, 3). These various bodies are considered as being pioneers of Christian evangelisation and mission work in Zambia. The majority of missionary societies as well as missions with a charismatic and Pentecostal background arrived in Zambia only after 1940.

The industrial revolution in Europe is one of the factors that led to colonial expansion and, simultaneously, to an increased interest in adventure. The missionary enterprise was motivated by both commercial and colonial expansion (Chuba 2005, 12). There are many instances of missionaries and colonial authorities working together to provide medical services and education. Some missionaries received financial support from colonial governments for their work. Northern Rhodesia was the last country in central Africa to be reached by European missionary organisations because its geographical position as a landlocked country made it difficult to reach (Chuba 2005, 17). In the context of the present article the missionary activities of the LMS in the northern and Copperbelt provinces of Zambia are important as they resulted in the formation of the United Church of Zambia Theological College (hereafter referred to as UCZ Theological College).

The LMS extended its missionary work into Zambia in 1883. Its work had begun in 1857 among the Makololo people under the leadership of Rev. Halloway Helmore and Rev. Roger Price, who had a number of African evangelists among their mission staff (Bolink 1967, 5; Chilenje 2007, 98). Some 20 years later the LMS decided to open a station near Lake Tanganyika and in 1877 the missionaries arrived at Ujiji. From here the work was between 1883 and 1886 extended to Zambia where a permanent station was opened at Niamkolo in 1889 (Bolink 1967, 38; Chilenje 2007, 99; Snelson 1990, 32-33; Stone 1960, 1). The missionaries established Kawimbe (Fwambo) mission in 1887; Kambole mission in 1894; Mbeleshi mission in 1900; Kashinda mission in 1908; Kafulwe mission in 1918; Senga Hill mission in 1923; and Mindolo mission in 1935 (Bolink 1967, 41; Chilenje 2007, 99; Snelson 1990, 58, 60, 64). At Mbereshi mission the LMS opened its first Bible School which trained three African ministers before it was closed in 1938 due to financial challenges. Later, a union Bible College was opened at Kashinda mission (Brown and Keigwin 1940; Ross 1934).



By 1886 the LMS had already started working in northern Zambia. The missionaries realised that, for Christian evangelisation to be successful, it had to go hand in hand with education. Schools were opened in all the mission stations and almost every teacher was also an evangelist. However, there still was a need to train indigenes as full-time ordained ministers. Gradually the missionaries came to see that unity among the churches would strengthen the position of Christianity in Zambia. Several missions and churches took part in the long process of organic church union formation in Zambia. Eventually, in 1936, the United Mission on the Copperbelt (UMCB) became a reality (Chuba 2005, 127; Taylor and Lehmann 1961, 40-47). The Church of Central Africa in Rhodesia (CCAR) followed in 1945 (Bwalya 2003, 10), and the United Church of Central Africa in Rhodesia (UCCAR) was founded on 26 July 1958 at Mindolo mission. Incorporated were the LMS; the Church of Scotland; the Union Churches of the Copperbelt; and the Copperbelt Free Church Council of European Congregations. Rev. Isaac Mutubila was elected president of UCCAR and Rev. Joel Chisanga and Rev. E. Read were chosen as clerks (Chuba 2005, 140; CCAR Minutes 1956, 105).

From 1934 to 1937 the LMS had run a unique ministerial training course at Mbereshi Bible School in Zambia (Brown and Keigwin 1940). The Minutes of the UCCAR Synod of July 1960 indicate that three of the LMS African ministers who attended the inaugural meeting of the CCAR in 1945 had been trained at Mbereshi Bible School (UCCAR Minutes 1960, 25; Stone 1960, 1). These were the earliest African converts to be trained as full-time ordained ministers under the LMS in Zambia. Other African ministers, especially those under the Church of Scotland mission, were trained at Overtoun Institute of Livingstonia mission in Nyasaland (now Malawi), while those from a Methodist or Reformed background were trained in South Africa and in Zimbabwe after a theological college had been established at Epworth. In a report presented by the Kashinda Bible School to the UCCAR Synod of 1960, Vernon Stone (1960, 1; UCCAR Minutes of 1960) states:

Nearly sixty years afterwards, in 1945, when the Church of Central Africa in Rhodesia (CCAR) was formerly inaugurated, its first meeting was attended by ten African ministers. Of these ten, three came from the LMS area, the harvest of a unique Ministerial Training course taking place from 1934 to 1937; one was a Methodist; the background of one, Mr Kasokolo, I don't know; two were Nyasalanders [Malawans]; and three, one of them a probationer, came from the Church of Scotland area and had been trained at Livingstonia.

Despite the efforts of the LMS to train ministers locally, the situation in Zambia was generally bad. For example, by 1945 Livingstonia had trained more than 30 ministers for work in Nyasaland while very few had been trained to work in north-eastern Zambia. There was a startling difference between Nyasaland and Zambia as regards the successful establishing of indigenous ministries, even within the compass of one and the same mission. Suffice it to say that in the CCAR the position was thoroughly unsatisfactory (Stone 1960, 1). At the same CCAR meeting of 1945 there was an intimation of a generous gift from the LMS that would enable the foundation of a "Union Bible School". From this gift resulted the Kashinda Bible School which was founded in 1947 by the CCAR, named "the official channel of training" for its agents. Kashinda Bible School was located about four kilometres west of the Mporokoso district of Zambia. Rev. Burns served at Kashinda in the 1950s. The station had double storey houses where the missionaries lived. It had a beautiful orchard with a variety of fruit trees lining the Kashinda River (Mumba 2012, 196). Today the station is in ruins. According to the local people the houses and other property were burnt down by a Zambian minister who did not want to be transferred to another station. The current church stands on a new site, about a kilometre down the road (Mumba 2012, 197).

Between 1949 and 1957 Kashinda Bible School ran two ministerial courses, providing the CCAR with eight new ministers (Stone 1960, 1). Those who failed to meet the requirements for ordained ministry were trained as evangelists. In 1949 students of the Kashinda Bible School included Joel Chisanga, Noah Chulu, Stephen Sichalwe and Jonas Sinyangwe. The second intake started in 1955. It included Lovison Muchunga, Kingsley Mwenda, Ronald Ndawa, G. Mwali, Stephenson Sichalwe and Bernard Yasa. Students of the 1959 intake included John Ngona, Marko Chintu, Cornelius Lupando and Edwin .K. Patamu (Kashinda Bible School report, 1959).

A report for 1959/1960 indicates that an evangelistic campaign was conducted by Kashinda Bible School students and tutors during the period under review. A total of 13 students (evangelists and ministerial) participated. The campaign was held at a time when there were riots in the Copperbelt mines in protest against injustices perpetrated against blacks by whites. One of the white Christians, a Mrs Burton, was actually attacked. However, in spite of the riots the students and lecturers from Kashinda, assisted by Mr Mutubila and Mr Muchungato, were able to conduct their door-to-door evangelisation campaign in Bancroft and Konkola townships, and choirs were available to sing at open air campaigns held daily from 5pm onwards (Kashinda Bible School report, 1959). Kashinda Bible School made a good contribution to the training of African LMS ministers in Zambia. However, the tuition standard was generally low as compared to Epworth and Overtoun Institute at Livingstonia mission. Disparities in the standards of theological education in younger churches in general led to the decision to conduct a survey of theological education in Asia and Africa.



The World Missionary Conference of 1947 in Whitby, Canada, gave rise to the desire for a better understanding of theological education and relevant trends in the worldwide ecumenical church after the Second World War. The conference "called for regional studies for the recruitment, training, and maintenance of indigenous ministry in the younger churches" (Daughrity 2013, 47). The survey was first conducted in China and India. In 1948 the International Missionary Council (IMC) communicated with principals of theological institutions about the need for a survey of African theological education. The IMC invited Bishop Stephen Neill to head the project, surveying theological education in both east and west Africa (Daughrity 2013, 47). After the World Missionary Conference of May 1948, Norman Goodhall and E. W. Nielsen were appointed by the IMC to conduct a similar survey in southern Africa.

The issue of theological education in Africa was prioritised because of the rapid growth of the church on the continent. The purpose of the survey was to investigate present theological education as well as future prospects and to report on trends and tendencies that affected recruiting, training, and support of the ministry, making suggestions to the IMC and, through the IMC, to the various national councils on the further development of African theological education (Daughrity 2013, 48).

Dr Goodall and Mr Nielsen visited southern Africa, including Zambia, in 1953 under the auspices of the IMC to study ministerial training. Their report turned out to be highly relevant in 1960 when ministerial training was being reviewed. Their report and recommendations for ministerial training with a focus on South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Nyasaland, based on material collected between 1948 and 1953, are kept at the World Council of Churches (WCC) archives, box 26.31.41, and in the UCZ Theological College archives. The following is what seems to be a summary of the recommendations made by the Goodhall-Nielsen report (1953, 43-50) concerning Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi:

They saw as the greatest need the improvement and deepening of theological training and wished for it to be made more alive at all levels, beginning at matriculation level.

There also was a need to make the teaching of theology to Africans, far more than at present, the responsibility of Africans.

They proposed that theological training needed at least three full-time staff.

It was of vital importance that theological teachers, using a non-African language as their teaching medium, should perpetually be aiming for a more intimate understanding of African thought-forms and speech.

They established that theological education would be more effective in community context. There was a need to provide accommodation for students and their families.

The findings of Goodhall and Nielsen agreed with Neill's general impression of theological education in Africa. Neill (cited in Daughrity 2013, 59-60) made the following general recommendations:

Raising the standard of living of church workers.

Focusing on youth when recruiting church workers, whereby theological institutions had to collaborate with the Student Christian Movement.

Organising more conferences to promote theological education and formation of education at all levels.

The use of English as a medium of learning and communication in theological institutions, but simultaneously seriously engaging with African worldview and thought.

Use of the tutorial method by lecturers, as dictation of notes was insufficient.

Separating the training of teachers from that for ordained ministry. The missionary model often mixed the two and every teacher was also an evangelist or minister.

More good books had to be bought to enhance theological education.

The Goodhall-Nielsen report made recommendations specifically for ministerial training in Zambia. It categorically stated that the key to the future of Zambia was found in the Copperbelt where, due to the growth of mines, rural to urban migration was rapidly increasing. Many in southern Africa travelled to the Copperbelt in search of jobs. The growth of towns in the area and the resulting social changes affected the whole Zambian society. The Goodhall-Nielsen survey indicated that the choice of a strategic location for the training of the ministry and the study and discussion of Christian theology in Zambia in the following 25 years could not be divorced from the revolutionary social forces gathered on the Copperbelt. The recommendation gives a strong impression that Goodhall and Nielsen considered the Copperbelt, and Mindolo mission in particular, as specifically suitable for the future training of ministers (Stone 1960, 1). The report indicated that at least two full-time lecturers were needed to run a theological college with an addition to the possibility of drawing on the assistance of men and women engaged in other specialised activities on the Copperbelt (Goodhall-Nielsen report 1953; Stone 1960, 1).



The official response of the CCAR to the Goodhall-Nielsen report is recorded in Minutes 55/55 which envisages as "a long-term policy a training school for ministers in the Copper area". It adds that: "It is an integral consideration that such a school should have a larger staff and intake." It is clear that the CCAR resolution of 1955 reflects two attitudes concerning the training of ministers in Zambia - the acceptance of the Goodhall-Nielsen recommendations and hesitation regarding the size of the college (Stone 1960, 2). The ecumenical church in Zambia was slow to implement the recommendations. The Methodists in Zimbabwe, however, reacted magnificently, setting up a ministers' training college with a staff of four and an annual intake of students at Epworth on the outskirts of Salisbury (now Harare).

In 1957 the CCAR decided to transfer Kashinda Bible School to the Copperbelt (Minutes of CCAR 1957, 21). Mindolo mission was tentatively chosen as the new site for the college, but alternatives of uniting with teaching institutions elsewhere - in Livingstonia in Malawi or Epworth in Zimbabwe - were also investigated. The church was obviously faced with a dilemma: should it benefit from the suggestions in the Goodhall-Nielsen report by running a small college at Mindolo mission, or should it choose for the advantages offered by a larger college although this would entail the disadvantage of not training students for ministry locally in Zambia.

Arguments for moving Kashinda Bible School to Mindolo mission gained support when on 26 July 1958 the UCCAR was formed at Mindolo. The UCCAR unequivocally preferred to set up a theological college at Mindolo mission and envisaged an expenditure of £25 000.00. The UCCAR applied to the Theological Education Fund for financial assistance. The fund was founded with the main purpose of supporting or creating all over the world a total of 20 colleges that would provide theological training at the highest level. However, in conversations with Dr Ranson, one of the fund's administrators, it became clear in 1959 that the application would be refused (Stone 1960, 2). Consequently a revised estimate of building costs of £15 000.00 was prepared and submitted to the missionary societies supporting the UCCAR. At this point it was found that not only in the supporting missionary societies, but also in the UCCAR itself, there was considerable hesitation about the whole project. Hence the tied vote (Synod Minutes 59/17) and the motion was passed subsequently with only one dissentient, which postponed the decision to build a college for one year and resolved instead to enter into further negotiations with partner churches with a view to establishing a united college (Stone 1960, 2).

The 1959 report of the Kashinda Bible School to the UCCAR Synod confirms the moving of the Bible School to Mindolo. However, it also indicates that the move would involve much inconvenience and expenses (Kashinda Bible School report, 1959).

Accordingly, the UCCAR began negotiations with partner churches to raise funds for the building of a united college. First, the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP) in Malawi was approached. However, the senior clerk of Synod informed the UCCAR that the CCAP was planning to start its own combined theological school in Nkhoma. They were also contemplating to offer post-graduate studies. It is clear that the CCAP was putting the recommendations of the Goodhall-Nielsen report concerning theological training in Africa into practice. The college was indeed later formed and trained students who had reached a high academic standard at school (Stone 1960, 3).

The UCCAR now approached the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe. On 21 June 1960 Mr Muchunga and Rev. Vernon W. Stone attended a meeting in Salisbury Harare, convened to further the setting up of a union college in Zimbabwe. The meeting was attended by representatives of the Methodists, the Presbyterian Church of Southern Africa (PCSA) (Presbytery of Southern Rhodesia only), the American Board and the LMS. It was decided to proceed with the formation of an individual union college at Epworth, whose primary task would be to meet the need for training at "B"-level - the training available for students with a junior certificate or an equivalent diploma. There was also much talk of an "A"-stream, meant for students who had a Cambridge Certificate or a higher qualification. The students had to be taught in one location, sharing in the life of the student community at Epworth. Whether "A"-stream tuition would become a reality depended on the starting of a theological department at the University of Zimbabwe in Harare (Stone 1960, 3).

Subsequent efforts were made to bring the Church of Barotseland on board. The Church of Barotseland was founded by the PEMS in the western part of Zambia under the leadership of Francis Coillard. The Paris mission was undecided on how to proceed on the future of theological education. From the relevant correspondence it seems that the Paris mission wished to continue sending their students to Kashinda Bible School, as it had difficulty to convince the home board in France to invest money in building a united college at Mindolo mission. The Paris mission first wanted to investigate the matter and so participation of the Church of Barotseland was not guaranteed (Stone 1960, 3).

The UCCAR also made efforts to win the support of the Methodists in Zambia. However, these let the UCCAR know that not a single Methodist envisaged breaking links with the wider based and more advanced training offered at Epworth. The Methodists considered the UCCAR scheme to build a theological college in Kitwe as inferior and retrograde. They also objected to the location of the college at Mindolo. They argued that, as Mindolo mission belonged to the LMS, it could not properly represent other churches, including the Methodists who had strong mission stations in the southern and central provinces of Zambia (Stone 1960, 3).

It became clear that in Nyasaland and southern Rhodesia churches were implementing the Goodhall-Nielsen report and its recommendations in terms of Union Colleges, including the hope of establishing "A"-stream tuition at Epworth if a department of theology could be started at the University in Harare. Unfortunately, in Zambia the UCCAR had been faced with the same dilemma since 1955. Attempts to attract support from other churches for establishing a college at Mindolo failed. A brave decision was needed, either to build a UCCAR United Theological College at Mindolo mission, or to have UCCAR ministerial students trained outside Zambia (Stone 1960, 3). There were advantages and disadvantages to building a College at Mindolo mission, and these had to be evaluated.



Churches in the Copperbelt were growing fast, due to the growing population of mineworkers and their families. It was recognised that a church would benefit greatly from having a college for training future ministers in its very midst. There turned out to be several other potential advantages as listed below:

The students would receive their training against a local and indigenous background. In the case of the UCCAR students had to interact with a Zambian, Bemba-African background and worldview. Thus far, during their entire study, students had to wrestle with translating theological knowledge and insights acquired in English into the local language in which they would have to serve others and familiarise them with the gospel and Christianity in general. The Goodhall-Nielsen recommendations categorically state that theology should be expressed in local languages and thought forms. If English was used as a teaching medium, students should at least be given the opportunity to think theologically in their own language outside the classroom, in sermon preparation and in general Christian fellowship (Goodhall-Nielsen report 1953; Stone 1960, 4). If not, students would not be able to articulate theology from their own African worldviews.

Students would learn much about the life and ethos of their church while at college, partly through student pastorates. In a church that suffers from a shortage of ministers, as is the case in Zambia, it is doubly important that even a probationer should already know what the best way is to sustain the life of the church. Lack of knowledge of local contexts made some European missionaries destroy certain African values and practices that supported the fabric of African life. This is confirmed by Stone (1960, 4), Chuba (2011) and Kangwa (2016b, 174) who show that the disregard for African culture by missionaries in Zambia resulted in the formation of African Independent Churches. For example, the Lumpa Church of Alice Lenshina was a break-away from the Lubwa mission of the Church of Scotland.

The church would benefit from the presence of lecturers and students in its midst. This leads to the stimulation of thought and experiment. The college becomes the "think-tank" of the church. Lecturers are usually men and women of wisdom and experience. If the college is elsewhere, not only its influence is diluted, but so is the contribution that lecturers can make as individuals to the church. Further, a properly staffed theological college can do more than training students. It can assist with ministers' further theological training, organise refresher courses and conventions (Stone 1960, 4).

Another point made was that a good-looking, well-known United College at Mindolo mission would attract more students than Kashinda Bible School, which was a remote rural mission station (cf. Grenville-Grey 1969, 112). It was also noted that ministerial students, having to go to Zimbabwe for training, would demotivate potential candidates for ministry. African ministers considered this factor absolutely decisive and hoped that the Methodists in northern Rhodesia would soon join in the efforts to establish a United College at Mindolo (Stone 1960, 4).

Goodhall and Nielsen were very impressed with the suitability of the Copperbelt as a centre of theological training and with Mindolo Mission. Their reasoning obviously made sense. A United College near the developing ecumenical centre, the Mindolo Ecumenical Foundation (MEF), would be of increasing benefit (Hastings 1979, 164; Grenville-Grey 1969, 112). In 1960 Rev. Stone, principal of Kashinda Bible School, was already getting some training in bookkeeping from the MEF staff. It was expected that, as the ecumenical centre grew, it would provide more useful assistance. The centre might, for example, run courses and give lectures that would be useful for students from the college as well. It was anticipated that students coming to MEF would be Christians from many parts of Africa and some might discuss their own culture, church experience, their problems and successes with students at the college (Grenville-Grey 1969, 112; Matthews 1962, 67). The students would thus get to see their future world against the much wider background of the African continent.

One of the most valuable features of the MEF was the Women's Training Centre whose coordinator, Mrs Essie Johnson, was willing to do all she could to help the students' wives - should the United College become a reality. Attendance of their wives at the training course would be a wonderful opportunity for the students of the college, which could not be matched at any other theological college in Africa at the time (Mathews 1962, 70; Stone 1960, 5). However, some negative arguments were also raised, leading to a good deal of hesitation and a lack of resolve.

A serious argument against establishing a United Theological College at Mindolo was that it would remain small as compared to the united colleges in Zimbabwe and Malawi. The size of a college can presumably be measured in two ways, by the number of teaching staff and by the number of students. About the number of teachers Goodhall and Nielsen had some incisive things to say. They pointed out that, whether there are five or 15 students in a class, the theological task of the teacher is much the same. In their recommendation they stated that there should be at least two full-time teachers at Mindolo (Stone 1960, 5).

The number of students was the main concern in all discussions. It was difficult to predict, even one year ahead. But the needs of the church could be estimated and combined with hoping that sufficient indigenous Africans would answer the call to join the ministry. The northern presbytery of the UCCAR surveyed its staffing needs in accordance with Synod Minutes 59/67 and reported that it needed 10 additional African ministers. On the Copperbelt no such survey was done, but it was generally agreed that one minister was needed for Chibuluma-Kalulushi, and four more in Ndola, Luanshya, Mufulira and Chingola, all in the Copperbelt presbytery. Therefore, the church needed an additional total of 15 ministers. The students who were in training at Kashinda Bible School at the time could not be counted on, as they would all be needed to replace ministers who were reaching retirement age (Stone 1960, 5). The current need for 15 more ministers, together with future needs for replacement and growth, justified a three-staff college with a biannual or more frequent intake of students. The frequency depended on the number of students coming forward for the ministry. There was also a prospect of students from other churches enrolling, such as the Church of Barotseland that could probably be counted on (Minutes of UCCAR Synod, 1960).

The second argument against establishing a United Theological College in Mindolo concerned the educational standard. Some thought the time was not yet ripe for such a college. They had the uneasy feeling that a comparatively small college would inevitably offer inferior training and they made highly personal value-judgements on lecturers and college graduates. Many had reservations about a college with one lecturer. However, the UCCAR was committed to employing at least two lecturers and had made up its mind that a one-staff college was no longer acceptable (Stone 1960, 3). At times doubts had been expressed about the academic standards of some students, past and present; and there seemed to be an impression that standards at Epworth in Zimbabwe were higher. It was agreed that standard five should be the minimum academic requirement for entering the college and that the church should as a rule insist on some further education or training. This policy was meant to ensure that there was no difference between the entrance levels at the envisaged United Theological College at Mindolo and Epworth in Zimbabwe. Students were expected to write and speak English well and to be able to express themselves theologically (Stone 1960, 3).

Most problematic was the question of what to do if students of a higher academic standard offered for ministry. It would be impossible to train students of widely different academic backgrounds together. An agreement was reached that students who had a standard six would by the UCCAR be referred to colleges that ran courses for such students. The college at Mindolo would have to concentrate on students with a standard five under their belts, as it could not afford the extra staff for teaching two programmes. It was generally recognised that a student with a higher education would be able to benefit from what a foreign environment had to offer without being handicapped by the use of a foreign language. Such a student would be able to make up quickly for what he or she had missed out on by not being trained in a college of his/her own church. At the completion of their studies in the neighbouring country, a short orientation course might be available so that the students could familiarise themselves with the surroundings in which they would serve. In view of all these considerations not everybody was convinced that establishing the United Theological College at Mindolo would be a worthwhile exercise (Stone 1960, 3).

However, it was recognised that by building such a college at Mindolo mission the UCCAR would be carrying out the recommendations of the Goodhall-Nielsen report as churches in Zimbabwe and Malawi were in the process of doing or had already done. The building of a big and better United College in Zambia had long been delayed. The need of the church for more ministers was great and it would be advantageous to train the bulk of students in the country rather than outside its boundaries. As regards candidates of a high academic standard, it was agreed that only a few of these would join the ministry in the foreseeable future. The UCCAR maintained that in all fairness, to consider the scheme of building a United College was wise and not a "retrograde" move. In preparation for the future the following steps were identified and referred to as "the fantasy-pictures" of building a theological college.

Creating a fully-fledged UCCAR Theological College affiliated to the University in the Copperbelt.

The needs ofthe UCCAR being met by candidates of matriculation standard, who receive their ministerial training at one of the five or six Diploma of Theology colleges established in Africa with the help of the Theological Education Fund.

The setting up of a Theological College at Mindolo was to be seriously contemplated.

It was agreed that careful planning was needed as regards choosing a site for the college and the type of buildings to be raised. On both counts supporting missionary societies were assured that under no circumstances the proposed college building at Mindolo mission would be an embarrassment to the church (Stone 1960, 7). It was affirmed that developments "beyond the horizon" were more likely to involve the need to grow the college than to see it shrinking. A proposal was formulated indicating that the UCCAR had resolved to build its Theological College for ministerial training at Mindolo mission.



In 1961 Kashinda Bible School was moved to Mindolo mission. The institution was now called Mindolo Ministerial Training College. Following this move, the size of the college was considered. The UCCAR was committed to a full-time staff of two, consisting of Rev. Joel Chisanga and Rev. Vernon W. Stone, and the college would for the time being offer only one course. If sufficient candidates would come forward to justify running two courses concurrently, the situation would necessitate a staff of three as proposed by the Goodhall-Nielsen report. The college could also draw on staff from the Mindolo Ecumenical Foundation, although the centre's contribution to the college consisted more in the provision of valuable extras than in tasks of a basic theological nature (Stone 1960, 9).

Regarding the frequency of the courses it was agreed that a ministerial training course would commence every two years. In the immediate future, however, the situation was a little complicated. The resolution meant that the course had to start in 1961. But the college had just been set up, Rev. Chisanga had yet to take up his duties as a lecturer and Rev. Stone was new to teaching (Report on Kanshinda Bible School 1959). Therefore, it was decided not to start a course in 1961, unless the number of accepted candidates and their circumstances demanded it. Hence, the first course at the Ministerial Training College in Mindolo started in 1962 and the college ran two courses in 1964 (Stone 1960, 9; UCCAR Minutes of 20 February 1962; UCCAR Synod Ministerial Training Committee 1964).

Another crucial issue was the site of the college. Due to the development of the Mindolo Ecumenical Foundation there was now only one site available at the mission, which the college had to share with other activities of the UCCAR. The site extended roughly from just beyond the Mindolo Mission Church to the fence marking off the Teacher Training College (T.T.C.) staff housing, and from the Mindolo Primary School to the stream. According to Vernon Stone (1960, 8), the UCCAR property committee had visited the site and proposed to develop housing for six members of staff, including the college lecturers, between the stream and the access road to the centre; and to build the college and student housing on the area nearest to the T.T.C. housing, that is to say, furthest away from the Mindolo Mission Church. The implication is that land at Mindolo mission was subdivided by the UCCAR property committee according to the activities taking place (Stone 1960, 8). Nevertheless, the site was large enough to accommodate all the activities, including the building of a college.

In 1960 the building plans had already reached the Synod Executive. It involved a simple but adequate design, comprising a chapel, a lecturers' office, two classrooms, a library and a women's centre. The cost, including part but probably not all of the furniture needed, was estimated at £3 000. According to the Synod Executive Minutes number 3 of February 1959, the Copperbelt presbytery was asked to make a staff house available at Mindolo mission. The Presbytery had done so and the principal's house could therefore be considered as a contribution of the UCCAR. However, due to the subdivision of land by the UCCAR property committee, the house had to be moved to the site reserved for the Theological College. This move added another £3 800 to the total costs of constructing the college (Stone 1960, 8).

Apart from the principal's residence, housing was needed for the second tutor, Rev. Joel Chisanga, who took up his duties in the middle of 1961. The house had to conform to the general standards of building envisaged by the UCCAR for the site as a whole and, in any case, did not need to be different from the principal's house. The estimated cost was £3 800. Road clearing, cost of furniture in the college block and other capital expenditure was estimated at £1 000 (Stone 1960, 8).

Accommodation for students was a daunting issue and initially they were housed in five houses, originally built for teachers that were offered for the use of theological students by the Mindolo Executive Secretary. However, the houses were thatched and unsafe for electric wiring. Also, they had outside kitchens and pit latrines so that they could only serve as temporary accommodation. By 1962 the college had to replace them and by 1964 the need for considerably more accommodation had arisen. The challenge was to ascertain the number of married and single students who would join the college. The Synod of February 1959 estimated a cost of £5 000 for 12 houses, whereas the Synod of October 1958 had put the cost of student accommodation at £6 800. In 1960 the Synod resolved that the 1959 estimate was too low and that of 1958 was adopted. Other needs identified were a third lecturer's house by 1964, a store and, for convenience, a third classroom and another lecturers' office or retiring room. The total bill amounted to £20 000. This included £3 000 for the construction of a classroom block needed in 1960, £800 for rebuilding the principal's house needed in 1960 or 1961, £1 000 for clearing the road and buying furniture needed in 1960 or 1961, £3 800 for building the second lecturer's house needed in 1961, £6 800 for students' housing needed in 1961-1964 and £3 800 for building the third lecturer's house needed in 1963 or 1964 (Stone 1960, 9).

The biggest challenge remained finding sources of financial support. The first source was the Theological Education Fund. In view of the experience described above, it is surprising that the fund was mentioned in this connection. At a meeting in Harare the Secretary of the Central Africa Theological Education Fund Continuation Committee suggested that the UCCAR should apply for help from the fund, and indicated that the Committee at its meeting on 14 July 1960 might endorse such an application, although its support for the establishment of a department of theology at the University in Harare remained its priority. It was resolved to ask for £10 000 from the fund, but the money was never received. As the church was aware that the chance of getting TEF funding was slim, applications were made to other sources from the very beginning (Stone1960, 9).

Partner churches were asked to support the project. The UCCAR made the principal's house available as seen above. In view of its limited local income and great financial need, that was probably all that could be expected from the UCCAR. The PEMS mission was undecided as regards the matter and it was unrealistic to ask the Church of Barotseland for more than paying for the housing of such students as they might send. The present attitude of the Synod of the Methodist Church in Zambia made it futile to ask the Methodist Missionary Society to contribute. It therefore became clear that there was no alternative but to ask for £20 000 (the total amount) from the three "home societies", the LMS, the Church of Scotland and the Church of Canada (Stone 1960, 10). Fortunately, the Church of Canada granted $10 000 in 1959, which money was used in building the college block. The UCCAR also approached individual societies, setting out what was needed to create the college. The Synod Executive of 1958 and 1959 had agreed to suggest equal shares contributions but decided in 1960 to ask the United Church of Canada for a larger share for two reasons. Firstly the LMS had fairly recently made a considerable investment at Kashinda Bible School and, secondly, the Church of Scotland had for many years provided ministerial training at Livingstonia and was also involved in building the proposed Union College in Malawi. Hence, the United Church of Canada was asked to contribute more than one third of the total cost (Stone 1960, 10).

On 24 October 1964 Zambia became independent. The propaganda of the nationalist movement inspired Africans to fight not only for their political independence from European imperialism, but for ecclesiastical independence as well. President Kenneth Kaunda and his friend Colin Morris, a Methodist missionary from Britain, strongly supported negotiations for church unions which had existed in Zambia since the first missionary conference was held in Livingstone in 1919. In the general euphoria of independence in Zambia it was easy to convince the Church of Scotland and the Methodist Church in the country to join the UCCAR and form a united church. On 16 January 1965 the United Church of Zambia was established and an inauguration ceremony was held at the Mindolo Mission Church (Kangwa 2016a, 575). The UCZ inherited the property of the UCCAR, including the Ministerial Training College at Mindolo, which was now called "The United Church of Zambia Ministerial Training College". The name was later changed to "The United Church of Zambia Theological College" (Chisanga 1979, 2). Over the years the college has offered theological education to Zambian communities and beyond.



The surveys made by Goodhall, Nielson and Neill were helpful in understanding the overall position of theological education in Africa and, more in general, issues which affected churches on the continent (Daughrity 2013, 58; Stone 1955). Many factors shaped the development of theological education in the mission church. Firstly there was initially no separation between theological education and the training of teachers. Theological and ministerial training aimed to enhance evangelism. Schools were opened in mission stations to train teachers. All teachers became evangelists. Some teachers were sent for theological education at Livingstonia mission in Malawi, after which they were ordained. Paul Mushindo and Isaac Mutubila were ordained after training in Livingstonia (Kangwa 2016b, 169, 171). Others were sent to Waddilove Training Institute or Epworth in Zimbabwe. Reverend In 1927 Henry Kasokolo was enrolled by the LMS at Waddilove Training Institute in Marandella, Zimbabwe, to study theology after which he was ordained (Mumba 2012, 10). A mere ministerial course was available in Zambia but no college offering theology had been built by the Zambian mission church, as opposed to other African nations such as Ghana, Malawi and South Africa.

Secondly, theological education was associated with the colonial project. In a survey of 1950 Stephen Neill (cited in Daughrity 2013, 50) notes that many Africans associated theological education with European imperialism and thought it was a way of brainwashing Africans. It is true that Christianity had helped to fight the slave trade and that it protested against negative African cultural practices such as the oppression of widows. However, in many parts of Africa, including Zambia, the European presence was characterised by a close collaboration between the mission agencies and the colonial governments. Sometimes the government would foot missionary salaries (Daughrity 2013, 50). This is confirmed by Chuba (2005, 12), who records:

At the opening of the Kashinda Bible School, for instance, a British flag - the Union Jack - was seen flying in front of members of a congregation that faced the school. In such a situation local people could not help associating the church with colonial government. It has therefore been said that "the missionary enterprise was part of the British, French, Portuguese or German Empires". After all, during the First World War, the time when the world became mad, the government used many missionaries in its battlefield.

Most of the early students at Kashinda Bible School belonged to the first generation of African converts and remained somehow attached to African cultural values. The indigenous ministers were not allowed to do a single thing without consulting their European overlords. The mission stations were understaffed and Christian faith was somewhat superficial (Daughrity 2013, 52; Kangwa 2016b, 174). The use of English for theological education did to a degree unify tribes who could now speak the same language. However, as Africans got educated, they drew away from their tribal background (Daughrity 2013, 50, 52). There were efforts to translate the Bible into local languages but theological education was modelled on European ways of thinking. Western Christian theology was influenced by Greek philosophy and often failed to appeal to the African mind. This is partly why the LMS and CCAR struggled to attract many Africans to Kashinda Bible School to be trained as ministers; and when the wind of nationalism swept across Africa, Africans became aware of a desire for ecclesiastical independence as well (cf. Daughrity 2013, 52).

A third factor was that theological education developed along the lines of ecumenism. The Goodall-Nielsen report recommended the formation of a United Theological College. The discussions to build such a large educational facility took place within the framework of negotiations for church unity. Theological institutions were expected to foster theological education and ecumenism and to take the African context seriously. They had to publish, organise conferences and promote the ecumenical spirit between church-related institutions in Africa (Pobee 2002, 10). After it had officially moved to Mindolo mission in 1961, the Ministerial Training College continued indeed to uphold the spirit of ecumenism. It became a ministerial training ground for ministers of the United Church of Zambia, the Anglican Church, the Community of Christ, the Congregational Church of Angola, the Presbyterian Church and many more. The 1979 report of the UCZ Ministerial Training College to the board of governors confirms the ecumenical outlook of the institution (Chisanga 1979, 1). Among the students were Gasper Sikatu from the Congregational Church of Central Angola, sponsored by the United Church of Canada; Jeremiah Chenge from the Congregational Church of Central Angola and Romeo Kolombo from the Congregational Church of Central Angola, both sponsored by the United Church of Canada; and Letson Bwalya, John Simukonde, Nathan Chipeso and Masaiti Sinyangwe, all from the United Church of Zambia (Chisanga 1979, 1). The spirit of ecumenism that enabled the UCZ Ministerial College in Mindolo to grow has unfortunately in the recent past been neglected.

Another factor of influence on theological education in Africa was the admission policy of ministerial students to the Kashinda Bible School, which had been rather moralistically based. A 1959 report of the school shows that candidates for ministry should not drink beer, have debts, or be single. The candidate had to look well after his family and "have no stain or accusation of sin" (Kashinda Bible School report 1959). The Free Church of Scotland mission was very strict on moral issues. Rules for Christians and candidates for ordained ministry the LMS and the Church of Scotland adopted after union in 1945 included: the cultivating of reverence to God in worship; declaring Christianity to be the only true and living way to unite human beings with God; not to have connections with [African] "heathen" and "evil" customs which counter the progress of Christianity; be resolute and unyielding to evil such as beer drinking and uncleanliness; and live a holy life preaching all the time against sin (Chilenje 2007, 116-117).

Also the lasting exclusion of women from the ministry training kept students from enrolling at Kashinda Bible School. The mission church had female medical practitioners and teacher-evangelists such as Helen Kaunda and Mrs MacMinn at the Lubwa mission of the Church of Scotland, and Mabel Shaw at the Mbeleshi mission of the LMS. These women were trained in preparation for mission work like their male counterparts (Hughes 2013, 104-105; MacPherson 1974, 36; Snelson 1990, 61-62), but they were not ordained. The reason was that no ordained women functioned in the churches in Europe from where the missionaries originated, and where priesthood was for men.

In 1966, shortly after the establishment of the UCZ, a proposal was submitted to the Synod Clerk of the United Church of Zambia, Rev. Musunsa, concerning the position and the training of women in the church. It suggested that theological training would in future be open to women and that at present the church was in need of quite a different kind of training. It was pointed out that a woman worker in the church should be very well trained in biblical knowledge as well as in various practical activities such as child care, domestic science, first aid and social work (UCZ Proposal on training of women, 1966). A proposed curriculum included six to 12 months of study in a Bible school or a lay training centre. In the first phase of the programme the Old and New Testaments would be studied, the history of the Bible, the history of Christianity, the different denominations and religions as well as how to conduct Bible studies, a service and a discussion. In the second phase the programme included six months, focusing on child care, first aid, problems of social work, domestic science, and some practical work in a dispensary, a welfare training centre or a community development centre. At the end of the programme the graduate would be on probation for two years or more, supervised by an experienced woman worker (UCZ Proposal on training of women, 1966). Thus the way was opened for the training of deaconesses in the United Church of Zambia. These were trained full-time church workers who were responsible for coordinating social service programmes in the church but who were, and are, not ordained in the UCZ. All the women who wanted to be full-time church workers had to join the diaconal ministry. The training was done by the so-called Deaconess Centre on the college premises at Mindolo. This means that in 1966 no women were accepted for ministerial training at UCZ Ministerial College. One of the first tutors at the Deaconess Centre was Peggy Hiscock, a Methodist deaconess serving in Zambia from 1958. She requested for ordination and was the first woman to be ordained by the UCZ in 1968 (Hiscock 2016; Pritchard 2014, 159). Hiscock inspired the first generation of African women who joined the Theological College and later received ordination in the UCZ between 1978 and 1990. These included Rev. Violet Sampa, Rev. Esther Mundemba, Rev. Juliet Matembo, Rev. Peggy Mulambya Kabonde, Rev. Ellen Nachali Mulenga and Rev. Jane Kilembe Chibubi.

The dynamics of theological education in Zambia were influenced by Pentecostal and charismatic movements. Pentecostalism arrived in the late 1960s and its early adherents believed that theological education was not necessary (Kangwa 2016a, 583). Miracles, faith healing, prophecy and speaking in tongues were emphasised. Many members of mainline churches left to form or join Pentecostal churches (Kangwa 2016a, 583). The worship and the programmes of UCZ Ministerial College were modelled on European Presbyterian and Methodist churches and theological colleges of which the practices no longer satisfied those who had been influenced by Pentecostalism. In 1979 a first year ministerial student by the name of Sylvester Kangwa left the college, claiming that it was "not spirit filled". The student felt that his Pentecostal inclinations were not being accommodated (Chisanga 1979, 2).

As is apparent from the above, many efforts were made to ensure that good theological study programmes were offered. Rev. Kenneth Francis was the first principal of Kashinda Bible School and in charge from 1949 to 1959. Rev. Vernon W. Stone took over from 1960 to 1966. In 1961 the institution moved to Mindolo mission and the name was changed to Mindolo Ministerial Training College. In 1966 the UCCAR appointed the first African principal, Rev. Joel Chisanga, who served until 1980. In these years the impact of the first wave of Pentecostalism on the theological training in Mindolo began to be apparent, but the college managed to prevent that students openly expressed Pentecostal forms of spirituality. In the same period the college was affiliated to Makerere University in Uganda in order to improve its theological education. On the basis of this partnership the college offered, between 1974 and 1991, courses for a four-year diploma programme in theology. Rev. Chisanga was elected General Secretary of the UCZ and Rev. David Curtis was the fourth principal from 1980 to 1981. After Curtis the UCZ appointed an African principal, Rev. Elijah Lumbama, who was in charge from 1981 to 1988. He was replaced by Rev. Alan Craig (1988 to 1991). The period between 1980 and 1991 saw the training and ordination of female ministers in the UCZ.

In 1991 Rev. Daniel Mutati was appointed as principal. While he was in charge, from 1991 to 1998, the college decided to affiliate its programmes with those of St. Pauls United Theological College in Lumuru, Kenya. The partnership enabled the college to offer in the period 1992 to 2002 a three-year diploma programme in theology. In these years lecturers at UCZ Theological College began to develop a plan to offer degree programmes at the institution. Their vision for theological education was called "wired visions" (Bwalya 2013). In 1998, after having been involved in a car accident, Rev. Mutati disappeared mysteriously. Rev. Teddy Kalongo was appointed as the eighth principal (1998-2004). In 2000 the college became affiliated with the University of the Western Cape in South Africa. The collaboration enabled the college after 2001 to offer a three-year degree and three-year diploma courses in theology under a strategic plan called "The wider horizon" (Kalongo 2003). In 2005 Rev. Kalongo became General Secretary of UCZ Synod and Rev. Dr Musonda Bwalya, who served from 2005 to 2012, became the ninth principal. The dream of turning the college into a university with secular programmes now began to gain in strength. The college was formally registered as a university college with the department of education in 2012 (UCZ University College Statute 2014, 3). Rev. Dr Bwalya was replaced by Rev. Kapembwa Kondolo in 2013.

The current economic situation in Africa makes it difficult to run theological programmes as proposed by Goodhall and Nielsen. The model of theological education inherited by the college was that of full-time residential students. However, this model is today failing because of the high costs of tuition and accommodation. Students and their churches are regarded as the college's source of income but poverty prevents them from fulfilling their financial obligations (Chiminige 2013, 841).



This article discusses how the Goodall-Nielsen report inspired the formation of the UCZ Theological College. In 1935, the LMS were pioneers of ministerial training programmes in the Northern Province of Zambia. Initiatives for ecumenism and cooperation among churches in Zambia led to the formation of the CCAR in 1945, and its subsequent acceptance of Kashinda Bible School as an official institution for ministerial training in the country. Through the IMC the Goodhall-Nielsen report recommended that the ministerial training institution be moved to Mindolo mission in the Copperbelt where there were good prospects because of the social, economic and industrial changes brought about by the growth of the mines. The UCCAR formally resolved to build a Ministerial College at Mindolo mission in 1958. However, churches in UCCAR and overseas mission partners were hesitantly looking into the possibility of establishing a small college at Mindolo. Consequently, the UCCAR, looking for support, entered into negotiations with the Methodists in Zambia, the Paris mission of the Church of Barotseland and mission partners, to build a bigger theological college at Mindolo mission. UCCAR's efforts to get support proved futile. It therefore went ahead with plans to build a Ministerial Training College at Mindolo mission. The college officially started in 1961. Over the years, the institution has grown from offering certificates in ministry to offering degree programmes.

Running a residential theological college as proposed by Goodhall and Nielsen has become problematic these days in Africa due to poverty. The residential model of a theological college based on the Western model is beyond the financial reach of most Africans. In addition, it is becoming increasingly difficult for preachers who have been trained in institutions based on Western philosophy and worldviews to appeal to Christians whose lives are deeply anchored in African culture and worldviews (Chiminige 2013, 844). Hence, the future of the theological training institution will depend on its engagement with issues arising from the African context.



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1 Zambia was a British colony until 1964 when it gained its political independence. Before independence the country was called Northern Rhodesia. The name Zambia is used throughout this essay, including the period before independence.

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