CMS-Africa held its inaugural Scholarship Alumni Day on 30th November 2017. The International Director Rev. Dr. Dennis Tongoi gave a narration of the CMS through the history and involvement in scholarships dating back to pre and post-independence when CMS supported the training of clergy to take the pastoral duties. In 2008, CMS-Africa was birthed and one of the two major engagements was the Scholarship programme. The other was the Samaritan Strategy Africa trainings which were designed to d equip the church to become self-reliant.
For a while, CMS-Africa and her partners continued to provide scholarships for Masters and PhD across Kenya, Uganda, Congo, Nigeria, and Ghana among others. The results of this great work is replete across the continent with key church leaders in the Anglican Church today having their roots in CMS. I’ am always elated when I move around this continent and meet bishops and senior clergy whose hearts leap on the mention of CMS. “Thank you! You paid for my degree, Masters, PhD is a common response I receive.” Said Rev. Tongoi.
The scholarship programme was a major part of the CMS history and CMS-Africa is glad to revive it in this day and time. CMS-Africa is keen to not just revive the scholarships to masters and PhD level but work with the CMS scholarship alumni to ensure sustainability of this good wok in coming years.
CMS-Africa seeks to grow its work with full understanding that Mission is across the room - Across the road and Across the world. The scholarship team has grown to bring on board people who have passion to support people engaged in missions.
The other fruit of years of investment in the education sector through scholarship was the birth of More Than a Mile Deep; a global movement that looked into how to develop training materials that address the need of the church in Africa. Contextual theology was the driving factor and the goal was to create contextual materials to which CMS-Africa called back its former alumni mainly at the current Africa International University to help develop its training tools. The questions asked by the church in Africa and how the church responds to the same is what led to the development of the training materials that today inform the some of the training materials. CMS-Africa is particularly keen to help the younger scholars to come up research areas to make gospel more contextual as well as in publishing their thesis and marketing it to the communities/
It is this kind of collaboration and networking that CMS-Africa seeks to revive through the strengthening of the scholarship alumni forums. Over 70 participants drawn from a pool of the CMS-Africa Scholarship alumni attended this inaugural event and pledged their commitment to this cause.
Plenary and Feedback
The participants were put in 4 groups to look at different ways of engaging with CMS-Africa,
Group 1 observed that When God blesses you, he expects you to be a blessing to the others.
Group 2 recommended a formation of an Alumni Association that will run the affairs of the group.
Group 3 focused more on mentorship of the young scholars with a special focus on the CMS-Africa’s Discover Develop and Deploy programme.
Group 4 focused on Networking and Partnership for missions for all those with Like minds as CMS-Africa.