Ecumenical Disability Advocates Network


Regional Coordinators: Rev. Dr. Abraham Berinyuu and Rev. Dr. Micheline Kamba.

Africa was the place where the very first meeting on disability and theology took place in August 2004 held at Limuru, Kenya. The workshop brought together representatives from five select key institutions which included:

•    St. Paul’s United Theological College, Limuru, Kenya.
•    United Theological College of West Indies, Kingston, Jamaica.
•    Stockholm School of Theology, Stockholm, Sweden.
•    Asia theological seminary, Philipines.
•    Lutheran Senior Seminary, Brazil.

It was also attended by five EDAN representatives selected on the bases of their theological training background from Sweden, United States, Jamaica, Ghana and Kenya. The United States National Disability Committee was represented and we had three other independent theologians from United states. Others included representatives of Kenyan local theological institutions affiliated to Saint Paul’s United Theological College (now Saint Paul University). The defining outcome of that meeting was a draft curriculum that was to be adopted according to the various colleges’ needs.
The first West Africa Association of Theological Institutions (WAATI) consultation in Accra Ghana was held in October 2010 which explored ways on how to introduce disability discourse in theological institutions as a way of positively influencing the attitudes of potential ministers and church leaders in their formation stage with the deans of theological institutions. The participants formed a committee that was tasked to write various articles on theology and disability.

The WAATI follow up consultation in Ogbomoso, Nigeria was held in August 2011. During this meeting, the participants developed a draft disability studies curriculum which was presented, reviewed and refined to be given to  colleges for study and possible adoption. The consultation also suggested that focus could also be aimed at integrating disability concerns into other disciplines of theological study. The consultation made a proposal for Study Resource Materials development workshop for the sub region.

In August 2015, EDAN in collaboration with WAATI held a Writers Workshop in Nigeria. During this workshop, 16 full papers and 2 abstracts were presented and discussed. From the Writers Workshop, a comprehensive textbook will be developed to be used as resource material for teaching disability studies in theological institutions in the region. 

A Consultation was held in The Democratic Republic of Congo the theme “Towards a Theological Programme on Disability Studies in Democratic Republic of Congo” took place in July 2011 and held in Kinshasa, DRC. The meeting was attended by 24 participants to reflect on the possibility of establishing a Disability Study Programme at Protestant University of Congo. The proposal was to establish two-year post-graduate programme known as Masters in Social Transformation – MST, or in French, a “Licence en Transformation Sociale” (based on DRC-former Belgian educational system) and require the students to be at least the holder of Bachelor of Theology degree. The meeting also suggested that a centre for the promotion of disability studies in Francophone Africa be established by UPC.

Association of Theological Institutions in East Africa Consultation was held in Nairobi, Kenya in March 2012. All 27 participants were drawn from faculty staff of associate colleges and universities of the Association of Theological Institutions in East Africa (ATIEA) coming from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.

The major recommendations from the workshop was that a statement was released from the workshop on practical steps that institutions can take immediately to introduce the disability discourse into their institutions since they are trainers of pastors and priests of the church and that Theological institutions could begin with what they have, by assessing their situations and identifying ways of introducing disability studies, possibly as an elective course initially but with an eye to introducing a fully-fledged disability programme into the institutions. A draft curriculum was developed which will be adapted for use by the various colleges which attended the workshop.

The Association of Theological Institutions in Francophone Africa (ASTHEOL) held a consultation in Nairobi, Kenya in April 2012. The 24 participants including three Vice Chancellors and 18 Academic Deans and Heads of Theology Departments drawn from Association of Theological Institutions in Francophone Africa(ASTHEOL) came from Cameroon, Benin, Togo, Central Africa Republic, Congo Brazaville, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Rwanda and Burundi. The consultation was hailed as coming at a defining moment during the process of  intense reflection around the challenges facing theology and the church in Africa. One of these challenges is how to empower persons with disabilities in African societies and enable them to experience the God of life through a life of dignity in every aspect of their life. In the final communiqué, the participants committed themselves to revise their theological training curricula to take into account issues of persons with disabilities and on the other hand, encourage theological training institutions to introduce the issue in their different subjects in order to work towards the restoration of the human dignity. A small working group promised to work on a teaching manual for theological institutions and requested for a workshop to be organised by EDAN to facilitate the production of such a manual.

The Association of Theological Institutions in Southern and Central Africa (ATISCA) held a consultation in Lusaka, Zambia in July 2013. 46 participants among them senior faculty members and deans of studies of theological institutions from South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Botswanarepresenting 12 theological institutions attended. The participants discussed on the best approaches to bring about the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the academic life of the church and also in the priesthood. A curriculum was designed for discussion during the General Assembly of ATISCA in 2014. 

In July 2015, ATISCA jointly with EDAN held a writers workshop in Malawi with the theme Facing issues of disability with faith and reason: exploring the social - economic and religio-cultural issue. The papers presented in this workshop will be developed into a resource material for teaching disability studies in theological institutions in the region. 

Colleges In Africa that have attended these consultations are :

1. West Africa Association of Theological Institutions ( Immanuel College of Theology, Nigeria; St. Peter Major Seminary, Tamale, Ghana; Babcock University, Remo, Ogun State Nigeria; Wincousin International University Accra Ghana; University of Liberia, Freetown, Liberia; Bay College, Fourah Bay College, Sierra Leone; Presbyterian Lay Training Centre, Sunyani; University of Ghana; University of Cape Coast; Trinity Theological College, Legon Ghana; Akrofi Christaller Memorial Centre, Akropong, Ghana;, Good News Theological College and Seminary; Pentecost University College, Accra Ghana; Department of Religious Studies Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria; Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary, Ogbomosho, Nigeria; Methodist Theological Institute, Umuahia, Nigeria; The Evangelical College of Theology, Jui Freetown Sierra Leone; Baptist Bible Institute, Freetown, Sierra Leone)

2. Association of Theological Institutions in East Africa (Uganda Christian University Kampala, Uganda; Pan African Christian University Nairobi Kenya; Bishop Barham University College, Uganda; St Andrew’s College, Kabare Uganda; St Paul’s University –Limuru, Kenya; Kyambogo University, Uganda; A.C.K Bishop Hannington college, Kenya; St Andrew’s College Kabare, Kenya; Tangaza College Nairobi, Kenya; Kenya Baptist Theological College, Limuru Kenya; Berea Theological College Kenya; Friends Theological College, Kaimosi Kenya; Reformed Institute, Eldoret Kenya; Catholic University of Eastern Africa, Kenya; South East University College Machakos, Kenya; St Paul’s T.C Kapsabet, Kenya; Daystar University, Kenya; Presbyterian University of East Africa Kikuyu Kenya; Moi University Kenya; Kenyatta University Kenya

3. Association of Theological Institutions in Francophone Africa (Université Protestante au Congo; Université Libre des Pays des Grands Lacs ; Université Presbytérienne Sheppard et Lapsley du Congo, Kananga ; Faculté de Théologie Evangélique de Boma ; Université Protestante de l’Ubangi; Université Protestante de l’Equateur; Faculté de Théologie Protestante de Brazzaville; Faculté de Théologie Evangélique de Bangui ; Université Protestante de l’Afrique de l’Ouest;  Université Protestante d’Afrique Centrale – Yaounde, Cameroun ; Institut Supérieur presbytérien ; Camille Chazeaud de Foulassi Sangmelima-Cameroun ; Faculté de Theologie Protestante et des Science R. UPAC ; Faculté de Théologie de l’université Evangélique d’Afrique/Bukavu ; Light Univeristy du Burundi; Protestant Institute of Arts and Social Sciences of Butare Rwanda; Faculté de Théologie Protestante de Ndoungué  Cameroun ; Institut Baptiste de formation Theologique de Ndiki-Cameroun)

4. Association of Theological Institutions in Southern and Central Africa (Africa University, Zimbabwe; Great Zimbabwe University; Justo Mwale Theological University College Zambia; United Theological College, Zambia; University of Botswana; University of Malawi; University of Swaziland; University of Zimbabwe; University of South Africa; Zomba Theological College, Malawi; Kwa Zulu Natal University, South Africa)

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