IRVING, Texas (July 7, 2020) — The Baptist College in Bukoba, Tanzania, sponsored by the faculty, staff and friends of B.H. Carroll Theological Institute during Dr. Gene Wilkes’ climb to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro in February, has opened and is teaching classes in Swahili, the native language of the people.
This makes the college, on the west side of Lake Victoria, unique among other religious colleges in the country, which teach primarily in English. Swahili pastors can accomplish certificate-level work at the college in a period of about three years, through courses taught by local theologically trained adjunct faculty. They may then opt to go on to seminaries in Arusha, Tanzania, or Jinja, Uganda. Most of the 17 pastors now enrolled serve nearby.
“This is the power of contextual theological education,” said Wilkes upon receiving news the school had begun operations. “Its power cannot be overstated.”
Dr. Scott Whitson, Carroll graduate, executive director of the Southwest Metroplex Baptist Association and a former missionary to the same area, said the college opens the door for pastors to further their studies. They also only need a rudimentary knowledge of reading and writing in Swahili. The curriculum is being developed by Tanzanian leaders.
Dr. Whitson was delighted to see the “beginning of a dream in the process of being fulfilled by the pastors who live and serve in that part of the country.”
Elias Kashambagani, who serves as principal of the college, said in an email the students “are enjoying the teaching and thanking God for allowing them to have such a school. What they need now is prayers from you.”
Whitson joined Wilkes’ on the climb up Mt. Kilimajaro. Their efforts raised $5,000 to open the school through donations per foot of the climb on the mountain. Gifts are still being accepted. Click here to aid theological education around the world.