AMECEA

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Official name Department of Pastoral Theology
Country / Continent Kenya / Africa
Director of the institute Rev. Dr. Nicolaus Segeja
Legal holder of the institute Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA) – AMECEA: Chartered as a private University in the year 1992
Sponsor of the institute AMECEA-Bishops
Year of foundation 1984
Number of staff (employees, freelancers, volunteers) The Department has three full time lecturers, other lecturers teaching Electives in the Faculty, others like external examiners from other institutions, and the secretaries assisting the departments of the Faculty
Staff members of your institute Priests and lay people
Contact Blessed Bakanja AMECEA College (BBAC)

P.O. Box 15391, 00509

Nairobi, Kenya

admin@cuea.edu

www.amecea.org


Contents

Particulars of your pastoral institute

Official name

Department of Pastoral Theology.

Director of the institute

Rev. Dr. Nicolaus Segeja.

Legal holder of the institute

Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA) – AMECEA: Chartered as a private University in the year 1992.

AMECEA-Bishops.

Vision / mission statement

Mission: To liberate and transform God’s family in AMECEA region and beyond to a credible and prophetic witness to Christ’s salvific event, by promoting reverential dialogue, unity, reconciliation, justice, peace and solidarity through: Promotion of deeper evangelisation, constant conversation and prayer, inculturation, ecumenism and inter-religious dialogue; relevant and quality assurance formation of students in pastoral theology as agents of evangelisation; continues research on revitalizing and fostering the role of Small Christian Communities in evangelisation and community service; research and publications on the pastoral challenges affecting the Church and society in AMECEA countries and Africa; empower the laity, clergy, religious men and women to play their role in the Church and society.

Main areas of work

The Department focuses on the threefold role of the University, namely, Research, Teaching/Learning and community service. The Department engages in joint research in collaboration with the Department of Research on various topics relating to the field of evangelisation. Regarding teaching/learning is concerned, the Department is preparing the future pastoral ministers, especially, priests who come to the University for further studies. The Department offers Master of Theology and Doctor of Philosophy degrees with specialization in Pastoral Theology. It as well reaches out to other Church lay ministers and leaders in their respective dioceses and parishes, preparing them for leadership and ministerial roles, by organizing training workshops and seminars.

Addressees of your work (course participants[1])

Students specializing in Pastoral Theology, others in CUEA community requiring the services of the Department, religious and lay leaders in the AMECEA dioceses and beyond.

Year of foundation

The Faculty of Theology was born in the year 1984 when the University started as Catholic Higher Institute of Eastern Africa (CHIEA).

Organisational structure of the institute

The Department is one among seven departments in the Faculty of Theology. The Faculty is headed by a Dean. The Head of Department reports directly to the Dean. The Dean who also reports to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor/Academic Affairs (DVD acad.).

Number of staff (employees, freelancers, volunteers)

The Department has three full time lecturers, other lecturers teaching Electives in the Faculty, others like external examiners from other institutions, and the secretaries assisting the departments of the Faculty.

Staff members of your institute[2]

The staff is composed of priests and lay people.

Qualifications of staff members of your institute

The lecturers are PhD holders in the field of Pastoral Theology and others from other

department teaching Electives are also PhD holders.


Questions relating to the work of your institute

What pastoral options do you feel obliged to?

Prepare Pastoral Ministers, lay, clergy and religious, for the evangelisation of the Church in Africa and beyond.

What are the pastoral focus areas of your institute?

The pastoral focus is more to the diocese, parishes and Small Christian Communities (SCC), especially in areas of Church leadership informed and formed by the Gospel principle of service in justice and love.

What pastoral aims does your institute pursue?

To be ready to have the Church established in every community in African societies, as communities for reconciliation, justice and peace.

What pastoral services does your institute provide?

Researching and establishing pastoral needs in various countries in the AMECEA and Training through workshops and seminars according to the research findings or other expressed needs by various Local Churches.

What pastoral processes have you initiated or accompanied recently?

Recently the Department facilitated, together with the Centre for Social Justice and Ethics, training of the clergy of the Dioceses of Gulu and Kabaare in Uganda, Moshi in Tanzania.

What does this mean for the areas of catechesis, deaconry and liturgy?

This means that the Laity, Priests, religious men and women involved in the pastoral work were helped to understand the enormous responsibility endowed upon and which they can only manage to fulfill by exercise of a good Pastoral Planning and use of modern skills of Strategic Planning. As in areas of Catechesis they were helped to learn skills of pastoral counselling as means to bring the people of God to reconcile what they go through with the faith they profess.

What notion of God inspires your work?

The notion of Jesus Christ the good shepherd continues to inspire the pastoral approach to all pastoral activities.

In how far does Christian spirituality shape your work?

Christian spirituality, based on the four pillars of the Word of God, Prayer, Sacraments, and works of Charity, has continually given shape to pastoral work in this Department.

What processes do you use or develop to analyse reality? How are these elaborated and how are they linked to pastoral care? How do you pass these processes on?

The Department has used one method in analysing the reality or pastoral situation. This can be regarded as the Pastoral Circle, which is a fourfold stages of doing pastoral work. These are: Experience: This first step involves the initial gaining of experience itself. It requires insertion into a local situation and gathering data about social problems and their effects. This enables one to come in contact with concrete experience of real situations that affect the lives of many.

Social analysis: The second step engages in serious social analysis in order to understand all the factors behind a given social situation. Social analysis means asking hard questions about the causes of injustices and the connections between issues, as we seek to discover who is really responsible – “behind the scenes” – for social problems and what systems or patterns of activity perpetuate them. This may require the assistance of outside experts who can apply their specialized knowledge in fields such as sociology, anthropology, economics, political sciences and even psychology.

Theological reflection: This step accompanies social analysis and along with it, gives us the tools to make proper judgements about social realities in light of faith. At this stage, the experience and the date collected are made to dialogue and get enlightened by the living faith, as the Word of God and theological traditions brought to bear on contemporary situations.

Pastoral Planning: In this phase action options are made. This step seeks a response to the new knowledge by charting a course of action to guide in preparing for the future. This is where we reach informed decisions and choose effective strategies. The goal of this stage is to design programs of action.

What prophetic approaches does the institute put into practice with a view to shaping society?

Prophetic approaches: Encouragement, Direction and Guidance. Warning of Danger, Correction and Admonition, Interpreting the Signs of the Times, etc.

What does the work of the institute involve exactly? (Framework conditions? Publications? Courses? Lectures? Congress?...)

The Department is involved in a number of activities. It publishes various papers together with other departments after the Interdisciplinary Sessions of the Faculty of Theology. It as well prepares papers that are published in the Theological Journal-African Christian Studies. It undertakes teaching/learning by giving various courses in BA, MA and PhD programs. Lectures run each day from 8.00 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday to Friday. The Academic year is in two semesters August-December and January-April. With the University running on the new Trimester system, the Department can admit students at the beginning of each new Trimester.

What magazines, periodicals, books, manuals, work aids, methodological instructions etc. does your institute publish?

The publications of the articles from the department are published in the Theological Journal, as earlier noted.

What do you consider to be the most important service of your institute?

Preparation of pastoral theology students as efficient and effective agents of evangelisation.

How do you evaluate the work of your institute?

Effective.

What are the most important developments that you are dealing with at present?

Moving towards making the Department a pastoral institute and one that will eventually offer an ecclesiastical degree. This will be favoured by having more PhD holders who will in turn offer their services to the department.

What are the main difficulties your institute is confronted with in its work?

What challenges do you perceive for your institute at present?

What hopes, dreams and visions do you have for your institute?

It is our hope that the Department will grow from strength to strength in offering relevant courses to the pastoral needs of this AMECEA region and Africa in general.

To what extent does your institute support laypeople in the Church and in society?

Lay people find a favourable environment for their formation as Church leaders and ministers.

How do you communicate your experiences and results to the respective local church, to neighbouring local churches and to other addressees (e.g. institutions affiliated to you)?

The research findings and articles from the Department, once published, are disseminated through the Theological Journal which is distributed in various Dioceses, Affiliate colleges, Theological Institutes, libraries, and to individuals who have subscribed to the journal.

To what extent does cooperation with the Bishops’ Conference of your country or with your diocese take place?

The Bishops’ Conference from the AMECEA region and beyond send their students priests, lay people and religious men and women for the pastoral theology course. They try to meet their academic financial needs.

What linkages/networks are in existence at national level?

At the AMECEA region there is a close collaboration, and, therefore, linkages and networking, and even at national level.

What linkages/networks are in existence at international level?

What kind of interreligious cooperation does take place with non-Christian religions?

What kind of ecumenical cooperation does take place with non-Catholic churches?

We look forward through this Network pastoral to network with other Institutions of this nature.

Which theological mergers/associations are you affiliated with (personally or as an institute)?

How can we assist you with your intercontinental exchanges and with exchanges between the continents?

We look forward to work with you in order to benefit fully from this Project Network Pastoral, in order to improve our cooperation and network with all Pastoral Institutions that will have eventually enrolled themselves into this Project.




  1. It would be interesting to know among other things whether course participants are active at parish, diocesan or supra-diocesan level and whether courses are attended by priests, religious or laypeople.
  2. It would be interesting to know among other things whether the staff members of the institute are priests, religious or laypeople.