Endow FTECC to Fund Endeavors Like the Theological Institute at the Ivory Coast
The story of theological education of pastors in the Methodist Church in the Ivory Coast has seen many ups and downs between 1930 and 2002. For a long time, institutions in other countries like the Theological School of Porto-Novo in Benin (developing into an Institute, then a Faculty) or the Theological Faculty of Yaoundé in Cameroon were the only ones to train pastors, but in very limited numbers.
Following a decision in 2000, a Theological Institute was opened in our country in 2002. It was created and funded by the UMC in the Ivory Coast. I, Rev. Dr. Marcel Tata, am among the pioneers of this Institute since its beginnings, teaching Systematic Theology. Until 2011, I was also its Dean of Academic Affairs and since 2011 I have been its Rector. Since its opening, we have trained 143 pastors in the UMC out of a total of 204. This shows the overwhelming need for such an institution in light of the shortage of well trained pastors.
Pastors who have graduated from our institution play a vital role in leading local churches and connectional ministries. They contribute to the growth and expansion of the United Methodist mission thanks to a holistic approach to theological education.
According to the strategic planning of the UMC, we offer ten new openings for students each year. Thus, we have a total of 30 students in the three years of the Bachelor program. In 2015, we have added a Master program for ten students. Most of them have longstanding experiences in ministry, sometimes in important leadership positions in the church, and we want to offer them additional, qualified education. In the future, we hope and plan to offer also doctoral studies.
All education aims to be holistic and offering knowledge for pastoral ministry, including spiritual formation and practical pastoral expertise for building up community, thus building up a new generation of leaders on all levels of the church.
Rev. Dr. Marcel Tata