Coined the “pearl of Africa” for its vibrant beauty and lush biodiversity, Uganda’s dramatic landscapes have come to represent the pinnacle of the continent’s wild beauty. And among these dense jungles and fertile plains, the Gospel is growing more rapidly than in any other place on Earth.
In Africa, Christianity has grown from 9% of the population in 1910 to over 63%. In Uganda, that number has climbed even higher, reaching 85% of the population. However, this incredible growth has left only one trained pastor for every 20 churches in African countries like Uganda.
Uganda is on the spiritual front lines of Africa. While Christianity grows, so does Islam. Islam is projected to expand in the region by 60% in the next 20 years. Further, voodoo, ancestor worship, and syncretism also compete with the Gospel.
Responding to the need, Corban worked with International Training & Equipping Ministries to develop a 3-year training program at no cost to African pastors. Through this partnership, the Africa Training Program (ATP) was born.
The School of Ministry first started ATP in Cameroon in 2013, with a cohort of 38 pastors who were ministering to nearly 8,700 people each week. In 2018, they graduated a final cohort of 48, who now minister to over 22,000 individuals.
But after rampant civil war in the country made it impossible to safely continue the program, pastors and leaders in Uganda who had heard of Corban’s work in Cameroon reached out to the University with the desire to set up a similar program. With a new area of focus, each year the program continues to train a cohort of 50 emerging leaders and is completely full, with expanding waiting lists of hundreds of eager African pastors.
“For me, it’s one of the most missional things we do as a university,” says Dr. Greg Trull, Dean of the School of Ministry. “When you think about educating Christians to make a difference in the world for Jesus Christ, we are educating Christians to make a difference in a part of the world where almost nobody else is serving.”
The School of Ministry continues to hopefully pray for the nation of Cameroon, that they one day might be able to safely return and develop the capacity to serve in both nations, forging a partnership that can create genuine Gospel growth and collaboration across Africa.
“I always tell people back home that one of the things I love about our work in Africa is that we get to train heroes,” says Trull. “It really is a partnership. And we learn so much from them and are so blessed to be able to invest in their ministries.”
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