In the midst of the pandemic that is affecting our constituency around the globe, many of our regional associations are choosing to postpone conferences and assemblies to 2021. However, we are happy to feature a short report from the Association of Pentecostal Theological Education in Africa (APTEA) and their triennial gathering in late February.
A number of years ago, one of our great African theologians, Tokunboh Adeyemo, observed, “The church in Africa was a mile long in terms of quantity, but only an inch deep in terms of quality” (Africa Bible Commentary). The Association of Pentecostal Theological Education in Africa (APTEA), which has served the continent for the last 10 years, is working to significantly change those dimensions. At our fourth triennial gathering in Nairobi, in late February 2020, just prior to global shutdowns due to the covid pandemic, about 200 delegates convened for four days from across Africa to celebrate what God is doing in our schools and churches, enhance relationships with colleagues, receive further training in areas of leadership, pedagogy, and biblical scholarship, and pray for God to use our schools as catalysts for both revival and discipleship.
Pentecostal revival across Africa is unabated with thousands being saved, churches planted, and indigenous missionaries following the Spirit’s leading to penetrate regions where there is no witness. To sustain this expansion while strengthening the foundations of the church, APTEA is working closely with our member Bible schools from a wide range of Pentecostal denominations to better equip emerging pastors with a sound knowledge of Scripture, commitment to high moral and ethical standards, dedication to operate in the gifts and follow the lead of the Spirit, and serve Christ’s body as faithful shepherds. In the years ahead, we expect to see African scholars addressing critical ecclesiological, missiological, and theological issues that will deepen the foundations and accelerate the growth of his church.