CWC Announcement: New Research Resource now available at AIU

We are delighted to announce that the Church Mission Society, CMS, has arranged for their digitized archive to be available for researchers in East Africa through the Africa International University Library. In this video, Dr. Kyama Mugambi of the CWC explains what this archive is, and how one can access it at AIU.


Cross Cultural Mission with Rev.Dr. Tim Naish

Rev. Dr. Tim Naish is the Canon Librarian of Canterbury Cathedral. He is also the Cathedral’s Director of Education, leading on the organisation of training courses at Canterbury, including those for newly ordained clergy from around the Anglican Communion. He served as a missionary in DRC.

He sat down with Dr. Kyama Mugambi of CWC to talk about his cross cultural experiences in mission and the importance of World Christianity studies in the context of mission.


Dr Cathy Ross on Cross Cultural Mission and World Christianity

Dr. Cathy Ross is on the faculty of theology at Oxford University where she lectures on Contextual theologies, World Christianity, feminist theologies and hospitality. She also lectures at Ripon College Cuddesdon, is also MA Co-ordinator for Pioneer Leadership Training at CMS. She serves as canon theologian at Leicester cathedral. She previously was a missionary in Rwanda, Congo and Uganda with NZCMS.

She sat down with Dr. Kyama Mugambi of CWC to talk about her cross cultural experiences in mission and the importance of World Christianity studies.


Asian Perspectives on World Christianity with Dr. Alexander Chow

Dr. Chow from Edinburgh University is Senior Lecturer in Theology and World Christianity. He is also Journal Editor, Studies in World Christianity (Edinburgh University Press), Book Series Editor, Chinese Christianities (Notre Dame Press) and the Chair, Chinese Christianities Program Unit (American Academy of Religion).
He sat down with Dr. Kyama Mugambi of CWC to talk about World Christianity and linkages between Asian and African scholarship in the field.



Celebrating Lamin Sanneh

Few historians have played a bigger role as Prof Sanneh in helping the world understand Africa, Africans, African Christianity and African Islam. He was an astute scholar, a brilliant writer, and an insightful teacher. I had several occasions to meet him and chat. Invariably, these casual meetings in the corridors, over meals or in-between conference sessions turned into thoughtful encounters where Prof Sanneh challenged my thinking on one issue or other.
I will cherish his memory as one who encouraged high-quality scholarship among Africans. In our most recent chat in Nairobi in 2018, over dinner at the scenic Lukenya Getaway, he once again spoke of the need for a retelling of the unique aspects of recent African Christian history.
I leave you with a video clip taken at the Yale-Edinburgh group meeting.
RIP Lamin Sanneh 1972-2019


The Walls’ PhD Seminar on Culture and Conversion

CWC had the distinct privilege of hosting at the PhD seminar Prof John Mbiti and Prof JNK Mugambi. Also in attendance was Rev.Dr Festo Mkenda, Director of the Jesuit Historical Institute in Africa. The group shared a meal after the lectures.


Public Lecture: Prof Andrew Walls on Models of Christian Conversion in Africa

The Centre for World Christianity AIU is pleased to announce a public lecture by Prof Andrew Walls, on Models of Christian Conversion in Africa.
Prof Andrew Walls is Professor of History of Missions, Liverpool-Hope University, Honorary Professor Religious Studies University of Edinburgh, Professor Emeritus at the Akrofi-Christaller Institute of Theology, Mission and Culture (ACI) in Ghana, and Adjunct Lecturer at Africa International University.
The lecture will be held Monday, 19th March at 4pm at AIU in Class 003. Entry is free.



Church and Society in Africa

CWC’s Kyama Mugambi sat for a meal and conversation with Dr Michael Glerup from Yale University on September 21st to talk about his work as the Director of the Project on Religious Freedom and Society in Africa. The project aims to catalyze conversations around church and society in Africa engaging theologians and pratictioners from the academy and the church. The role of religion in public discourse in Africa is cannot be overstated. Of this, Prof Lamin Sanneh, the D Willis James Professor of World Christianity at Yale University writes, "The only reason Africans have turned, and continue to turn, to religion is because they see religion as something necessary and integral to their lives: religion makes living and what lies beyond personally meaningful. That is something the world is unable to do for them."
Glerup hopes to see several workshops on the continent which gather leaders and scholars around the theme, "Faith, Freedom, and Society as described in The Accra Charter of Religious Freedom and Citizenship." [You can find the Charter Here]


Researching World Christianity on a Global Scale: Dr Wanjiru M. Gitau

Wanjiru M. Gitau was one of the three first doctorates to graduate from our pioneering PhD in World Christianity.

“I was raised in the rolling hills of Murang’a in central Kenya. I was deeply shaped by the discipline of my Catholic high school experience. I also came to appreciate the charismatic activism of the student movement of FOCUS (Fellowship of Christian Unions) while I was studying Linguistics and Literature at the University of Nairobi,” says Gitau. She considered for a time, being a missionary to France and even took lessons in French towards that goal. Says Gitau, “It was through the influence of Pastor Oscar Muriu of Nairobi Chapel that I joined the Nairobi Chapel’s leadership development program.” She ended up taking various leadership roles at Nairobi Chapel and its plant, the Mavuno Church, over a period of twelve years. During that time she earned a graduate degree in Missiology.

One of her more unusual assignments in that season was to serve for four years as the pastor of a Chinese congregation which met at a church in Nairobi. This led to a short term stint in China, at which time she also considered long-term mission work in China. In 2011, she joined the first PhD cohort at the Centre for World Christianity. She graduated in 2015 alongside Dr. Pirworth Atido, who is now president of Shalom de Bunia, in DRC, and Dr. Zipporah Wambua currently leading significant leadership initiatives with the Makueni county government in Eastern Kenya.

While she was doing her doctorate here at AIU, Gitau helped run the Center for World Christianity directed by Prof Mark Shaw. In 2013 the center organized a conference on urban Christian revitalization in East Africa. In addition to hosting the conference, she wrote one of the case studies, which eventually became a chapter in the book “African Urban Christian Identity.” After this she was invited onto a global team researching world Christian revitalization. The project, planned and supported through Asbury Theological Seminary and funded by the Luce Foundation, investigated renewal movements in East Africa, India, Philippines, and Latin America.

After graduating with her PhD from AIU in July of 2015, she left in September to spend an academic year at Asbury Theological Seminary, helping the World Christian Revitalization research team to conclude the global project. In January of the following year she was a keynote speaker in the concluding conference in Costa Rica. During the second half of 2016 through 2017, she was an independent scholar at the Fuller Theological Seminary, where she focussed on writing her book on megachurches, a resource for church leaders and scholars. The book is currently under review with Intervarsity Press, and is expected to be published in the months ahead. She is also working on additional publications.

In August 2017, Gitau joined the Center for Religion and Civic Culture (CRCC) at University of Southern California (USC). The Center for Religion and Civic Culture (CRCC) houses a team of scholars pioneering research on matters of religion and civic engagement. The center studies, documents and helps communities understand the changes that shape religious cultures in America and across the globe. Through its dynamic research output in books, journals and popular media and community engagement, the center is a significant mover in conversations shaping how people think, and respond to religious changes in our times. “I consider it a great honor to become a part of this dynamic research community. It is a great match for my passion to document contemporary transformations in world Christianity and help leaders and their communities respond in ways that lead to greater flourishing of humanity,” says Dr Gitau. USC-CRCC’s work is funded by partners that believe in the value of research in shaping public opinion, policy and community response to religious transformations.

In collaboration with other scholars, Gitau won a grant from the John Templeton World Charity Foundation (TWCF). They were commissioned to design an even larger multi-year global research project on contemporary religious changes. Gitau is a widely traveled, connected and experienced researcher. The affiliation with USC-CRCC under the Templeton grant is a recognition of her intellectual acumen and accelerates her scholarship to a whole new next level. We at CWC are excited to keep tabs with her growing portfolio in as a global scholar. You can connect with her here https://crcc.usc.edu/people/wanjiru-m-gitau/

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Dr Peterson Lecture

The Centre for World Christianity had the privilege of hosting Dr Peterson from the University of Michigan on 28th August, 2017. Dr Peterson delivered a stimulating public lecture entitled "Non conformity in African Christianity."An audio recording of the lecture can be downloaded from HERE

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October 2020

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Theological blog posts on selected theological themes.
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