Georges Pirworth Atido, February 2013Jacky

Meet my Church and school in Congo

My church in Congo is called Communauté Evangélique au Centre de l’Afrique (CECA 20). Since 1961, CECA 20 has united with four other churches to start what is now a Christian university, the Université Shalom de Bunia (USB). USB has five constituent schools. The school of Evangelical Theology which is a member of the Council of the Theological Institutions in Francophone Africa (CITAF), as well as the Association of Theological and Pastoral Training Institutes in Central Africa (ASTHEOL) and accredited by ACTEA is where I serve.  My church recommended me to serve at USB since 2007. But just two years after working with USB, I felt the need of further studies. Shalom granted me a study leave and recommended and supported my family and my studies at Africa International University for an MTh and PhD in World Christianity. While studying at AIU, I am also teaching some few courses at USB as visiting lecturer.

Celebrate with me the successful completion of my MTh at CWC-AIU

Last year (2012), after a lot of hard work and with the encouragement of my Professors at CWC, I completed my MTh program in World Christianity. My thesis was entitled Towards a New Inculturation Model for the Alur within the ‘Communauté Evangélique au Centre de l’Afrique’ in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

My visit to Edinburgh, January- April 2012

As part of my PhD studies, the center for world Christianity, AIU, in conjunction with Langham Partnership, UK, enjoined me for a study visit at the Center for the study of World Christianity in the school of Divinity at University of Edinburgh.  I was there from January 2012 to March 31, 2012. With Prof Brian Stanley as my supervisor, I attended seminars, public lectures and worked on my PhD dissertation proposal. Seminars by Afe Adogame, Dr. Elizabeth Koepping and Prof Brian Stanley enriched my understanding of world Christianity and religious mobility. A real highlight was meeting new people from around the world. Friendships with several of the people with whom I had fellowship, such as Robert, Cassandra, Anna, Becky, Junsoo, Elisabeth have continued to endure even a year later. My deepest appreciation goes to these and many more people at Edinburgh for the warm reception and an enabling study environment.

My current dissertation project

My PhD proposal is on “Theological Perspectives on African Christian Problem: A Study of Religious Mobility among Alur Christians in North Eastern Congo.” I intend to examine the dynamics of the tension between African identity and Christianity.  My focus is on the mobility of the Alur ethnic community, from the  Communauté Evangélique au Centre de l’Afrique (CECA 20), a  mainline evangelical church to other denominations or religions that are inclined towards africaneness. It promises to be a very interesting study and therefore I’m looking forward to the actual research and dissertation writing.

Here are some things you can pray with me

  • I’m thankful to God for the opportunity to study at University of Edinburgh, with all the blessings that came with that visit, including the opportunity to sightsee and make new friends.
  • I celebrate my wife Jacqueline who graduated with a diploma in Christian ministry at AIU in July 2012. This study equipped her for her ministry to the many vulnerable and desperate children in Bunia (DRC). As I continue with my studies she is continuing to receive further training in other areas, including in computers skills. I thank God for her support for me.
  • Please pray for my daughters Divine, 11, and Deborah, 10, who have shifted from English to a French school in Nairobi, for adjustment and a quick mastery of French.  Pray for our two sons David, 6, and Daniel, 4 who have remained in an English school using Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) system.
  • I need divine guidance to finalize my dissertation proposal, pass comprehensive exams and move into research and writing. I’m also working on a paper for a consultation organized by The Centre for World Christianity and the Center for the Study of World Christian Revitalization Movements at Asbury Theological Seminary. This will take place in Nairobi on July 19-21 2013.
  • In all my scholarship endeavors (research, writing, teaching and curriculum development) I constantly have to switch between English and French. Please pray for grace.
  • Pray for political and social stability in DRC, especial Eastern Congo which is still experiencing much turmoil.  We need divine intervention for unity, peace and social development.
  • Pray for my sending University, USB in Congo which is faced with various challenges as it works to raise a new generations of Congolese leaders in the context of ethnic conflicts, widespread poverty, rapid urbanization and resurgence of African traditional religion.
  • Thank you and God bless you

George Pirwoth Atido








Moses Owojaiye, one of our PhD students at CWC is currently on a study trip at Edinburgh University. He tells us about his stay in the UK

“So far my stay at Edinburgh has been great. It is indeed very cold here but I came from Nairobi psychologically and physically prepared. The warm load of clothes that my dear wife packed for me before I left Nairobi is serving me quite well as I adjust to the northern hemisphere weather.  I have also enjoyed the warmth of some great people I have met. It was very heart-waMosesrming to receive a call yesterday from the manager of the guesthouse where I live. She said, “You know what Moses, it is a great blessing to have you with us. You are such a gentleman.” Though I was curious I held back from asking why she complimented me that way, so I only said, “Thanks!” and went about with a spring in my step for the rest of the day. But this could be because I enjoying helping out by washing dishes in the kitchen or helping to serve other guests meals anytime I feel like relaxing :) ! Anyways, that didn’t start here!

Prof. Brian Stanley of the Centre for the Study of World Christianity has been a particularly wonderful, helping me to settle down into life and rhythm of my study experience. Andrew Bowyer, my Australian neighbor who is also a PhD student in theology at the University of Edinburgh and I are getting along really fine.  Of course there are lots of other interesting people that I’m interacting with. Culturally, most people here are quite reserved. So it may take time for our African sunshine to get through to all those I meet especially in this cold weather, but I have no doubt I will have lots of friends by the time I leave.

For the purposes of learning, on Sunday in Edinburgh I followed my new friend Andrew, who is also a priest of the Anglican Church in Australia. We went to the Old Saint Paul’s Scottish Episcopal Church, a very old Church in the heart of the city. The Old Saint Paul’s Scottish Episcopal Church’s liturgy is a blend of the traditional Roman Catholic and Anglican traditions. Surprisingly, I was the only black man in a congregation of about two hundred people. However, I was warmly welcome after the service. I enjoyed their deep sense of quietness and decorum during worship. But more humbling is their style of serving the elements of the Holy Communion, one loaf of bread is passed along for everyone to cut from and the “wine” is sipped from one cup by every communicant irrespective of age, gender, social status or race. Off course a handkerchief goes round to wipe-up your sipping point on the cup before passing it along to others :)

Additionally, I found meeting new people, eating new food and learning in a different cultural context very fascinating and challenging; fascinating because of the added flavor to my experience as a student of world Christianity. The experience is indeed very educative and complimentary. On the other hand, I found it a bit challenging because of the amount of time it takes for the human mind to adjust to change. However, I am fully prepared to make most of every opportunity that comes with this experience. I am prepared to make use of the huge library resources here, to meet new people, to draw from their cisterns of wisdom of both teachers and students I meet here, to ask questions and to be more intentional in listening, to explore the beautiful and historic city of Edinburgh, to be a good representative of the Center for World Christianity, Africa International University, my family and indeed, of God’s Kingdom. But above all, I’ll seize this opportunity to deepen my relationship and walk with Christ. Thanks be to God for this great opportunity!

Please pray that I’ll be able to live up to these commitments and for good health throughout my stay here. Do also remember to lift my wife and children, who I left behind in Nairobi to God in prayers. I miss them deeply!

Warm regards from your brother in Christ,




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