in theological education in Africa

Our vision for this project is to see African women flourish and reach their God-given potential in African theological institutions to the benefit of the African Church. 

Dr. Verena Schafroth, Overseas Council Europe

Across Africa, females account for under 1/4 of total faculty members in theological education institutions. The challenges women face during their academic journeys include: difficulties for women in finding mentors; cultural and societal expectations; smaller networks; lack of access to speaking engagements, publishing and collaborative writing; and a lack of access for females to established networks in their institutions. Often, women drop out of their education at various stages from undergraduate to senior faculty. 

Despite this, women are already contributing in myriad ways and, with strategic empowerment, can continue to increase their effectiveness while also paving the way for younger women to follow.  

Women are often drivers of solutions when they are empowered in leadership. Most female theologians teaching at seminaries are also heavily involved in their local communities and church denominations. Because of their education, skills, and leadership qualities, their leadership is often accepted even in areas that have traditionally been closed to women.” (Dr. Verena Schafroth)

The Trained Women in Theological Education initiative seeks to address the dearth of women with theological training in Africa and foster the development and involvement of female faculty to their fullest potential. While the challenges are multi-faceted and the barriers are many, we hope for a change that will ripple through the societies in continental Africa.  

The five strategic focus areas of this initiative are:

  • establishing a mentorship program; 
  • initiating a regular online learning café; 
  • providing publishing opportunities; 
  • gathering five senior women to advise African Theological Education (ACTEA) on prioritizing access for women; 
  • creating an online platform to increase networking and sharing information


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