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Friends Theological College Appoints New Principal

The Friends Theological College Board of Governors, together with Friends United Meeting, is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Robert J. Wafula to serve as Principal of Friends Theological College in Kaimosi, Kenya, beginning in mid-2014. He will be replacing Dr. Ann Riggs, who has served as principal for the last five years.

Wafula is a Friends pastor, a Christian leader, a scholar of religion, a social scientist and an educator. He is an alumnus of Friends Theological College, St Paul’s United Theological College in Limuru, Kenya, Earlham School of Religion and Ohio University. His PhD was earned in the field of Cultural Studies in Education, with his research focusing on the intersection of
indigenous cultural practices and Christian faith among the Bukusu community of western Kenya. He holds two master’s degrees — in International Affairs and in Religious Studies — and has published in the fields of cultural studies, development studies, Quakerism and comparative religion. Currently, he teaches comparative religion, anthropology, cultural diversity and comparative literature at Columbus State College and at Central Ohio Technical College in Ohio.

After growing up in Bungoma County in western Kenya, Wafula has studied and worked in the United States for the last 17 years. The newly appointed FTC principal is a member of Orange Friends Church and serves as a Trustee of Malone University, a Quaker institution in Canton, Ohio. Wafula states that he is greatly looking forward to returning to Kenya to give back to the community through this important leadership role in support of the mission of FTC to “equip pastoral ministers who will be thoughtful listeners, effective evangelists, dynamic preachers, informed educators and models of integrity.” He intends to strengthen the role of alumni in supporting and promoting the college, to build stronger links between FTC and the yearly meetings in East Africa, and to enhance the functioning of the Board of Governors.

The FTC Board of Governors and the FUM General Secretary have made this joint appointment in anticipation that Dr. Wafula will lead the college through the process of accreditation with the Accrediting Council for Theological Education in Africa (ACTEA) and will build on Dr. Riggs’ legacy to further strengthen the academic and financial profile of the college. Robert and his wife Nancy, a recently-qualified nurse, have a grown daughter and two grandchildren.