One place where the four priorities of Friends United Meeting (communication, evangelism, leadership development and global partnerships) come together with high impact is Friends Theological College (FTC). FTC likely has more potential to “energize and equip Friends to gather people into fellowships …” than in any other ministry of FUM. The only Friends pastoral training institution in East Africa, FTC seeks to equip ministers who will be thoughtful listeners, effective evangelists, dynamic preachers, informed educators and models of integrity. Students not only come from Kenya, but Rwanda, Congo and Tanzania as well. With 2,000 village (monthly) meetings among Friends just in Kenya, the need for trained pastors is very great.
FTC is on the road to being accredited as a theological college. Requirements include faculty with higher credentials, improved facilities and an increasingly rigorous curriculum. Students can select from three tracts: certificate, diploma and degree. Beginning next year is a program for training chaplains for schools and hospitals. Current enrollment is about 85 students.
Besides classes, many students have field assignments where they go on Sundays to preach, teach and lead youth group meetings. A small dairy herd, chickens and crops provide opportunities for work/study and a bit of revenue for the college.
Ann Riggs will continue as principal of FTC while Lon Fendall will act as academic consultant responsible for the accreditation progress, staff development and curriculum.