“One of the great privileges of life in North America,” says Friends Theological College (FTC) principal, Ann Riggs, “is our ready access to excellent education, at every level from preschool through professional school. Through … Friends Theological College we seek to make available to Kenyan theological students, as well, the very best theological education.”
FTC has grown from less than 20 students to well over 100 and has strengthened its ministry from offering only a graduate certificate to nearly achieving accreditation for a bachelor’s degree in Theology (scheduled for 2010). The hunger for pastoral training is evident in these students.
Ann is an experienced theological educator and church administrator, with extensive experience articulating Friends theology and history orally and in written forms. She is a teacher and a community builder. Her desire to serve Friends, to gain insight and wisdom from the faith and life of Kenyan Friends and to build relationships between African and North American Friends will serve her well in the environment at FTC.
“On a Saturday morning in February 2010 I was sitting on the steps of the chapel at Friends Theological College (FTC). One of the students came to join me and to share, “The students are so happy with the new things you’ve brought to campus recently. I want a picture of me with my principal to have years from now in my ministry.” A nearby student joined in: “You look like a mother and son talking there, so friendly. Can we daughters be in the picture, too?” Being principal at FTC is very much like being a parent of a very large family. Some call me Momi, echoing the biblical usage of those who teach and mentor addressing those who learn as spiritual sons and daughters, as for instance in Proverbs 1-7 and 1Timothy 1:2. My own daughter, Emma, about the same age as many FTC students, is both so much like these African sons and daughters and so different. Likewise, in my life in Kenya I find the spiritual experiences of Friends are both surprisingly similar to those of Friends at home and surprisingly different, being deeply shaped by local life experiences and perspectives. The students here pray for me frequently. I think I have never enjoyed so many prayers being offered on my behalf. Most often they ask that the Lord will grant me wisdom. Surely, as principal at FTC I need true wisdom, for “Wisdom is a fountain of life to one who has it.” (Proverbs 16.22a)