To transform lives through ecumenism, capacity building, advocacy and service delivery.
One Church; United in Faith and Mission Witnessing to Jesus Christ and Transforming Lives.
In pursuing its Christian calling, the Council shall uphold:
My name is Beth Waithira Kamathi, The Principal ACC&S School of Theology and Professional Studies (ASTAPS). My first engagement with the institution was in 2001 when I enrolled as a student to pursue a Diploma in Biblical Studies. Immediately after graduation, I enrolled at St. Paul’s University for my Undergraduate degree.
Four years later I was engaged as a full time Lecturer at ASTAPS, then known as ACC&S Bible College. In 2009 I as appointed to run the Institution as an acting Principal and a year later confirmed as the same. I later Joined Carey Theological College for MA in Theological Education
Throughout these years of learning and teaching I noticed that students pursuing theological studies were not adequately equipped to study the bible for themselves. As a result, many were unable to develop and facilitate bible studies in small groups once they joined church ministry. The courses were knowledge driven and as such the graduates lacked adequate skills to facilitate bible study in small groups that would help members of congregations discover truths in the bible. As a result, majority of the members of the congregation rely on the pastors’ sermons for their biblical literacy.
It’s until I was introduced to the Church and Community Mobilization Process (CCMP) that I realized the missing link. The inductive method of bible study not only encouraged individual in-depth study of the bible, but also challenged us to practically apply the lessons we had discovered from the studies. This generated wealth in knowledge and inspiration, something I was missing in the sermons preached in the church.
In the course of our studies, I realized that many pastors in the program were struggling to conduct and go through the bible studies for they didn’t know how. I therefore saw an opportunity to bridge the gap that was existing by introducing two core courses in our programs; Consistent Bible Reading (CBR) and Contextual Bible Study methods. The aim of these courses is to bridge the knowledge and skill gap that theology students struggle with while in ministry. So far, three classes have taken the courses and have also started bible study groups in their areas of Practicum field. We also introduced bible studies in our Staff Fellowship and through them we know have enriched fellowships as the lesson speak to our situations. It is our desire that students taking these units will build their capacity to respond to contemporary issues and facilitate their congregations to do the same.
My challenge goes to Theological Institutions who are not giving their students skills to develop and facilitate Bible studies. Please hear this wakeup call, it’s overdue. To all Ministers, Pastors and evangelists out there, let’s embrace the discipline of studying the bible with our people. Let’s avoid teaching them what the bible says, instead let us discover together with them what the scripture says. Let us Study the Bible with them. Thanks to CCMP for the challenge and the wakeup call you gave to us.