This blog has been rather quiet since Easter as I have been enjoying some downtime in Scotland, at home with the family. It was a wrench to leave again this week but exciting to land once more in my “second home” in Malawi, ready to pick up the threads of some promising work.
Covid-19, of course, overshadows all travels, hopes and plans at the moment. After four months when incidence of covid was very low, Malawi has seen a surge in infections over the past two weeks as a third wave sweeps across southern Africa. Even our own College campus in Zomba has been affected as five students tested positive a week ago. Thankfully all are well as they keep themselves in isolation but, as a precaution, classes were suspended for a week. Such are our times.
At Zomba Theological College I look forward to reconnecting live with my final-year class after a spell when all our classes were online. I also expect to be working on preparations for the launch of the new MTh programme that will be a first step into postgraduate studies for the College. Another step in the journey towards becoming a University is the fortnightly Research Seminar, now in its third semester.
Meanwhile there is a lot of energy in an attempt to create a national network of theological educators under the umbrella of a Theological Society. Plans are advancing for a second national conference, to be hosted by the University of Livingstonia in the northern region in September. Our hope is that the Society will then be formally inaugurated and become an engine that will raise standards, empower faculty and stimulate research and writing across the country.
Such developments provide a motivating context for my everyday work in undergraduate teaching, postgraduate supervision and encouraging and enabling writing and publication as we seek to create the literature that can support quality theological education in Malawi.
It is good to be back!