Zomba Theological University Masters students 2023
After a second intensive residential session, the ZTU taught Masters programme is well underway in the 2023 academic year. The structure of the programme is that the first half is coursework and the second half is research, culminating in the production of a dissertation. Much of this year’s work is geared to equipping the students for the research and writing.
Last year we became aware of a number of students for whom payment of their tuition fees was an almost impossible struggle. With the cost of living crisis deepening, the situation this year only gets worse. It was therefore a major encouragement when the Association of Protestant Churches and Missions in Germany (EMW) made a grant to award scholarships to talented students who are not well placed financially.
EMW has long had a vision to support the development of theological education and especially the development of future Faculty members. This is a primary objective of our programme in Zomba so we are delighted to be able to collaborate through the award of the scholarships. For the students, this is a much-valued affirmation as well as invaluable practical support.
Another new development this year is that we have introduced teaching assistants to several of our courses. A requirement of Malawi’s national accrediting body is that Faculty who are teaching at Masters level must themselves have a qualification above Masters level – which means a PhD. At ZTU we currently only have four PhD-holders on the Faculty – enough to deliver the Masters programme, but only just.
Help is on the way, however, as three of our Faculty are PhD students with hopes of finishing in the not-too-distant future. Hopefully, they will soon be teaching at Masters level so we are encouraging them to cut their teeth this year by acting as teaching assistants. This means that for my Church History class I can work together with the redoubtable Isaac Chibowa, one of our rising stars. Team teaching is a great method to use at this level so this is a very welcome opportunity.
Overall, the programme has wind in its sails and the coming year looks promising.
Always encouraged to read your Updates, Ken. Someday, my own time and journey allowing, am hoping to myself go ‘back to school’ for masters-level theological instruction, learning from the rich theology, spirituality and ministry experience of men and women like Isaac Chibowa.