Malawi ministry teaching post for Aberdeen lecturer

A University of Aberdeen lecturer is spending a month in Malawi to help deliver a ground-breaking teaching programme supported by the Church of Scotland.

Rev Dr Kenneth Jeffrey is working at Zomba Theological College to provide additional training to ministers in one of the world’s poorest countries.

He is helping to deliver the first module of a two year, part-time Master of Theology in Ministry Studies programme.

Aberdeen Malawi
L-R Rev Dr Kenneth Jeffrey , Rev Alex Benson Maulana and Rev George Cowie

The course is being provided by the University of Aberdeen, where Dr Jeffrey is also the Coordinator of the Centre for Ministry Studies.

Aberdeen Presbytery is supporting the initiative, which will initially run for five years, by paying for course text books.

The Presbytery has also paid for the transport of eighteen laptops donated by the University of Aberdeen for the use of the students.

A total of fifteen people will attend the course, including nine who have successfully applied for scholarships from the Church of Scotland’s World Mission Council

The international project also has two scholarships supplied by the Presbyterian Church of the United States of America, two from the Presbyterian Church of Ireland and one from the Malawi Bible Society.

Three members of staff from Zomba Theological College will join the university’s distance PhD programme.

Ken Jeffray
Rev Dr Kenneth Jeffrey teaches a class.

Dr Jeffrey, who has ties to Malawi, is delighted to be part of the collaboration.

“It is 25 years this month since I went to Livingstonia where I taught Bible Knowledge and English from 1992 -94”, he said.

“I visited Zomba in 1994 and felt a strong sense of call to teach at the Theological College. Twenty three years later this sense of vocation is being realised.

“I am really excited that Aberdeen University have created this original partnership with Zomba Theological College that provides opportunities for Central Church of Africa Presbyterian ministers to undertake post-graduate theological training and education at a UK institution whilst remaining at home.”

Dr Jeffrey and his colleague, Professor Andrew Clarke, will teach for a week daily from 9am – 4pm.

The module will focus on Christian Leadership.

Students with laptops donated by the University of Aberdeen.


Jennie Chinembiri, Africa and Caribbean Secretary of the World Mission Council of the Church of Scotland, said: “We are excited to be partnering with both Aberdeen University and Zomba Theological College in this unique opportunity.

“We have been able to support students from both Malawi and Mozambique to study a Masters in Theology which will be awarded by Aberdeen University at Zomba Theological College.

“This is an extraordinary opportunity, which allows students to study on a part time basis which means they can remain with their families whilst furthering their education.”

Scotland has enjoyed close links with Malawi ever since Aberdonian Dr Robert Laws founded the first Christian Mission in Livingstonia in 1876.

He died in 1934 and is buried in the graveyard of the city’s St Machar’s Cathedral.

Rev Alex Benson Maulana, General Secretary of the Synod of Blantyre, has welcomed the new partnership.

“Africa as a whole is growing, from an education point of view, and we need to upgrade the way we do things as we have been lagging behind in terms of higher qualifications,” said the minister.

“It is an exciting programme and I think the church in Malawi is going to benefit a lot.”