The Influence of Clergy Selection and Training on the Mission of the Church in the Province of Uganda: A Case of the Diocese of Kampala, Southern Archdeaconry

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Uganda Christian University
The mission of the church constitutes its centerpiece and therefore deserves utmost attention from its custodians, the spirit in which this study was conceived. The study investigated the understanding of the mission of the church, strategies of Clergy selection and training and an assessment of the influence of the Clergy selection and training approaches on the Mission of the Church in the Diocese of Kampala. A case study design was used involving both quantitative and qualitative approaches with sample size of 45 respondents. Data was collected using both simple random sampling and purposive sampling techniques. Questionnaire survey, interviews and observation with their corresponding tools were the methods of data collection. Quantitative data was presented and analyzed using descriptive statistics while thematic analysis was used to present and compute qualitative results. Findings revealed that ministerial formation in the Diocese of Kampala was initiated by a strict policy-oriented panel that executed its mandate through excellence-driven interviews. Thereafter, the successful candidates were enrolled for theological studies in Church of Uganda approved Seminaries/institutions that treasure academic excellence too. Interestingly, most people in the Diocese of Kampala believed that upholding the Mission of the church was largely the role of the Bishop, Clergy, and top Church Administrators. This was found to be quite burdensome to the Priesthood but did not threaten the mission of the church in the short run. Church leadership was found to be male dominated, yet women played a very significant and active role in the pursuit of the mission of the church such as in prayer and children’s church ministry. Most people in the Diocese of Kampala were found to have the right perspective of ecclesiology but in practice, they appeared to be very inward looking and consumed with the wellbeing of their individual congregations. Furthermore, the Diocese of Kampala perceived the mission of the church largely to be the preaching of the gospel and evangelism. Discipleship and social action were very low on their conceptualisation of the mission of the church. The study recommends that the Diocese considers deliberate mentoring and apprenticeship in shorter or theological education by extension among other approaches as options besides the long theological studies. Church leaders in Diocese must and should deliberately revisit policy and strategy to better engage and ensure meaningful participation of the laity in the pursuit of the mission of the church and make intentional effort to harmonise the divergence between their perception of ecclesiology and practice. In a nutshell, ministerial formation in the Diocese of Kampala was largely through formal seminary theological education. This was reported to produce ministers considered to be effective in pursuing the mission of the church at least in the short run. However, a deliberate effort was needed to equip and involve more laity through mentorship and short theological training to ensure sustainability of ministry that pursues and sustains the mission of the church.
This is a dissertation.