By Emmanuel Oyemomi 

Going back the memory lane, as far as Nigeria is concerned, I don’t think we have a solid plan. What we have has been a legacy and the impact of theological education has brought into the nation. Some great institutions that are renowned for this – Harvard, Oxford, etc. have become the cream of the whole world. History made us know they started as seminaries but these institutions later metamorphosed into other areas of education.

JC Pool, the first Principal of the Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary, Ogbomosho was offered a license for a charted University by the then President, Dr Azikiwe which was rejected.   The same Seminary later became the first degree awarding institution in Nigeria.

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As far as this nation and Africa are concerned,writing and education are not our heritage. Treasures not documented andwhatever education is in Nigeria is heritage and an aftermath of TheologicalEducation in Nigeria. All the schools government took over started as missionschools and government was not maintaining the legacy of the mission schools. Whenyou talk of academic integrity and soundness, we find them among the missionschools across the country. They are still functional and focused in providingsound education.

Government keyed into education and made it apolitical matter to fight religion. This is through legislation against the schools.History was also doctored out of the curriculum. Several subjects have been removedas well.

The nation has lost its bearing in terms ofeducation with consistent strikes by ASUU which affect the future of thestudents.   We are yet to get our bearingin education. Late Chieg Obafemi Awolowo ensured education became a natural priorityto benefit the citizens but the reverse is the case today. It is worrisome thatwe have no value for education as the state of the nation’s educational systemis lamentable.

Impact 

The impact of theological education is multifaceted, as Theological Education gave birthto several churches. It also gave birth to the proliferation of schools. These arethe immediate impact but in the 1950’s, primary school in those days werevirtually free education.

If children were very intelligent, themissionaries gave scholarships to children. As a nation, we have no value foreducation. The people who had primary education to standard 6 in those days canbe compared with a graduate today.   Themissionaries hired such standard 6 graduates and so many lives have beenuplifted. Missionaries hired them for several jobs in public sectororganizations.

Help 

Theological Education must be given a space toshape leaders. We need to watch the track records of our leaders. Our leaderseven boast that our votes mean nothing to them. We have a crop of leaders who have notrack records and all they do is to manipulate.

Theological education has been ostracized. In thelast few years, Theological Education has been waged war against.   It is a threat/war against the source of Peacewhich is GOD.

Theological Education can have a great impact on ourleaders which is a study about GOD. It is education that gives a transformationto be godly. In   Theological Education,you are taught how you must have concern for fellow human beings, whenutilized, the impact is huge. Theological Education indicates that God isindivisible, most people with sound theological education act right.

Theological education can train people who will useand lead the people. Theological education has produced leaders for the countrywho are functioning in various places. Theological education has helped peopleto be versatile but they are being massacred due to selfishness, nepotism andtribalism in the country. God authenticates Theological education as we willall return to God.

  • •Oyemomi, a professor, is Rector, Baptist College of Theology, Lagos.

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