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Theological education can shape nation’s leaders— Oyemomi

By Guardian Nigeria
10 July 2022   |   3:22 am
Going back the memory lane, as far as Nigeria is concerned, I don’t think we have a solid plan but we have a legacy.

Prof. Oyemoni

Prof. Emmanuel Oyemomi is the Rector, Baptist College of Theology, Lagos. He spoke on the nation’s educational system and impact of theological education in Nigeria.

What is the plan of Baptist College of Theology towards Nigeria’s educational system?
Going back the memory lane, as far as Nigeria is concerned, I don’t think we have a solid plan but we have a legacy. Theological education has impacted the nation positively. History made us to know that some great institutions started as seminaries but these institutions later metamorphosed into great citadels of learning.

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

As far as this nation and Africa are concerned, writing and education are not our heritage, treasures not documented and whatever education is in Nigeria is the aftermath of Theological Education in Nigeria. All the schools government took over started as mission schools and government was not maintaining the legacy of the mission schools. When you talk of academic integrity and soundness, we find them among the mission schools across the country. They are functional.

Government keyed into education and made it a political matter to fight religion. This is through Legislating against the schools. History was also doctored out of the curriculum. Several subjects have been removed as well.

The nation has lost its bearing in terms of education with consistent strikes by ASUU which affect the future of the students. We are yet to get our bearing in education. Chief Obafemi Awolowo ensured education became a natural priority to benefit the citizens but the reverse is the case today. It is worrisome that we have no value for education, as the state of the nation’s educational system is lamentable.

What is the impact of theological education on Nigeria’s system?
The impact of theological education is multifaceted, as theological education gave birth to the birth of several churches. It also led to proliferation of schools. These were the immediate impacts in 1950’s. Primary schools in those days were virtually free.

Missionaries gave scholarships to brilliant but indigent children. That time, Africa has no value for education. The people who had elementary education up to Standard Six in those days could be compared to today’s graduate. The missionaries hired such Standard Six graduates and many lives were uplifted. Missionaries hired them for several jobs in the public service. Theology education has significance in the Bible.

How can theological education help to shape the nation’s leaders?
Theology education must be given a space to shape leaders. We need to watch the track records of Nigeria’s leaders. The leaders even boast that citizens votes mean nothing to them.. We have a crop of leaders who have no track records and all they do is to manipulate.

Theological education has been ostracised. In the last few years, war has been waged against theology education. It is a threat/war against source of peace, which is God.

Theology education can have great impact on the country leadership, which is a study about GOD. It is education that gives a transformation to be godly. In the Theology Education, you are taught how you must have concern for fellow human beings, when utilised, the impact is best aside. Theological Education indicates that God is indivisible, most people with sound theological education act right.

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

What are the impacts of Baptist College of Theology in Lagos?
The impacts of Baptist College of Technology in Lagos have been enormous. The goal is to produce Godliness, character formation and spiritual formation for Christian ministry. College also provides sound spirituality to mold people’s lives for 25 years. It has continued to raise giants for the Lord. We have provided a lot of people around the world not only in Nigeria. We have our graduates in all states in Nigeria. Some of our products have become prominent persons within the denominations and also in government. Several of our students have been trained and they are using their GOD given training to help government and be supportive. We have our products across the globe. Many of them are in key places across the world as we ensure transcripts. This shows that the training we provide is first class.

The college has been accredited with Association for Christian Education in Africa. in Nigeria. It has also been a campus for Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary
NBTS. We secured full accreditation, first college to stand on its own, we have secured full accreditation and having partnership with several global bodies – having strategic focusing program is to train people to know more about God. The college has 360O impartation. We have trained over 1,500 graduates since inception. Our calendar of activities is stable and is not disrupted in any way. We just 72 graduated this 2022 to join the workforce to make impact. We have also planted almost 20 churches since inception.

Some of our graduands in the public sector/private sectors develop skills for others and equip them. We also train the working class who after graduation are advancing the kingdom of God and contributing to the nation’s growth. Our graduates are the salt of the earth. We also have our trained Pastors working with Federal Government and contributing their quota. The College turns 25 this year and we are showcasing it through several activities.