Bishop Gwynne School of Theology
Training Bible teachers for South Sudan
Whilst South Sudan is overflowing with churches and pastors, most have not had the opportunity of in-depth Bible training. Bishop Gwynne School of Theology (BGST, previously called Bishop Gwynne College) in Juba, South Sudan is a theological training college seeking to change that.
AID is working with BGST to send graduates of the College to a theological school in Cape Town, South Africa: George Whitefield College (GWC). The graduates study a Bachelor of Theology degree at GWC and then return to BGST to work as lecturers. The aim is to provide a gold-standard staff at BGST: teachers who are well-equipped to raise up faithful leaders and Bible teachers for the Church.
We need your help to support student fees at GWC and provide staff salaries at BGST.
Current GWC students
There are currently six South Sudanese students working towards the Bachelor of Theology degree at George Whitefield College. AID is closely supporting two of these: Garang Goi Leek (graduating in 2023) and Jok Bayak Luk (above, graduating in 2024).
GWC is a world-renowned institution providing in-depth theological education. The Bachelor of Theology degree includes subjects such as: Systematic Theology, Church History, Old and New Testament Biblical Studies and Practical Ministry. According to the GWC website:
This 3-year full-time programme…will equip you with the education and training needed for a professional ministry, teaching the Word of God and for leadership in a Christian church, community, or organisation. The qualification will give you the opportunity to integrate knowledge of the Christian faith with skills essential to minister and lead Christian communities and contribute to the development and transformation of the broader society.
Where does your money go?
AID pays the salaries of four BGST staff members: Rev Samuel Marial (the principal, pictured left), and GWC graduates Rev Alex Karimbia, Rev Kasmiro Alijabu and Rev Elias Bonga. This means that staff can focus on training church leaders full time rather than seeking additional employment. There are around 150 students at BGC from across the 61 dioceses of South Sudan. According to Rev Samuel Marial, ‘The vision of Bishop Gwynne College is to train Christian leaders who will make disciples for Christ’.
The Church's role in national stability
Hundreds of thousands have died in South Sudan over the last decade due to conflict, whilst millions have been displaced, wounded and traumatised. There have been ‘staggering levels of localized violence’ inflicted by ‘community-based militias…[who have been] responsible for almost all killings, injuries, abductions and sexual violence between April and June (2021)’ (Deputy UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Nada Al-Nashif).
Archbishop Justin Badi, leader of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan, believes preaching the gospel and making disciples are key to overcoming suffering in his nation.
"…we talk of violence, we talk of wars… a symptom and demonstration of how shallow the gospel is in the hearts and minds of our people. So my priority will actually be in making and teaching disciples… to reconcile our people, disarm their minds and hearts from all those thoughts and actions of violence, hatred... So we will take it as a priority to preach and teach the gospel to all our people."
It is our prayer that, as more and more church leaders are trained to teach the Bible faithfully, live godly lives and make disciples, the light of Christ will transform South Sudan.
How can I help?
- Pray for the staff and students at George Whitefield College and Bishop Gwynne School of Theology as they persevere in their teaching and studies, that God would guide them in their roles to ‘equip his people for works of service’ (Ephesians 4).
- Thank God for Rev Samuel’s vision for the College to train the next generation of Bible teachers for South Sudan.
- Ask that He would bless this ministry long-term, helping the South Sudanese Church to ‘grow and build itself up in love.’
- Pray for the Church to help transform South Sudan’s ongoing conflict.
Previously, AID worked with a South African charity called Core Training and Development to implement this project but we are now working with BGST and GWC to support students and staff directly.