In 2014 Rev Dr. Iain MacRobert (Chair of the Board of Trustees for Springdale College) had the great privilege of awarding Springale diplomas to leadership students in Kenya.
The diploma programme has grown hugely in the last few years. It was created by David Isgrove (ICY) in 1977 and then, in 2002, it was taken to Kenya to help emerging leaders. The programme has been modified to reflect local needs, but local tutor Joe Bonga has worked passionately to develop the spread and popularity of the diploma, seeing it grow from 10 students in 2010 to 1200 in 2013!
“The programme is relevant to the issues that Africans face in mission” says Joe, “we look at mission in a post conflict society, study issues of social justice, family ethics, sexuality and entrepreneurship”. He goes on to say that ‘an important aspect of the growth in the course is the requirement that every student should be able to teach others, as a result, this programme is fast becoming a movement.”
The Rev Dr. Iain MacRobert also participated in the East African Training Conference, which gave him the opportunity to engage with 75 highly committed Youth Leaders who are presently tutoring Springdale College/ICY students. “These leaders conveyed their passion for study” says Ian, “they are really keen to progress their studies to a full university accredited degree, but this is going to require new and significant infrastructure from within East Africa. We are going to need to develop centres & partnership institutions, access to library resources, IT infrastructure, qualified tutors, and adhere to new Kenyan regulatory polices”.
This is an exciting growing partnership programme for Spingdale, seeing the development of African missional leaders resonates with our mandate. We are now looking at how we can support and invest in the ongoing work of developing leaders in East Africa.