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Zambia: St John's Theological Seminary

Student, Collins. © St John’s Seminary, 2019. Used with permission
Student, Collins. © St John’s Seminary, 2019. Used with permission

Where there is no vision, the people perish – so we read in the Book of Proverbs. In order to raise up leaders who are able to help guide the five dioceses of the Anglican Church in Zambia into the future, St John’s Seminary in Kitwe exists to train those who offer themselves for the Church’s ordained ministry. But it’s not an easy task. In order to allow students from poorer dioceses to attend, the college does not charge for tuition.

The Rev Canon Francis Mwansa, Rector of St John’s Seminary, is the man tasked with making sure that the college is able to produce well-trained students who are ready to be ordained and then sent into parishes to take up leadership positions . For a year or so after those students leave Fr Francis’ care they will be deacons, serving their communities during the week and taking their place at the altar on Sundays. Once they are deemed ready by their bishop, they will serve the Church as priests.

The seminary receives a small monthly grant from the national Church. But it’s not nearly enough for Fr Francis to run the college effectively.

Fr Francis has to work out where to find funding for basics such as the college internet connection, books for the library, books for graduating students to help them transition from the seminary into parish ministry, maintenance around the college, and even money to top up the staff wages. All the college students rely on him – such as this year’s intake of first-year students: Adamson Lunda, Emmanuel Mwinga, David Mwanza, Allan Mbewe, Benny Mwenya, Clement Musaka, Frank Chibesa and Thomas Mwiche.

Here’s where you can be a hero: St John’s seminary needs your help to thrive. Your donation will mean that Fr Francis can ensure that the college continues to produce ordination-ready graduates who are well equipped to minister in their parishes. With your donation the formation that the graduates receive will be relevant to contemporary Zambia. For example, the students can learn about psycho-social counselling, which is the support given to people diagnosed with HIV, and about how to organise support for children whose parents have died of an AIDS-related condition.

ABM supports the seminary, founded by the Australian priest Fr Charles Helms, and invites you to join with other Australian parishes and individuals in ensuring that the Church in Zambia is able to produce graduates with vision who have the skills to lead their parishes into the future.

» We need your help: this year we are seeking $20,000 for St John’s. You can help by making a one-off donation, or you can set up an ongoing monthly amount. Please support the seminary and make a positive difference to the students’ lives.



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  • Alternatively, for donations by cheque/money order (made out to the Anglican Board of Mission - Australia), telephone or email, view contact details here. Please don’t forget to include the project name and/or code ZM004TF with your payment details.

Gifts to ABM will be applied to the support of project(s) selected. In the unlikely event of the project being oversubscribed or not proceeding to completion, donations will be applied to a similar project to the one(s) selected.

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