Project:  Pastoral Education, West Africa
December 2013
Greetings to You in the Name of Christ, Our Lord!

Project: Pastoral Education, West Africa is an ongoing volunteer labor of love of the Concordia Institute for Christian Studies providing advanced pastoral education services in English speaking countries of West Africa since 2007.

Our MISSION: to equip the pastoral leadership of the Lutheran churches in English-speaking West Africa by offering intensive courses of study and printed theological resources which in turn enhance the training of the general pastorate in each church body.

Our VISION: to raise pastoral competencies in the service of the Gospel for both outreach and the spiritual nurture of the baptized membership. Our participating West African pastors pass the resources and advanced learning we provide to their colleagues in their respective regions and pastoral educational programs. Each year following our classes, these leaders have held workshops to teach their fellow pastors our subjects, using also the materials we have supplied. They are providing a tremendous, cost-effective, extension of our labors into their rank and file pastorate and educational programs.

With a nine-member instructional staff of volunteer Lutheran pastors, we have completed successful teaching sessions during 2013 in both Sierra Leone and Liberia. Our plans for 2014 include an expansion of our program, offering three instructional sessions. The first will be an advanced teaching session for about 20 pastors from the leadership and pastoral education staff of the Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church of Sierra Leone at the Javouhey House Catholic Retreat Center in Freetown, Sierra Leone, January 13-23, 2014 . Again, due to their poverty, our plan is to pay the expenses for the menís transportation, housing, and meals at the Center for the duration of the sessions. Three instructors will be teaching there:  Rev. Ralph Patrick of Peace with Christ Lutheran Church, Ft. Collins, CO; Rev. Stewart Crown of Trinity Lutheran Church, Palo Alto, CA; and Rev. Dr. Steven A. Hein of the Concordia Institute for Christian Studies.

We are making plans to begin teaching a second intermediate group of 20 pastors from the Lutheran Church in Sierra Leone during the Fall of 2014. In addition, we will continue with another advanced pastoral education session in Monrovia for the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Liberia in the Fall. Rev. Amos Bolay, President of the ELC in Liberia had the following to say about our work:

As a graduate of the Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, I see this program like taking the seminary to Africa. Dr. Hein is doing a great job! . . . Indeed, Rev. Dr. Steven Hein and his team are great blessings to our pastors, evangelists and Churches both in Sierra Leone and Liberia. As President of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Liberia, I have seen my men returned with great improvement in rightly presenting the Word as they preached a clear distinction of the Law and Gospel. We only hope and pray that this program will continue . . . . .

For this expanded work in 2014, the Project will need about $75,000 from those whom God would lead to partner with this ongoing labor of love. Will you pray to God to provide this funding and consider becoming a financial partner with us also - for the sake of the Gospel as it is being planted with faithful Lutheran pastors in West Africa? If you would like further information and experience what this ongoing Project is about, let me invite you to watch this informative video of our work.

  Class of 2012
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God's richest blessings to you,

Rev. Dr. Steven A. Hein
Assoc. Pastor, Shepherd of the Springs Lutheran Church