Partners in Mission: Adventist University of Africa and West-Central Africa Division Sign Landmark Memorandum of Understanding

Posted on Nov. 09 2023

Partners in Mission: Adventist University of Africa and West-Central Africa Division Sign Landmark Memorandum of Understanding

[Photo: Signing of MOU at the General Conference headquarters on October 4, 2023]
Visionary Response to the Mission ReFocus Means Investing in Future Leaders

On October 4, 2023, the Adventist University of Africa (AUA) and the West-Central Africa Division (WAD) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), marking a significant move that underscores both entities’ commitment to the mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The partnership will provide funding for frontline pastors, equipping them with a Masters in Missiology, to serve in the 10/40 window regions—areas that are often challenging to reach with the Gospel message.

This new initiative by the Adventist University of Africa is a milestone in the Adventist Church's broader mission to spread the Gospel globally. Geoffrey Mbwana, a General Conference (GC) general vice president and AUA board chair, shared shortly after the signing, "The signing of this MOU is very much in keeping with the Adventist Church’s mission of going into new areas of the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This is a very meaningful document in preparing our pastors to go to the frontlines.”

Dr. Vincent Injety, vice-chancellor of AUA outlined, "We will be providing quality, relevant post-graduate education, funded by AUA and WAD for 60 frontline pastors with the understanding that upon graduation, they will serve in the field to carry on with the mission of the Church for a period of at least three years in the 10/40 window territory." He added, “The Masters in Missiology program is tailor-made to reach out to people of other faiths.”

[Photo: Signing of MOU between Adventist University of Africa and West-Central Africa Divsion(Photo: ANN Staff)]


The partnership for this milestone began at Annual Council meetings held in October 2022 at the GC headquarters. Elder Erton Köhler, GC secretariat, presented a vision and challenge to the assembled World Church leaders. In his presentation on Mission ReFocus, Köhler encouraged each person in attendance to embrace the mission of the church, finding the means and people to send into the hardest-to-reach areas of the world.

Viewed at the AUA Staff Colloquium in January 2023, Köhler’s presentation and message resonated deeply with the staff. After months of dialogue and planning, AUA and WAD found a way to partner together to implement this vision. Most countries within WAD fall into the 10/40 window and have struggled to contextualize the Gospel in a way that reaches those of other worldviews in their local communities.

“The idea is to train pastors who specifically know the dynamics within this area and how they can work among the people,” shared Robert Osei-Bonsu, WAD president. “It is going to move the mission of the church forward because we will have well-qualified ministers who have been trained, who have been oriented on the way and the dynamics of the culture in which they are living to know how best they can serve the people better,” he adds.

The mission is hard to complete without the means and the people. Dr. Injety shared, ”We have been talking for the whole of last year with the leadership of WAD, trying to negotiate and trying to find out how much it will cost, how much they can afford, and how much we can pay and the Lord made it possible.”

The decision to invest money into this program was an easy decision for WAD leadership. Markus Musa Danganac, WAD treasurer states, “If you have the money and you don't have the trained personnel to take the mission to the people, your money will not be useful … Investing the money in training these individuals to know how to get into those territories will make an impact because they will learn the dynamics of how to speak, how to relate, how to learn the customs of those in their territories.”

With AUA waiving the tuition costs for three pastors recommended from each of the 10/40 window’s unions or divisions, this partnership will benefit pastors. After completing their degree, pastors will return to the field for at least three years with a knowledge of how to contextualize the Gospel and will find ways to show Christ’s love to those in the communities they serve.

The program has received an overwhelming response as over 50 pastors from WAD have already signed up, which speaks volumes about its necessity and impact. "We believe that the Lord will use them and they will be well-equipped to know how to reach people where they are," concluded Dr. Injety.


AUA, established in 2006 is uniquely positioned to equip and train the workforce and leaders of the church in Africa through postgraduate education. With a focus on relevance and alignment to the strategic direction of the Adventist World Church, AUA aims to be more than just an educational institution; it seeks to be an institution known for mission-focused leadership, helping equip students to go back to their home territories prepared to serve their church and community.

Offering a range of master's and doctoral programs, AUA specializes in theological education with various specializations tailored to meet the diverse needs of its student body. Among these, the Masters in Missiology is a program designed to prepare pastors to reach out to people of other faiths, particularly in the challenging 10/40 window regions.


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