Mission Agency Methods for Equipping Kenyan Pastors as Shepherd Leaders: A Multi-Case Study
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Theology--Study and teaching--Kenya.
The work of Western missionaries has helped the Christian faith take deep root in Africa over the past two centuries, and today the African continent is home to the most rapidly growing segment of the global church. This rapid growth has generated a need for greater numbers of biblically-equipped pastors to lead the African church. This qualitative, multi-case study explores the influence of select pastor-equipping methodologies employed by Western mission agencies engaged in the effort to develop pastors in Kenya. The programs of three mission agencies are observed as individual cases in this study, and a profile of the typical pastor equipped in each case is developed. The literature review in chapter 2 includes a model profile for shepherd leadership consisting of three categories – content, character, and competence – identified through exegetical study of the shepherd-leader motif in Scripture. This model profile provided the categories used for researching and developing the profiles associated with each case study. Each case study included interviews with program directors and students, site observations, document analysis, and informal discussions. Analysis of each case individually, as well as cross-case analysis, identifies emerging themes, constructs, and patterns which describe the effect of the selected pastor-equipping methodologies in developing Kenyan pastors. This research found that Kenyan pastors consistently identified courses in biblical interpretation or hermeneutics as the most influential aspect of their pastoral development. This finding was consistent across all three case studies. Additional implications and applications of the research findings are discussed in chapter 5.