By Elias Bangura
Diakonia Theological College (DTC) has held its second annual leaders seminar at The Temple of Truth Ministry at Wellington, east of Freetown.
Welcoming the guests and participants to the program, Pastor Joseph Conteh, said he is pleased to welcome everyone to the event.
He said the name of the college, “Diakonia” is a Greek word that means “service”; and that in Sierra Leone there is a great need to clearly interpret God’s Word to church leaders who can then preach it to their different congregations.
He said DTC diploma curriculum is a two-year program in graduate theological education for those serving as ministers of the Gospel and those preparing for church or mission vocations requiring ordination.
He added that the program is designed to provide a broad biblical, theological, and practical foundation for those serving as ministers of the Gospel and for those entering pastoral, missionary, or other Christian education ministries.
“The program focuses on three areas,” he said; “Biblical theological understanding, personal growth, and professional preparation. The emphasis on a thorough knowledge and understanding of the Bible is demonstrated throughout the curriculum, especially in direct bible study courses, and in the biblical language, hermeneutics, and theology courses.
Pastor Joseph Conteh said the program is an interactive session – with four segments. The first segment will focus on the ‘Pastor’s Responsibility’; the second on the ‘Deity of Christ’; the third is ‘The Great Commission’; and the final segment is ‘Enhancing the Power of Speech.’
DTC is a collection of pastors and bible teachers from different ministries with a desire to teach God’s Word for free. It is presently located at 14A Taylor Street at Wellington, eastern Freetown. Currently it has an enrollment of 50 students, and classes are held on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.
Delivering the first Session of the program, Rev Daniel Bockreh Koroma (from the Countess of Huntingdon Mission) said the ‘Pastors Responsibility’ is a great one. He said people are not fond of reading, and if pastors don’t read then there’s a problem because the information you pass on depends on the level of information you have read.
“Preach the Word (2 Timothy 3:2) – a word that you should first of all read, otherwise it will amount to nothing. Many just preach without reading and listening to the Great Teacher, which is the Holy Spirit.
“As pastors, we care so much about our denomination and very little about the Church, and remember that we will never be judged by our denominations. Our key message is to preach about the great coming judgment and the kingdom that will be established for Christians by Jesus Christ.
“Every church has the responsibility of maintaining its pastors, so that they can concentrate fully on God’s work – failure in this aspect is why there’s no effectiveness in the work of the ministry as pastors are lured away by the cares of this life.
“But why preach?” he asked. “It’s because judgement day is coming and people need to know of this (1Timothy 5:21ff),” he concluded.
The remainder speakers – Pastor Joseph Conteh (Heart of Christ Evangelical Ministry), Rev Samuel Kamara (Assemblies of God Mission), and Bro. Cyril Juxon-Smith (Christ Embassy) – spoke in like manner detailing from the scriptures, reasons bordering on their topics – all in the hope of building up believers and church leaders who could know and disseminate God’s Word as the Holy Spirit gives them utterance as and when the situation avails itself.
Principal of DTC, Rev Samuel Kamara, said the college was formed to teach God’s Word; to bridge the gap of disunity, as Jesus Christ didn’t die for a few people but for all.
He said DTC is a non-denominational, para-church, that is duly registered, which started operation on 6 June 2015. It runs a free diploma and certificate program for pastors and church workers.
“Our diploma course run for two years, consisting of 4 semesters, and 36 modules, and 95 credit hours,” he said. “Our lecture days are Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. As for our certificate course, we are starting it this coming academic year. Entry requirements to both courses are 3 passes in WASSCE for the certificate, and 4 passes for the diploma plus a recommendation letter from the pastor in charge of the ministry you are coming from.
Presently DTC has 50 students, comprising of pastors and church workers who have a keen desire to know more of God’s Word.
“We teach them from the basics upwards,” rejoined Rev Daniel B. Koroma, who is one of the lecturers at the college. “These teachings help our students to be better Bible scholars and they in turn teach their different congregations in a more effective way than they are used to. Mind you, most of these pastors do have a desire to serve God, but they lack the means to acquire the traditional certification from our formal institutions. This is why DTC is so handy, and it’s the reason for our growth.”
DTC at the moment has no structure or building of its own. They are presently using Joshua International School at 26 Campbell Street, Wellington, east of Freetown, as their office and lecture centre – but they have long term plans to secure land for the erection of a permanent structure as a learning zone where more students could be enrolled.
“For now, we would be happy if we could be considered by religious organizations like CCSL, EFSL, etc, for any help, towards the promotion and propagation of God’s Word across Sierra Leone and beyond,” concluded Rev Daniel Koroma.
Several personalities who were behind the success of the seminar include Rev Magnus Bendu of the Countess of Huntingdon Mission, Pastor Jeremiah Issa Conteh, among others.