The Theological Education by Extension in Malawi (TEEM) has clocked 35 years of operations in Malawi. JAMES CHIMPWEYA travelled to Zomba to find out more about the institution. He spoke to executive director Dr Volker Glissmann.
What is Theological Education by Extension in Malawi?
TEEM is a Christian training institute that provides decentralised biblical and theological education to both clergy and laity. It is a Malawian ecumenical church institution founded to support churches and pastors in training their leaders through forms of theological distance learning: TEE, blended learning and literature.
When was it founded?
TEEM was founded in 1978 when Malawian churches were very interested in the widest theological training. The member churches that pioneered TEEM are Anglican Church in all its four dioceses; that is Southern Malawi, Upper Shire, Lake Malawi and Northern Malawi; CCAP, with all its three synods of Blantyre, Nkhoma and Livingstonia, and Churches of Christ in Malawi. This is interdenominational in nature and outlook. It has national offices in Zomba, Lilongwe and Mzuzu.
What are the core values of TEEM?
Our core duty is to train the whole Church as wide as possible, fulfil the great commission so that God’s people know Him better and love Him deeper and bring awareness that both learning and training are expressions of worship.
What type of training do you offer?
We offer a certificate in basic theology in the following areas: grow in your spiritual life; called to be stewards; learning to pray; developing leadership skills; study the Bible in both Old and New Testaments; a living and growing church; the story of the church; good church administration; the role of women in the church; living with spiritual forces; building happy marriages; helping families to serve the Lord and meaningful church services, among other areas. We offer the training in three languages: English, Chichewa and Tumbuka.
We also have learning through self-study, Bible-based, practical ministry-oriented study in a learning community. Our time frame is around 15 months for a certificate.
Apart from the certificate, what else do you offer?
We also offer a diploma in theology awarded by the Board for Theological Studies and is validated by the University of Malawi. We have been an active member of the Board for Theological Studies since 1997. The board comprises representatives from all major theological colleges in Malawi as well as representatives from the University of Malawi.
The Department of Theology and Religious Studies at Chancellor College is responsible for moderating the academic standards of the programme and the award of the diploma is recorgnised by the University of Malawi. The entrance requirement for the diploma is a Malawi School Certificate of Education, with a minimum of four credits, including English. We also offer additional ministerial and pastoral training.