Sr. Jecinter Antoinette Okoth, FSSA
The administration of AMECEA Pastoral Institute (API), an institution which offers a pastoral and spiritual renewal opportunity to pastoral agents has reiterated the message disclosed during commemoration of the institute’s Golden Jubilee last year of the need to upgrade its programs to the Master’s level.
Known as Ggaba Pastoral Institute at its foundation in 1967, the AMECEA API is now incorporated in the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA) Gaba Campus, owned also by the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa (AMECEA).
“Currently, API which aims to improve the skills for pastoral agents on better ways of evangelization has three programs, namely Diploma in Pastoral Ministry, Diploma in Evangelization and Catechesis and a Spiritual Renewal Program,” Acting Director of Gaba University who doubles as the Coordinator of API Fr. Michael Rop told AMECEA Online in an interview.
“It is necessary we upgrade one of the diplomas into Master’s level especially the Pastoral Ministry while the other programs can remain at diploma level for those who have not yet attained a first degree,” added Fr Rop.
According to Fr. Rop during the November 3 interview, after the University took over the institute, programs were improved and the diploma courses being offered are very relevant for evangelization especially in modern times.
On their part, the priests who also work at API noted the same concern to upgrade the institute so that those who have already gone through seminary formation and received baccalaureate degree can study for Master’s, then PhD.
The philosophy of API is based on the belief that “the promotion of the Kingdom of God and the integrity of human development as well as enhancement of the dignity and quality of human life, and the deepening of evangelization, can only be realized with proper formation and nurturing of up-to-date, knowledgeable and skilled pastoral and development agent.”
Speaking about student enrollment at API which mainly comprise of Religious men and women, the clergy and lay people, Fr. Rop disclosed that there has been a decline in admission.
“From my observation in the last two years, API students have reduced in number. Some students who have already done degree programs and wish for Master’s. This would attract many of them within the AMECEA region and from other countries as well,” Fr. Rop underscored.
Fr. Rop narrated that many students from African countries and beyond who have passed through API and done pastoral programs have appreciated the courses they receive saying that the courses are very relevant and practical in modern times as they answer current situations affecting areas of evangelization.”
The acting Director of the University appeals to AMECEA Bishops and Religious Superiors to send more priests, Consecrated men and women as well as the laity to enhance the growth of the Institute.