Seminary development project in Nairobi

By Fr. Rauno Pietarinen
The Mission Team of the Orthodox Church Aid and Missions FILANTROPIA (Finland) visited in October 2014 the Orthodox Seminary in Nairobi, Kenya, officially called ”Orthodox Patriarchal Ecclesiastical School: Makarios III Archbishop of Cyprus”.

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The Mission Team wished to offer assistance in Seminary development. During its existence the Seminary has trained over 600 priests for the Orthodox Church all over Africa and the need is great. His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Kenya is the Dean of the Seminary and Father Evangelos Thiani is the Deputy Dean. They were anxious to develop the Seminary in a way that it could eventually offer both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees.

Together with Fr. Evangelos and Project Manager Aino Nenola we used the Schema created by the ”International Working Group on Orthodox Theological Education”, in seeking the points for development. Then three major areas were chosen to begin with. These are related to the Library, Curriculum and Quality assurance. I found this work extremely interesting and encouraging. Archbishop Makarios encouraged us constantly and offered words of wisdom every day. Internationally experienced and very talented Fr. Evangelos had exactly the kind of attitude I felt is needed in situation like Kenya. I am convinced that in two decades African Orthodoxy will be a major source of encouragement to all local Churches throughout the world.&nbsp

We also visited several parishes, schools and clinics, which either currently receive material aid from the Filantropia or are seeking such assistance. All this gave a good over-all picture about the dynamism of Orthodoxy in Kenya.

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