On November 1, 2023, the Rwanda Governance Board (RGB) informed the parliament that more than 75% of the pastors in the Association of Pentecostal Churches in Rwanda (ADEPR) are only graduates of primary school.
The pastors’ educational level was disclosed by RGB CEO Usta Kaitesi during the presentation of the RGB 2022/23 report.”We evaluated the capacity of ADEPR church pastors and discovered that they still have a long way to go in terms of reforms. More than 75% of ADEPR pastors only completed elementary school, the speaker stated.More than a thousand pastors, she claimed, had not even finished elementary school when they were laid off.She said, “They lack the necessary ability to lead their congregations.”She mentioned that similar issues are present in other churches.”We started by concentrating on ADEPR this time around as it currently employs over 4,000 people and has 2.8 million believers, a significant number of Rwandans. Our goal is to fortify the church to have a robust.
Poor governance methods were the root cause of ongoing conflicts within the Pentecostal church, according to a study conducted in 2020 into the functioning of the ADEPR umbrella organization.After receiving criticism, we disbanded, suspended, and formed an interim committee inside the ADEPR leadership. Establishing the church’s institutions and norms was our assignment to the leaders. This was the third time that ADEPR has experienced such problems. For this reason, we’ve sent out a team to investigate the reasons behind the arguments,” she stated.The Association of Pentecostal Churches of Rwanda (ADEPR) announced in 2022 that it had appointed new national leaders and addressed concerns that frequently resulted in difficulties within the church.
While some pastors received salary, others received nothing at all. She stated that while some people had health insurance, others did not.The necessity for theological graduatesIn response to demand on churches and faith-based organizations to be led by degree holders, two new private theological universities opened in the Rwandan city of Kigali in 2021.These consist of the Africa College of Theology and the East African Christian College (EACC).
Two years after the government, acting through the Rwanda Governance Board, passed the Faith-based Organizations statute mandating the theological bachelor’s degree for church leaders, the two higher education institutions were given permission to open for business.There was no theology program offered by any higher education establishment in the nation at the time.There hasn’t been a comparable requirement in any other denomination but the Catholic Church, which mandates appropriate qualifications for priests and other clergy. Because of this, many churches, with the exception of upper administration, are led by individuals with no training.
The law states that the leadership of all church- and faith-based organizations must be theology graduates in order for them to be legally permitted to function. The Rwanda Governance Board, an organization that oversees faith-based organizations, claims that the rule was implemented to combat inadequate leadership in churches.