Critical evaluation of mentoring programmes in theological seminaries of the Evangelical Church of West Africa (ECWA)

Chiroma, Nathan Hussaini (2012-12)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2012.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The concept of mentoring has received substantial attention in the literature, as is evidenced by the quantity and quality of empirical and theoretical scholarship on the topic. In the post-modern era, we have seen a proliferation of evangelical schools engaging in the effort to better equip our present and future leaders. No longer can it be assumed that incoming seminary students have a working knowledge of the basics of the Christian faith. The aim of this study is an attempt to explore the impact of mentoring in theological seminaries. It is true that mentoring programmes are increasingly popular interventions strategies in many organizations; and although successful mentoring relationships can promote a range of positive developmental outcomes, relationships that fail can lead to decrements in a person’s functioning and self-esteem. This study explores the various mentoring programmes in three ECWA (Evangelical Church Winning All formerly Evangelical Church of West Africa. See details of name change in footnote 3, Chapter 1) seminaries and evaluates its impact on both the graduates and the mentors. The study further explored if mentoring can contribute to the holistic development of seminary students, and what avenues there are for mentoring involvement in the seminaries under consideration. Graduates between 2011 and 2005 of the 3 seminaries who went through mentoring programmes while at the seminary, current faculty mentors and the heads of the 3 institutions were included as respondents. A qualitative approached was used, applying focus groups and individual interviews to obtain data. The empirical findings of this research reveal that mentoring plays an important role in the holistic development of seminary students especially in three areas, namely spiritual formation, character and ministry formation. It has shown that integration of mentoring in theological seminaries is both biblically necessary and practically possible. Despite the fact that respondents identified mentoring as helping them in their holistic development as graduates, they still believed that mentoring is not effective in the seminaries. The heads of institutions and the faculty respondents also agreed that even though mentoring is taken place in the 3 seminaries, it lacks several aspects of effectiveness, i.e. lack of documentation on mentoring, lack of supervision of mentors, lack of proper mentoring administration, lack of standardized procedures with regards to mentoring, lack of training for mentors, etc. The study makes several recommendations as to improve the effectiveness of mentoring, with special focus on the youth.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die konsep van mentorskap het die afgelope tyd substansiële aandag in die literatuur geniet, soos gesien kan word in die hoeveelheid en kwaliteit empiriese en teoretiese studies oor die onderwerp. Ons sien in die post-moderne era `n vermeerdering in die evangeliese skole wat moeite doen om hulle huidige en toekomstige leiers beter toe te rus. Dit kan nie meer aangeneem word dat inkomende seminarium studente kennis het van selfs die basiese beginsels van die Christelike geloof nie. Die doel van hierdie studie is `n poging om die impak van mentorskap in teologiese seminariums te ondersoek. Dit is so dat mentorskap programme toenemend gewilde intervensie strategieë is in baie organisasies, en alhoewel suksesvolle mentorskap verhoudings `n reeks positiewe ontwikkelingsuitkomste kan bevorder, net so kan verhoudings wat faal, lei tot geweldige skade in `n persoon se funksionering en selfbeeld. Hierdie studie ondersoek die verskeie mentorskap programme in drie ECWA (Evangelical Church Winning All formerly Evangelical Church of West Africa. Sien die gedetaileerde verduideliking in voetnota 3, Hoofstuk 1) seminariums en evalueer die impak daarvan op beide die afgestudeerdes en die mentors. Die studie ondersoek verder of mentorskap kan bydra tot die holistiese onwikkeling van seminarium studente, en watter moontlikhede daar is vir mentorskap betrokkenheid in die betrokke seminariums. Afgestudeerde studente (tussen 2011 en 2005) van die drie seminariums wat deel was van mentorskap programme tydens hulle studies, huidige fakulteitsmentors en die hoofde van die drie instellings is ingesluit as respondente. `n Kwalitatiewe benadering is gevolg, met fokusgroepe en individuele onderhoude as metodes vir data-insameling. Die empiriese bevindings van hierdie navorsing toon dat mentorskap `n belangrike rol speel in die holistiese ontwikkeling van seminarium studente in veral drie areas, naamlik spirituele formasie, karakterontwikkeling en die ontwikkeling van vaardighede vir die bediening. Dit toon verder dat `n integrasie van mentorskap in teologiese seminariums volgens bybelse terme nodig is en ook prakties moontlik is. Ten spyte van die feit dat respondente mentorskap identifiseer as bydraend tot hulle holistiese ontwikkeling as afgestudeerdes, is daar die persepsie dat mentorskap nie effektief in die seminariums toegepas word nie. Die hoofde van die instellings asook die fakulteitsrespondente is dit ook eens dat alhoewel mentorskap plaasvind in die drie seminariums, dit leemtes toon in onder andere die tekort aan dokumentasie oor mentorskap, die tekort aan supervisie vir mentors, tekort aan behoorlike mentorskap administrasie, die tekort aan gestandardiseerde prosedures met betrekking tot mentorskap, die tekort aan behoorlike opleiding vir mentors, ens. Die studie maak verskeie aanbevelings om die effektiwiteit van mentorskap te verbeter, met spesifieke verwysing na die jeug.

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