A passion for transformation across Africa
Langham Scholar Dr Sunday Agang has a passion to see Christians in his native Nigeria equipped to live with bold faith that brings the Gospel outside of the church and seminary walls and into society. Nigeria is ranked #12 on Open Doors’ list of the top 50 countries where persecution is very high.
He says Christianity might be growing in Nigeria, but his concern is whether it is positively making an impact in the society. As a theological leader who obtained his PhD with support from Langham, he has a platform to serve as a powerful voice in his nation.
Today Sunday is a community leader and professor at the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) Theological Seminary. He understands he has a powerful platform from which to create awareness, inspire change, and multiply impact.
African Public Theology
In June last year, while on sabbatical in South Africa, Sunday started working on a book project in collaboration with other theologians from all the regions of Africa.
Still in the works, the book is titled African Public Theology. Sunday says it is aimed at changing the orientation of education in Africa. This “new education,” he explains, “will eventually help the continent return her youths that have been leaving the country for greener pastures”.Not surprisingly, the book also intends to promote a commitment to fight corruption. Sunday says it’s about building a new Africa where elected leaders work for the interests of their people.
Practical ministry to society
If Sunday doesn’t sound “religious” for a theologian, it may be because he doesn’t agree with those who tend to think that there is a dichotomy between life in church and in society.
“Our theology should be able to speak to public issues, public policies, particularly how these public issues are impacting society,” he says.
Clearly, Sunday debunks the age-old notion that theologians just sit in an ivory tower, completely detached from reality.
On the contrary, Sunday tells his seminary students that “ministry is not just to the church but also to society.” He challenges his students to use their education to help solve the problems in their community.
Courses for drug addicts
He recalls one student who, after graduating from the seminary, put together courses for young people who were addicted to drugs.
The programme was a success, Sunday says, so much so that those young people got off drugs and finished school – and some even pursued masters and doctorate degrees.
Another student of Sunday’s had a church that shared boundaries with a Muslim community. Because Sunday taught him that Christianity should impact society, the student did not only minister to his church people but extended the same love and care to the Muslim neighbours.
The impact was astounding. Sunday notes that if an attack erupted in the area, the church was protected. “The Muslims would come over and say, ‘That church you are not touching; it’s our church!’”
Impact in the community
Undoubtedly, Sunday’s leadership leaves a big impact in the lives of his students; still, his influence extends well beyond the walls of the seminary.
Sunday is Vice President of GAWON Foundation, a community-based organisation that supports widows, orphans and vulnerable children. The goal is to equip and empower marginalised members of the society through various programmes such as education, agriculture, health, multipurpose co-operatives, and skills development.
As an example, Sunday tells the story of a widow who took out a loan from GAWON, bought several sewing machines, and started teaching women how to sew. Today, her business is growing and she provides employment to women in her community.
“I sometimes go there to buy my clothes, or buy something for my wife,” says Sunday.
Grateful to Langham. . . and you!
Sunday says he wouldn’t have been a part of so many transformational stories in Nigeria if it weren’t for the platform of his PhD—a platform made possible through your partnership with Langham.
“All of those things have come because of the level God has taken me, and I am so grateful,” adds Sunday.
Sunday admits that before receiving his theological training and doctorate degree, he wasn’t open to other perspectives. “But my training exposed me to the need to listen and pay careful attention and to learn from other voices.”
It’s this training, Sunday says, that has helped him establish relationships with different denominations and work with them to bring people together and meet their needs.
Advocate for the marginalised
“To be an advocate of the marginalised and the oppressed, to think beyond my own context, to go outside my agitation and see things differently,” he explains. “I couldn’t have imagined that without my PhD training.”
It’s the same mindset that Sunday wants to impart to seminary students, community leaders, and church leaders.
Now back to teaching at the seminary after his sabbatical, there’s a new excitement in Sunday’s voice.
The seminary is starting a new program – a PhD in public theology, expository preaching, and systematic theology. These are Sunday’s areas of specialisation, and the programme is part of Sunday’s vision for the college.
“I would like to see myself there – contributing, training and preparing people for the African continent.”
You make a big difference
Langham Scholars like Sunday Agang are helping shape the religious, political and economic landscapes of their native countries. This is through writing books, teaching courses, starting new ministries, and training church leaders. They are multiplying disciples who also lead others to advance God’s kingdom in places that are fragile, like Nigeria.
Your prayers and financial support help make the transformation of minds and hearts possible. Thank you for supporting Langham as it faithfully responds to God’s call to equip biblical leaders around the world.
By Langham Partnership US
Tags: Africa, Langham Scholars, Nigeria, Sunday Agang