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TT: How did you become a Christian?

PK: I was born into a Christian family. My father and mother were both Christian leaders serving the Church of Uganda as lay leaders in a local church. My father later became a clergyman, which increased my opportunities for formal education and church exposure. In 2002, as a young man in high school, I personally committed my life to Jesus as my Lord and Savior during a national conference that I attended with my mother. I eventually studied theology and was ordained in 2007 in my home diocese.

TT: What does your role as director of education for the Church of Uganda entail?

PK: The Directorate of Education includes a number of units and commissions, including Children’s Ministry, Community Health Empowerment, Boys and Girls Brigade, the Commission for Theological Training and Ministerial Formation, and the Commission for Higher Education. I coordinate all education-sector activities. This involves generating church-related policies on education and coordinating dioceses through their diocesan education departments on matters of education. I also play an advocacy role for church interests in education, serve as the church’s liaison officer with government and other education key stakeholders, and lead the church’s strategic planning on matters of education.

TT: How did Christianity and Reformed theology first come to Uganda?

PK: In 1877, Uganda received the first group of missionaries from the Church Missionary Society from Britain. The Anglican missionaries came at a time when England was still a Protestant nation whose teaching was anchored in the authority of the Scriptures and the grace of God in salvation. Therefore, from the inception of Christianity in Uganda, the country was introduced to Reformed theology through the missionaries who brought the gospel in 1877.

TT: Tell us about the Church of Uganda. What makes it distinctive? How is it related to other churches in the Anglican Communion?

PK: The Church of Uganda is central in the affairs of our country and beyond. We have three primary thematic areas. The first area of focus is teaching. The church is fully active in the education sector to ensure that teaching and learning take place. The purpose of this thematic area is to bring about complete transformation through touching the mind, the heart, and the hand. The second area of focus is evangelism. The church has thirty-eight dioceses and more than four thousand parishes spread across Uganda, with a population of 13 million Anglicans. Third, the Church of Uganda exerts a global influence, playing a pivotal role in the Global Anglican Future Conference and the Global South. These two fellowships were established to ensure the preservation of the Scriptures within the communion. Church of Uganda bishops serve as members on steering and ad hoc committees in these fellowships.

TT: What challenges does the Reformed church in Uganda face?

PK: Although the Church of Uganda has successfully been able to propagate the gospel, the church is still struggling when it comes to self-sustainability. As a result, there is need for financial resources and adequate training of both ordained and lay members of the church.

There is also the challenge of Western secular influence. This is evident in schools and the social life of Ugandans. The church is very committed to faith and Scripture, but the battle with liberalism and secularism is immense and requires preparedness.

The rapid growth of Christianity in Uganda has also caught Reformed churches unready. The church is now battling shortages of qualified, committed, and competent pastors to shepherd a flock that is predominantly made up of young people. Many ministers have received only elementary training due to the associated costs, while others lack adequate tools to use. One blessing in this area has been Ligonier Ministries’ distribution of the Reformation Study Bible to pastors in Uganda.

TT: What are some common misconceptions that Americans might have about Uganda and the churches in Uganda?

PK: There is the idea among some Christians in the West that due to poverty in Uganda, the church should compromise and accept anything that is brought from the West, including a twisting of the Scriptures. But the church here is committed to the teaching of the Scriptures, and in many cases, we have turned down aid in the interest of truth.

TT: How has the Church of Uganda responded to challenges to biblical authority in the area of sexuality?

PK: The church decided to end our partnership with the Episcopal Church (USA) and also with the Church of England. Therefore, new partnerships with fellow Bible-believing Christians in America are welcomed and cherished. The church is advocating policies in Uganda that do not facilitate or promote sexual sin. The church is also carrying out proper teaching on the subject of sexuality in both the church and schools to ensure that people are taught God’s design for sexuality.

TT: Why is it important for churches and denominations to have a robust educational ministry?

PK: Education systems play a central role in any society. For example, Christianity influenced civilization in the West, which had an impact on schooling, medical care, and politics. Education is a tool for transformation, and a strong educational ministry creates opportunities for the church to impart Christian values and skills to young people, hence shaping their lives. When the church has a robust educational ministry, it can produce leaders for the next generation.

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From the April 2024 Issue
Apr 2024 Issue