Project: Pastoral Education West Africa
Project: Pastoral Education, West Africa (PPEWA) work grew out of a request from Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church—Sierra Leone (CELC—SL) to resume advanced pastoral education sessions that the Rev. Philip Grovenstein, an LCMS Missionary, had conducted among the Kono people from 1988-1996.
Project: Pastoral Education, West Africa (PPEWA) is an ongoing volunteer labor of love which has provided advanced pastoral education services in Sierra Leone and Liberia since 2007. Its mission is to equip the pastoral leadership of the Lutheran churches in West Africa– Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea, and The Gambia by offering intensive courses of study and printed theological resources, which, in turn, enhance the training of the general pastorate in each church body. Its vision is to raise pastoral competencies in the service of the Gospel for both outreach and the spiritual nurture of the baptized membership.
“Education is a chief concern of our church, your previous instruction has proven to be most useful, and we would love for you to return if you are willing.” Bishop Martin Kamara, Evangelical Lutheran Church - Liberia
THE TWO-WEEK TEACHING SESSIONS
Since 2009, 23 two-week teaching sessions have been conducted in Sierra Leone and Liberia. Each session brings 15-20 indigenous Lutheran pastors and leaders to a residence and teaching compound (in Jembe, Sierra Leone, and the ELWA Center in Monrovia, Liberia) for an intensive two-week educational session. The men take selected courses of study for continued theological equipping and pastoral formation. They also assist in the conduct of daily worship. PPEWA covers all of the expenses for a teaching team of volunteer LCMS pastors, together with all the expenses for the lodging, meals, instructional materials, and assistance for travel for the attending West African Lutheran participants. The expenses for a two- week teaching session averages $20,000.
The labors in West Africa have been in partnership and helpful assistance of the staff of the LCMS Office of International Mission (OIM) and its directors in West Africa. The staff at the LCMS OIM has offered invaluable assistance to PPEWA with helpful advice and resources for travel, visa acquisition, emergency medical insurance, and instructional materials. We thank God for the continuing blessings that have come from our partnership with the LCMS OIM, its staff and personnel in West Africa.
PPEWA’s mission has been financially sustained and increased by the support of individuals, congregations, foundations, Districts and LWML Zones of the LCMS. Since 2007, the Lord, through our financial partners, have graciously provided about $450,000 to cover the expenses of this ongoing mission. All funds received go directly to send and educate pastors through PPEWA.
Project: Pastoral Education West Africa King of Glory Lutheran Church
P.O. Box 2195
Cheyenne, WY 82003
Phone: (307) 214-2067
Sierra Leone Mission Society
Support for the
Christ Evangelical Lutheran Theological Seminary
Sierra Mission Society is not an official arm of PPEWA.
Sierra Leone is a country in West Africa and among the poorest in the world. Its people are plagued with poverty, disease, short life expectancy, high maternal mortality, and little or no access to electricity, clean water, and sanitation.
And they are eager to hear the Gospel.
In the last few decades, the Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church of Sierra Leone (CELC) has grown dramatically, nearing 160 congregations served by 14 ordained pastors in a country of less than seven million people.
Their largest challenge is to educate and ordain pastors. They currently have only 14 ordained ministers. Most congregations are served by “deacons” with little or no formal theological education who often work two or more jobs.
To prepare these deacons for ordination, a seminary was founded in Jembe Town in January 2020 using local design and materials. The native ordained pastors, in addition to visiting LCMS pastors, serve as professors for seminary courses.
Our Focus is to Provide:
operating funds for the seminary. At this time, they simply cannot raise enough funds to keep the seminary operating on their own;
transportation for pastors. Currently all but two pastors in the church must walk or hire transportation. Each year, we intend to provide two ordained pastors with the funds for a motorbike, the most economical means of transportation in Sierra Leone; AND
rudimentary medical care, specifically for the faculty and students of the seminary who are affected by a variety of maladies, especially malaria, a major killer in West Africa. Sierra Leone itself has the second-highest mortality rate from malaria in the world. There are over one million cases every year, resulting in a death rate of 72 per 100,000 people. Medications are generally inexpensive by American standards.
The Sierra Leone Mission Society (SLMS) is a voluntary group of pastors and congregations within the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod committed to providing ongoing support for Christ Evangelical Lutheran Theological Seminary (CELTS) in Sierra Leone, West Africa. CELTS was established in 2020 for the training of pastors to serve congregations within the Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church of Sierra Leone and other Lutheran Church bodies in West Africa. The society works to provide financial, educational, and material resources for the students, faculty, and staff of the seminary. In addition, SLMS seeks to promote the work of CELTS throughout the Missouri Synod and other worldwide confessional Lutheran Church bodies.
For more information
To ask questions or to book an informational presentation, please contact one of the following:
Rev. Dan Mulholland – (307) 782-6802
Shepherd of the Valley-Ft. Bridger, WY
Rev. Doug Thompson – (218) 891-4581
Trinity-Fisher, MN & St. Paul-Euclid, MN
Rev. Kenneth Mars – (308)241-0233
Christ the King - Cody, WY
To make a donation
Please mail and make checks payable to:
Shepherd of the Valley LCMS
P.O. Box 280
Ft. Bridger, WY 82933
Note “Sierra Leone Mission” in the memo.
100% of donated funds go to
Christ Evangelical Lutheran Seminary of Sierra Leone.