A total of 12 students recently graduated from the Theological College of Zimbabwe (TCZ) in Bulawayo at a colourful ceremony attended by Christians from across denominations.

Of the twelve, four were from women’s programme, two graduated with advanced Diplomas in theology while seven were capped with the Bachelor of Arts degree in theology. It was a double graduation for Willieboy Banda who graduated with both an advanced Diploma and a degree in theology.

Speaking during the ceremony held at the college’s campus (situated opposite the National University of Science and Technology), the president of TCZ, Dr. Ray Motsi, congratulated the graduates for persevering to the end. He also thanked their spouses for standing with their partners in the long journey.

Dr Motsi also spoke on the challenges facing the institution, “In spite of economic downturns and trials, misperceptions of the role of Christianity and Christian education in the broader society and the church, demands and pressure of the changing world, we remain firmly grounded and unconditionally Christ- centred.”

He added, “We have a niche in the church and society by virtue of our strong Evangelical ethos and Christian higher education curriculum. Our Christian Evangelical shared faith, bold vision and an enduring promise of God’s eternal promises and faithfulness spur us on.”

About the operational challenges Dr. Motsi said that the national political crisis and economic melt-down which started in 2000 coupled with the global credit crunch of 2008 negatively affected TCZ’s operations. “ The resources from within Zimbabwe became insignificant in USD terms given the hyper-inflationary environment, hence the dollarization that resulted. It became impossible to maintain the same attitude of “business as usual” at the College and to make it viable at the same time.”

The interdenominational institution, envisages itself becoming “an African institution of choice with global relevance in theological reflection and related disciplines.” While its mission statement is “to serve the global mission of the church by equipping Christians and others for effective and relevant service in both the church and society.”