About the Institute
The AMECEA Pastoral Institute (API) is a Catholic Church Pastoral Institution. It was founded in 1967 at Ggaba, Uganda by the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences of Eastern Africa (AMECEA), which comprises the following countries: Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, South Sudan, Sudan, Malawi and Zambia (Djibouti and Somalia are affiliate members). The Institute was moved from Uganda to its current premises in Eldoret-Kenya in 1976 following the turmoil and instability that reigned in Uganda during the 1970s.
The Institute was elevated to the level of the campus of the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA) in July 2008 at the plenary meeting of the AMECEA bishops in Lusaka- Zambia. The Coordinator of the API is in charge of the academic matters of the institute. The institute however is run by the governing board comprising of seven members, representing the AMECEA bishops, the University Administration, the Campus leadership, and the teaching staff.
The vision of AMECEA Pastoral Institute is to be a centre of excellence in offering quality training for effective promotion of evangelization and realization of sustainable community development. The mission of API is to promote research and nurture and develop knowledgeable and up-to-date agents of evangelization and integral human development, with commitment to transforming societies and enhancing Christian living.
From its inception, API has been inspired by critical reflection, transmission and renewal of the Christian faith. Other objectives include the following:
- To foster spiritual renewal and deep personal witness to the Gospel as well as human formation and growth.
- To provide high quality skills and knowledge, which are shaped by the faith and values of the Church and are relevant in today’s reality of globalization and technology.
- To develop and promote systems for eradication of injustices and enhancement of justice, peace and reconciliation in society.
- To provide pastoral opportunities and skills in family, youth and destitute children apostolate and care of those infected with and affected by HIV/AIDS.
- To foster an integral, holistic development in evangelization i.e. the development of the human being as body, mind and soul.
- To provide pastoral, practical and modern leadership skills, which are relevant in today’s democratizing culture.
- To enhance critical thinking and encourage desire for positive change and promotion of human rights and dignity.
- To promote inculturated and charismatic preaching, pastoral and inculturated liturgical experimentation and creativity.
- To promote effective communication in areas of liturgy, inculturation, Biblical apostolate and Religious Education.
- To enhance self-reliance and sustainability in all aspects of the Church and Ministry.
API provides a wide range of opportunities for intellectual and spiritual renewal for the participants. There are two groups of participants in API programmes. Those who are sent to re-energize their intellectual prowess to better serve in the vineyard, and others who join the API spiritual renewal programme which does require a strenuous intellectual programme. The API programmes are categorized into three groups:
- Diploma in Pastoral Ministry and Management: This programme is especially designed to help pastors in parishes. Students recruited under this programme are mainly priests. The students undergo formation which advances their pastoral knowledge. The courses aim at a holistic formation and study. The participants are encouraged to develop their abilities for team work by living, praying and studying together. The priests are introduced to new skills which they have not had the chance to learn at the seminary, such as financial management, human resource management, and many other items.
- Diploma in Evangelization and Catechesis: The Institute grants a Diploma in Catechesis and Evangelization to those students who have completed twenty-four credits in the area of Catholic Theology, certifying that they are academically trained catechists in conformity with the principles of the General Directory for Catechesis. The Institute’s approach embraces three aspects: Pastoral, Doctrinal and Liturgical. Mostly enrolled in this programme are religious men and women, catechists and lay men and women.
- Renewal and Sabbatical Year Programme: In the year 2015, API introduced a Renewal and Sabbatical year programme for pastoral agents in the AMECEA region and beyond. This programme is unique and special because it offers a nine month’s course of revitalization and ongoing academic reflection to pastoral agents after working for many years. This special sabbatical programme invites the pastoral agents to come to rest, meanwhile to get opportunity for a deepened spiritual encounter with the Lord through recollections, spiritual talks, private meditation and adoration.
Fr. Dr. Joseph Ekomwa (Coordinator)