By Muduku Derrick Brian
Uganda Christian University (UCU) is organizing special training for Grade 3 and Grade 5 teachers in mission schools within the church of Uganda province, to enable them attain degrees. This was revealed during a one-day workshop for chaplains in the Mukono Diocese.
UCU Vice Chancellor, Assoc. Prof. Aaron Mushengyezi, says that UCU is committed to ensuring that there is training of clergy and church workers in a special intake.
“The government is nowadays demanding for all teachers to be graduates. We are calling upon teachers from the mission schools to come and enroll for the courses starting in the Advent intake,” he said.
The intake for the teachers from the Church of Uganda schools will come with a subsidization of the costs that they will incur so that the tuition is affordable for them.
Mushengyezi urges the chaplains from the various institutions within Mukono to ensure that their works manifest the Christ centered agenda that the church advocates for.
“Make yourselves relevant to the mission of the church.” You are the torch bearers of Christ’s message in the schools, hospitals, and prisons that you work in. “Don’t get tired of spreading the Gospel,” he said.
Rev. Canon Diana Mirembe Nkesiga, the Vicar of All Saints Cathedral, says that the chaplains should take their profession as a calling and embrace it to the fullest.
“This business of using chaplaincy as a stepping stone to become a bishop is not right.” This is a profession that must be respected and given full attention. “Your role is crucial, especially in the schools where you are posted,” she said.
Mirembe adds that the Christian doctrine that the chaplains are teaching in schools to children should be one that is in depth and centered on the fundamental principles and values of the Anglican church.
“Preaching this wishy-washy kind of doctrine to our students will not help. We need a strong doctrine that we preach so that we leave a positive mark in the schools, hospitals, and prisons that we serve, “she said.
She urges the chaplains to fight the growing tendency of students being lured into misleading beliefs and ideologies and guide them towards proper Christian training and upbringing.
Rev. Canon. Geoffrey Muwanguzi, the Chaplain of Ndejje University, urged the chaplains to know their roles in the schools, hospitals and prisons that they are posted in.
“We are meant to build bridges of trust between the church and the institutions where we are,” he said.
Muwanguzi says that the chaplains should be able to motivate and initiate the Christian faith in young people and ensure that it is applied in their lives; in so doing, the children will grow up healthy in Christianity.
He adds that the role of the chaplains goes beyond the spiritual realm because even the physical, emotional, and psychological wellbeing of the students should be tapped into.
Dealing with mixed communities where people from various religious denominations are involved is an aspect that the chaplains have been advised to deal with professionalism and ethics so that all parties are respected and upheld.
Lujja Joshua, the Chaplain of Kawuku Boarding School, says that he is grateful to UCU for organizing the workshop for chaplains.
“I appreciate the training that UCU has given to us today and I have learnt that chaplaincy is a calling from God and so we need to focus our time and energy on it,” he said.
Lujja adds that he looks forward to benefiting from the teaching that the clergy and teachers from Church of Uganda schools will receive from UCU so that he and other people can boost the quality of their academic qualifications.