Jos ECWA Theological Seminary was founded in 1980 by the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) in partnership with SIM (Serving in Mission). The purpose of JETS was to provide higher theological education for the growing church in the Middle Belt and northern states of Nigeria. The seminary started at the ECWA headquarters and later moved to its present campus at Farin Gada in 1981. The school began with diploma and BA degrees. Early teachers were Drs. Wilbert Norton (the founding Principal), Yusufu Turaki, Danfulani Kore, Victor Cole and others.
In 1992 JETS began her MA programme. Other degree programmes followed such as M.Div and Th.M. as well as PGDT. In 2004 the Provost (Rev. Professor Samuel W. Kunhiyop) launched an idea for the starting of a PhD degree. The idea passed the Board of Governors and Rev. Dr. Randee Ijatuyi-Morphe was appointed as the first interim Associate Director to develop the programme. Dr. Morphe laid an excellent foundation for the philosophy and overall plan for the programme. On January 1, 2006 Rev. Professor George Janvier was appointed interim Director and then substantive Director by May 2006.
The first set of PhD students began in June 2006 in a biblical studies programme (with specialisations in OT and NT). The first graduation took place in December 2010. Other programmes are planned depending on the needs of the church and availability of qualified students and faculty. A second set of students was accepted for August 2011 studies and they have commenced.
The purpose of the PhD programme is to provide internationally credible, contextualised, and advanced theological study to meet the growing needs of the contemporary African church and society. The programme has an international aspect but also a local application (i.e., it is glocal, maintains global reach and perspectives but contextually localized and rooted). It aims at producing competent African Christian scholars and leaders who can address the problems and challenges of the church in Africa, and engage in scholarly research and/or policy formulations on biblical, theological, missiological, educational, social and ethical issues. It is to provide manpower for educational institutions and Christian organisations within Africa, and especially in Nigeria, to train Christian leaders who can meet the needs of an increasing number of educated lay people in the church and society. By providing a theological education that is critical reflective, biblically grounded, historically rooted in the history and traditions of the biblical communities of faith, missional in orientation, and contextually relevant to the contemporary society, it is hoped that the programme will produce Christian thinkers and scholars who will be the conscience of the church and society.
The JETS PhD programme is biblical, integrative, historical, contemporary, contextual, and interdisciplinary and is conscious about the integration of theory and practice. There are up to four specialisation programmes: Biblical Studies, Theological Studies, Educational Studies and Intercultural Studies. The timing of each programme is dependent on the availability of students, teachers, and facilities.
We see our graduates as leaders in three areas of ministry: (a) leadership roles in schools and Church denominations/Christian organisations; (b) in teaching at the seminary and graduate school levels in their respective disciplines; © in research, writing, and publishing materials relevant to the growth of the church, school, home, and missions. In summary, they lead the 21st century African church.
JETS philosophy of education is grounded in the inspired and infallible Word of God. It is a philosophy guided by the desire to balance sound academic learning, practical ministry skills, and spiritual formation. JETS seeks to send forth graduates who will handle the Word of God faithfully, combining evangelistic zeal with an understanding of the contemporary social and cultural milieu. JETS emphasises high ethical standards, rigorous academic standards, and extensive Christian ministry.
As a faculty, we see PhD students as colleagues whom we need to “Present complete in Christ” (Colossians 1:28). Our programme stresses academic Skills, spiritual formation, and ministry skills development. Our theme verses are Proverbs 9:9-10 “Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; Teach a just man, and he will increase in learning. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Hoy One is understanding.”
Strong Features of the Programme
- Students are trained in the African context working on African issues.
- Excellent scholarship and outstanding on-campus faculty.
- A holistic approach to education and theological reflection.
- The programme is integrative with biblical, theological, and contextual concerns to Africans.
- It is community focus with on campus accommodation.
- It is research focused using the internet and access to valuable software and hard copy books.
- Teaching and ministry opportunities exist while a student.
- Families are present with the student during studies.
- Better links to the African church during the period of study.
- Good access to visiting scholars from Africa and internationally.
- Urban seminary environment for wider ministry opportunities.
- Reasonable tuition costs.
PROGRAMMES OF STUDY
Research is a vital component of the JETS PhD programme and forms the basis of every course. Students choose their dissertation topics based on their research skills and personal interests. JETS main degree is a PhD in Integrative Theology. The areas of concentration are:
- Theological Studies (Systematic, Historical Theology and Christian Ethics)
- Biblical Studies (Old Testament or New Testament)
- Educational Studies
- Missions/Intercultural Studies
A student will take a core set of courses and additional courses in his or her own area of specialisation.
PhD in Integrative Theology
The PhD programme in Integrative Theology is designed cognizant of the multifaceted issues facing the twenty-first African Christian. It aims at producing educators and those engaged in scholarly research at advanced levels as well as those in leadership in the church and society who are saddled, with the task of critically charting the path for the future of the Church (and society) in Africa. The nature of our contemporary post modern condition demands an interdisciplinary approach to life and learning, hence the need to move away from segmentary approaches to knowledge acquisition and living, to those that holistically bring into dialogue the intellectual, theoretical, and practical concerns of our Christian traditions and ministries. This PhD programme, therefore, consists of emphasis in Biblical Studies, Theological Studies, Missions/Intercultural Studies, and Educational Studies. The programme consists of:
- 13 seminars/courses, 5 of these are core to the programme (integrative), 4 of which are drawn from all the representative disciplines
- Two Integrative Colloquia (topics for which will be drawn from the four representative disciplines in the programme)
- Four specialisation elective/courses
- Two directed reading independent courses
Biblical Studies (OT and NT)
The same integrative approach of the JETS PhD programme is brought to bear in the Biblical Studies track as well. Students are required to take one seminar each in the other two fields of biblical studies other than the one they are specializing in. Emphasis is placed on studying the Scriptures as an integrated whole story of redemption within the context of their historical milieu. The Biblical Studies track also aims at developing biblical scholars, who are able to engage the Scriptures critically, theologically, contextually, faithfully, and in the languages in which they were originally written.
The Theological Studies track comprises Historical Theology, Systematic Theology and Christian Ethics. Students are required to take one seminar each in the other two areas of concentration other than the one they are specializing in. The students in the programme, as people who will be setting the theological agenda for their denominations or the church in Africa at large, will be expected to engage critically with the issues facing contemporary African Christians theologically and biblically, while keeping in good perspective our Christian history and traditions.
The education track focuses on the general theory and practice of learning, teaching, and educational leadership and administration. It combines an emphasis on theoretical knowledge and individualized focus study in such areas of interest such as early childhood education, higher education, educational psychology, educational planning and policy, as well as educational leadership and administration; all these being done with a standpoint of a faithful Christian witness through service.
The Missions track works at integrating social and developmental studies with biblical-theological studies and a good understanding of the history of the church for developing models of culturally relevant and effective ways of bearing witness in the twenty-first century in the global comity of nations. Great emphasis is placed on the acquisition of skills for cross cultural ministry in a globally interdependent world and the understanding of business and development as mission strategies. Students are helped to develop research and leadership skills in order to be effective as trainers, missiological researchers, or leaders of mission endeavors for the sake of growing the kingdom of God.