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Zambia: St John’s Seminary

Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. – Matthew 11.29

Seminary students who will complete their NWU Degree course in November 2019. © Fr Francis Mwansa, used with permission.
Seminary students who will complete their NWU Degree course in November 2019.
© Fr Francis Mwansa, used with permission. 


This year we aim to support clergy training and formation in the Anglican Church in Zambia through contributing to the funding of St John’s Seminary’s new local diploma and degree in Theology.

ABM has supported St John’s Seminary for almost a decade now. It is the national seminary of the Anglican Church in Zambia, training ordinands and clergy from all five Anglican dioceses across Zambia. The training prepares them to minister in fast-growing urban and rural congregations of the Church.

The seminary, which receives a small monthly grant from the National Church, does not charge tuition fees, in order to enable students from poor dioceses to attend. However, this operating grant is not enough to cover the seminary’s expenses.

St John’s is dependent on donor aid for staff salary support, maintenance, its internet facility, and books for both the library and students’ use after the training.

Father Francis Mwansa shares his story of being an ordinand, and now Principal of the Seminary, and offers thanks to ABM’s donors.

“In June 1975 l was selected to start seminary training as ordinand of the diocese of Northern Zambia. St John’s Seminary was then affiliated with the University of Cambridge offering diploma courses in Theology. The duration of the course was three years and the fourth year was Ministry Formation.

“Having completed seminary training l was ordained deacon and the following year ordained priest, and was appointed to work as curate at the Cathedral of St Michael and all Angels here in Kitwe. After serving at the cathedral for three years I was later appointed as priest in charge to the parish of St Cyprian in the town of Mufulira.

“During my time in Mufulira my diocese secured a scholarship for me to go to Virginia Theological Seminary in the USA to do a Degree Course and later a Master’s Degree.

“After completing my Masters course at VTS l went back to serve at my former parish, and at the same time l was seconded by my diocese to teach at St John’s Seminary as adjunct lecturer. In 2005 my diocese seconded me to Seminary as full-time teacher and was appointed Dean of Students. I was later appointed Dean of Studies and in 2013 appointed as Rector of the seminary.

“For the many years that I have been connected with St John’s l have seen it transformed in so many ways. When I was a student, the seminary had no computers and internet was unheard of. We had very few books in the library, which made research very difficult. Students had to rely more on the notes they got from the teachers in class.

“Today the seminary library has grown and internet research is available to both staff and students. We thank our partners for coming in to help. Today our students are able to acquire a few personal books for use in their ministry after leaving seminary training. Again this has been made possible by our committed partners who are willing to contribute to the work of St John’s Seminary and ultimately to the Church in Zambia.

“The seminary continues to have challenges funding its running costs, but survives on a minimal grant from the National Church and donations from well-wishers, including ABM.

“St John’s Seminary is currently running a degree programme with North-West University (NWU) in South Africa, and all our current students are enrolled on this programme for a period of four years. This programme also has challenges and difficulties to manage because of its demands on the use of internet and enrolment fees to the University, compounded by fluctuations in exchange rates.

“Next year, the seminary will introduce its own local diploma and degree courses in Theology to replace the NWU programme which will phase out in July 2020. We are hoping that our new local programmes will also be supported by many of our friends. May God continue to bless all who have supported St John’s Seminary training for many years and, in particular, ABM. Many thanks.”

ZM004TF needs $20,000 in 2019 (non tax-deductible)

  • Student University registration – $2,400.
  • Salary support for teaching staff – $2,000.
  • Internet provision for the students and staff – $1,300.



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Alternatively, for donations by cheque/money order (made out to the Anglican Board of Mission – Australia), telephone or email, view contact details here. Please don’t forget to include the project name and/or code with your payment details.

Gifts to ABM will be applied to the support of project(s) selected. In the unlikely event of the project being oversubscribed or not proceeding to completion, donations will be applied to a similar project to the one(s) selected.


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