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Melanesian Messenger Online distributed by the
Church of the Province of Melanesia
BPTC staff congratulate the graduands after the ceremony:
Fr Ben Seka, Lecturer in Ministry; Fr Charles Brown Beu, Lecturer in Theology and Ethics, and Fr Edward Kolohai, Lecturer in Biblical Studies
Photo No. : P071117-5
Click for enlarged photo

Church Believes in Sound, Quality Education - Fr Akao
November 17, 2007

[Melanesian Messenger - Melanesia] Fr Philemon Akao, the principal of Bishop Patteson Theological College Kohimarama of the Church of Melanesia in Solomon Islands, said it was not the intention of the Church to compete in establishing colleges and universities but rather to advance in its pursuit for a sound and quality theological education.

Speaking at the 37th College graduation for Diploma in Theology students, he said the journey of theological education in the Church of Melanesia in both Solomon Islands and Vanuatu has reached 156 years in 2007.

In this journey, he said, it is the Church in her own way that had visions to move ahead and not by any legislative move by the government or state.

"If the Church of Melanesia, today and in the future, is passionate about education in general, and theological education in particular, such move is the Church's legacy of trust and faith in her human resources that traverses centuries of envisioning the best and quality education."

Commenting on the fact that the College was the first institution in the country to offer a degree programme, Fr Akao said it was wrong if others saw the establishment and competed with it, because that was never its intention in the first place. The competition aspect should be left to the learners in the institutions.

The Church of Melanesia is in the process of re-establishing the College to a new site east of Honiara, for reasons based on its commitment to sound education.

"The Church started and learnt the art in the last 156 years, because she is mature through struggles and is able to overcome the struggles in the power of God."

As was always the case, he said, theological education at Bishop Patteson respected a common convergence, where interactions between the secular and theological institutions co-existed for the well-being of the learner.

He thanked leaders in the Church for their vision in advancing theological education in Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.