The Center for Training and Documentation (CFD) was initiated by the Presbyterian Church in Rwanda since 1996 with the vision of becoming a center for equipping religious leaders and church members with knowledge and skills that meets the needs of the post-genocide Rwandan community through five programs concisely presented as follows:
Theological Education by Extension (TEE): A two years training of lay Christians (elders, deacons, preachers) from different Christian denominations who meet weekly in groups of about 20 people to reflect on the lessons prepared and published by CFD on different subjects: Old Testament, New Testament, Homiletics, Church History, Christian Ethics, church and society.
In-Service training of Church Ministers: It deals with capacity building of church ministers on current issues the Rwandan community is facing (Eg. Gender Based Violence, family planning,..). After developing the topic, the training materials are compiled in a booklet and distributed to trainees and those who didn’t get chance to participate for same awareness on the examined topic. This helps in common understanding, church unity and identity.
Christian-Muslims relations: This program aims at promoting peaceful cohabitation between Christians and Muslims. It brings together leaders and members of both religions to reflect on common political and socio-economic issues and developing the spirit of tolerance and mutual respect despite some theological and doctrinal differences.
Grassroots churches: Once a week, 7 to 10 families of the same neighborhood meet in one of the families for Bible Study, socialization, discussion on some of their concerns and prayer. Each year, the CFD publishes a booklet to help in reflection on 52 topics which correspond to 52 weeks of the year.
Research and Documentation: This program aims at conducting empirical research on challenges faced by the Post-genocide Rwandan community and how churches can address them as well as redaction and publication of different learning materials for the church. Furthermore, CFD initiated a library which helps church Ministers, students in the Faculty of Theology, and Christians to get relevant books, journals and articles for their intellectual and practical enrichment. In the near future, CFD shall start an electronic library and data storage to allow remote access to different materials and long term storage of primary data form different denominations.
Through CFD’s programs, the Presbyterian Church in Rwanda keeps strong connection between church communities all over the country, therefore, maintaining church identity and unity is ensured. Nevertheless, the church through CFD is facing financial issues to meet its mission which is attained by organization of different sessions of training in different corners of the country, publication of learning materials, research and acquisition of books and article for the library, to mention but a few. Given that the Presbyterian Church in Rwanda is not able to fund the aforesaid activities, it would appreciate any body or organization that may support with any kind of means the continuation of serving efficiently the Christian community in particular and the whole Rwandan community in general.
Rev. Celestin Nsengimana/ CFD Coordinator.