Zongkwa Theological College, Kaduna State.

The Methodist Church Nigeria is one of the largest Methodist Churches in Africa. Planted by British missionaries in 1842, the Church remained under the Methodist Church in Britain until gaining autonomy in 1962. Under a new Constitution in 1976, the Church embraced Episcopal Ministry and how has 74 Dioceses overseeing 5000 parishes under the leadership of Bishops and Archbishops and a Prelate.

To serve the Theological Training and Development needs of such a large Church, the Methodist Church Nigeria runs three Theological Colleges that train lay and ordained Ministers in the Methodist tradition. Only one of these - the Zongkwa Theological College - is situated in the north of the country. Historically supported by MCB, the Zongkwa Theological College was established in 1995 by Sir Hassan Odukale in order to provide Theological Education in the north of Nigeria. The purpose was not just to make it easier for those who may not have the capacity to travel to the south for theological education, but also to be a visible Christian presence and witness amidst the significant Muslim population in the region. Watch the video below of the Principal of the Zongkwa Theological College, Rev. John Salefu, speaking to us about his story.


Since 1995, over 200 Ministers have graduated from the College, though it continues to face significant challenges. These include:

  • Insecurity due to interreligious and tribal violence in the area.
  • Lack of funds.
  • The need to expose staff and students to multi-cultural, inter-ethnic and inter-religious issues.
  • How to fund the education of poorer students.
  • Funds to build a wall or fence completely surrounding the College grounds to provide security from attack.
  • Provision of computers and internet access.

Zongkwa Theological College is the only Methodist Theological Institution in Nigeria that trains women as well as men. There are currently ten women students. In response to the challenging context in which it is situated, the College also runs courses in Muslim-Christian relations and Conflict Resolution and aims to provide constructive training in these areas for all whom its trains.

The Methodist Church in Britain is pleased to support Theological Education, particularly in areas that experience such vulnerability and volatility. And we too have much to learn from such contexts. It was a privilege to visit the College, especially since it had not been visited for some years due to the sensitivity of its’ location. Here, the Rector of the College, Rev. John Salefu shares something of this story and expresses his gratitude for our partnership and for our continued expression of shared faith and humanity.


Andrew Ashdown

Partnership Coordinator for Africa.