For TE in Africa to engage adequately with the subject matter of theology and at the same time meet the goals of TE, it must have a curriculum which is appropriate to the African context. In this regard, TE in Africa has been cited as not appropriate for the African context.12 Undoubtedly TE cannot engage adequately with its subject matter if that subject matter is not related to the context of those engaging with it, nor derived from issues stemming out of their context. Secondly, TE cannot provide requisite knowledge and skills to its students for service in the church and world if the skills and knowledge offered are out of touch with their realities. The result of such a mismatch between the curriculum of TE and the context of its students is that the students end up ignorant of the issues they need to work with and engage with theologically in their churches and wider society. They also are not knowledgeable enough to handle adequately (and in the interest of God's telos) the various issues that affect their churches and their society. Finally, they are not competent to contribute to the solving of issues that affect their churches and society. But it is not quite the case that TE in Africa is riddled with inappropriate curricula.
A survey of the curriculum of twelve theological institutions13 in different regions of Africa seems to indicate, in varying degrees, that theological institutions in Africa have made efforts to have in their bachelor's degree a curriculum that is informed by the African context. The curriculum of these institutions includes the traditional academic disciplines - such as systematic theology, biblical studies, and church history – that would be found in theological/religious studies anywhere. In this regard one would be tempted to conclude that such curricula are not geared to the African context. While we cannot rule this out, it is not necessarily the case since one can incorporate African concerns within the traditional disciplines. In the area of biblical studies, for example, one can conduct interpretations that are deliberately contextual. In systematic theology, as another example, African categories can be exploited in Christological studies. But the traditional disciplines are not all there as in the curricula of these African theological institutions. There are courses that are clearly designed to address the African context.
Concerning Africa's religious context the Theological College of Northern Nigeria (in conjunction with the University of Jos), for example, has courses which aspire to address the religious context in Africa, such as African Church History, Nigerian Church History, Theology of the Holy Spirit for an African Context, African Traditional Religion in Nigeria, Ethics in the West African Context, etc. In Kenya, the University of Nairobi's Department of Religious Studies has; African religion, Belief Systems in Kenya, New Religious Movements, History of Christianity in East Africa, etc. In Southern Africa, the Evangelical Seminary of Southern Africa has courses such as The Church in Africa, African Initiated Churches and Zulu Language and Culture, which address the religious context of Africa. Indeed, any random look at the curriculum of theological institutions in Africa confirms that common to most of them are courses in various disciplines and fields which are informed by the religious context of Africa.
As another example of an appropriate curriculum in TE in Africa, my survey also shows that Africa's theological institutions are grappling with Africa's political context, particularly with regard to conflict resolution and management. For example, African University of Zimbabwe has a course on Biblical Foundations for Leadership and on Conflict Transformation and Peace Building; the University of KwaZulu Natal has a course on Religion and Conflict, as well as on Christianity, Justice and Peace; while both the Evangelical Seminary of Southern Africa and the Theological College of Western Nigeria have a course on Conflict Resolution. As a last example, I surmise that the various courses offered in the field of ethics by African theological institutions may have in their application components that touch on the political issues facing Africa.
So there is every indication that, in principle, theological institutions in Africa are striving, in the TE they offer, to address Africa's context. Theological institutions which offer degrees and higher studies that do not address themselves in their curriculum to the African context would be the exception. But such a conclusion does not mean that there is no room for revising and improving the curriculum of TE in Africa. In the interest of continued appropriateness, curriculum revision is a necessity in view of the constant movement and ever-evolving contexts. Indeed we have a critical issue in the African context which theological institutions in Africa must address in their curriculum and to this we turn now.