Training in Mission: Young Graduates Show Persistence and Willingness to Challenge the Church

by Cheon Young Cheol

Eight students from the latest class of the CWM Training in Mission (TIM) programme in Fiji and Jamaica celebrated their graduation on 23 November. The ceremony, held at the Webster Memorial Church in Jamaica, was the most recent in the series of TIM courses that have been nurturing the scope of the church’s public witness for the last 40 years.

The TIM curriculum—which has evolved over the past four decades—aims to empower a new generation of leaders with practical and radical understanding of what means to be leaders in mission—locally, regionally, and globally.

The course, which spans about six months, was hosted this year by the International University of Caribbean in Kingston, Jamaica. The students, ages 18-30, are single, and not yet ordained. As they graduated, they reported that they feel equipped with applied leadership skills in mission and education that will enhance their employment and voluntary opportunities.

The current TIM programme is the culmination of decades of updating the curriculum to assure it’s relevant to modern mission.

TIM also equips CWM member churches with individuals who can lead a wide range of Christian mission roles, and help bring about life-flourishing communities locally and beyond.

“Our actions matter”

Dr Sudipta Singh, CWM Deputy General Secretary, Programmes, addressed the graduates, exhorting them to rise to the challenge as witnesses and missionaries sent into a world that is rife with compromise and complicity.

“The ecumenical movement was created by young people… [and] we need young people who love the church so much that they will quarrel with it and challenge it to stand up to be counted amongst those who will not settle for mortgaging the future. We need young people who believe that our opinion, our voices, our actions matter when it comes to building life-transforming communities,” said Sudipta, “and I dare to suggest that we have those young people here today!”

“My mother was right”

Graduating from TIM was especially significant to Siphmandla Fayaka. From the United Presbyterian Church in South Africa, Fayaka is the first in his family to graduate from a tertiary education programme. Fayaka, who purchased his graduation robes as a keepsake, dedicated his success to his mother.

“Indeed, my mother was right when she told me that a persistent person [will] never meet unfortunate circumstances,” he said. “This achievement is not only for me, but for my family… and all those who come from the marginal lines of society. This programme proves that, despite our disadvantageous backgrounds, we can still do well if we put in the hard work.”

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