A three-day conference of the International Council for Higher Education West Africa (ICHE) with the theme: “Christian Higher Education in African context,” held at the Baptist College of Theology, Obinze-Owerri, has ended with a call on Christian students to embrace the theology of forgiveness rather than theology of retaliation.
The Anglican Bishop of Owerri, Rt Rev. Cyril C. Okorocha Ph.D, made this call in response to an invitation by ICHE to present a paper at the 2012 Conference on: “Christian Higher Education in Africa and the Eradication of poverty”.
The prelate challenged Christians, especially students of theology to endeavour to combine scholarship with spirituality, as part of efforts to blend their Christian education, as has been the case with some contending religions of our time.
He noted that, as missionaries, they should carry out their preaching assignments with integrity and to be submissive to the church authorities at all times.
According to him, anyone desiring for Christian higher education should be able to, first of all, listen, think, and try to link all that he or she has gathered for self-edification and to impart same to others.
Speaking on poverty eradication, the Chief Shepherd of the Anglican Diocese of Owerri described as deceitful and unrealistic, any programme or plan designed by any government or its agency to eradicate poverty, arguing that, so long as God has created some people to be big and others to be small, so it is that some people have equally been created to be rich and others poor.
Whether you are poor or rich, what matters in life, according to him, is for you to meet with Jesus and something good and wonderful would happen to you.
Earlier in an opening address, the Regional Chairman of ICHE, Rev. Prof. Joseph Ilorin, said that the conference is an annual event organized, among other things, to network individuals and institutions involved in higher education in order to pursue common concerns in the cause of excellence.
Prof. Ilorin, who described Bishop Okorocha as a steward of God and a good ambassador of the Anglican Communion, worldwide, noted that their close relationship dated back to the early eighties (1980s) when they were together as lecturers in Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.
The ICHE Regional Chairman used the occasion to challenge the conference participants to try to come closer to God in order to experience the goodness of God in their lives,
In his vote of thanks, the Rector of the Baptist College of Theology, Obinze-Owerri, Rev Dr. John Enyinnaya expressed gratitude to Bishop Okorocha for squeezing out time to respond to their invitation, describing as fascinating, Bishop Okorocha’s on-going preaching programmes in Radio Nigerian Heartland (FM) Station and NTA, Owerri.
The conference was attended by more than one hundred participants, including eminent scholars, some of whom also served as resource persons.