Read letters from Marta Bennett
December 11, 2011
November 20, 2011
April 15, 2011
June 28, 2010
December 28, 2009
November 28, 2009
August 24, 2009
For older letters, contact Mission Connections
Mission co-worker in Kenya
Serving at the International Leadership University
(formerly Nairobi International School of Theology)
at the invitaton of the Natonal Council of Churches of Kenya
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Marta will next be in the USA in the Summer of 2015. Email her or the Mission Connections office (Rachel.Anderson@pcusa.org) to extend an invitation to visit your congregation or organization.
About Marta Bennett's ministry
After 12 years of serving at Daystar University in Nairobi, Kenya, Marta Bennett moved in 2006 to the teaching faculty at Nairobi International School of Theology (NIST). As the chair of postgraduate leadership studies at NIST, she is responsible for the M.Div. and M.A. programs with concentrations in leadership studies. She also teaches, advises, supervises theses, does curriculum development and leads discipleship groups.
NIST, located near the city center of Nairobi, was founded in 1981 by Campus Crusade for Christ International (known as “Life Ministries” in Africa) to equip pastors, church workers and Christian leaders with ministry skills and theological training. The school’s stated mission is “To educate and train Christlike visionary leaders to spearhead holistic transformation in Africa and the world.” Students come from all over Africa and beyond to study in the master- and diploma-level programs in biblical and theological studies, leadership, counseling, education, pastoral studies and mission. In addition short courses on ministry training are offered at a certificate level.
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“Despite all the crises and challenges that Africa presents, there truly is hope,” Marta writes. “While evangelism continues to be crucial, even more strategic is discipleship and professional skill development, so that the gospel can take root and go deep, transforming lives and society as a whole. True peace, justice, and reconciliation can only take place if hearts are changed, if people are willing to turn to God, trusting in him and together seeking to follow his ways.” The focus of her new assignment at NIST seeks to embody this commitment.
Kenya, a country with a population of 38 million, spans an area about 85 percent of the size of Texas. It is a country of great ethnic diversity, which is often a source of the country’s political tensions. Most Kenyans speak both English and Swahili and many also speak the language of their ethnic tribe. About 22 percent of the population live in cities. Nairobi, the capital city and the country’s largest urban center, is home to about 3 million people. The people are mostly Christian with 45 percent identifying themselves as Protestant and 33 percent as Catholic. About 10 percent are Muslim, another 10 percent adhere to traditional religions, and 2 percent practice other religions. The Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA), the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)'s church partner in Kenya, traces its origins to missionaries from the Church of Scotland who arrived in 1891. The work of those early mission workers has borne much fruit. The PCEA now has more than 4 million members and it continues to grow rapidly. The PC(USA) began working in Kenya during the 20th century and continues to send mission personnel at the request of the PCEA.
About Marta Bennett
Prior to her appointment with NIST, Marta served at Daystar University, a multidenominational Christian university, with accreditation through the Kenyan government. She was a senior lecturer (professor) and served as chair of postgraduate studies. She taught at the graduate level in biblical and religious studies, Christian ministries and leadership development. As department chair, she was also responsible for administrative functions and oversaw all processes for students working on master’s theses.
Marta is a clergy member of the Presbytery of Seattle, where she served as an intern and then later as a parish associate at University Presbyterian Church for 12 years prior to leaving for Kenya. At the same time, from 1982 to 1994, she served as director of campus ministries and as an adjunct professor at Seattle Pacific University in Seattle, Washington.
Marta holds a bachelor’s degree in art, religious studies and secondary education from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon. Her master’s degree in divinity is from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. She earned a doctorate in educational leadership from Seattle University in Seattle, Washington, and is in the process of earning an M.A. in African Studies at Tangaza College in Kenya, accredited through St. Mary’s University, Minnesota.
Marta has two adopted Kenyan children, a boy, Justin, and a girl, Imani, along with a foster son, Steven.
Marta - May 24
Justin - November 30
Imani - July 3