Read letters from Ingrid Reneau
For older letters, contact Mission Connections
Mission co-worker in Ghana since 2014 - previously in South Sudan
Serving at the Akrofti-Christaller Institute of Theology, Mission and Culture
Contact: Ingrid Reneau (Ingrid.Reneau@pcusa.org)
Ingrid will be in the U.S. and available for speaking engagements May–July 2014. Email her to extend an invitation.
About Ingrid Reneau's ministry
Afroki Christaller Institute of Theology, Mission, and Culture, is a post-graduate research institute of university status in Ghana. It serves the Pan-African Christian community as well as Westerners and Asians through teaching and research. The institute has invited Ingrid Reneau Walls to engage in research that will contribute to the development of Christianity and Christians in the fundamentally primal cultures of South Sudan’s cattle-keeping communities. Ingrid also will assist the institute’s publication program by editing and supervising manuscript processes. In addition, she will teach academic writing in the institute’s M.A. and M.Th. degree programs and its certificate/continuing education program. She will seek to enhance the institute’s efforts to stimulate theology in relation to African cultures and promote Christian scholarship in Africa.
In 1957, Ghana became the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to gain independence from a colonial power. Since achieving independence, Ghana has experienced two coups and military rule, but a democratic government was established in 1992. Today some observers consider Ghana a model for economic and political reform in Africa. Ghana’s economic growth rate in recent years has placed it among the 25 fastest growing economies in the world. However, even with such rapid growth, widespread poverty continues to be a problem. Ghana’s annual per capita gross domestic product is only $3,300, which ranks it 173rd out of 229 countries. An estimated 70 percent of the people are Christian and another 17 percent are Muslim. Other Ghanaians adhere to traditional faiths or practice no religion. The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) works in partnership with the Presbyterian Church of Ghana and the Christian Council of Ghana. Several PC(USA) congregations and presbyteries have partnerships with congregations and presbyteries in Ghana.
About Ingrid Reneau
Ingrid’s work in Ghana brings together her love for the church as the Body of Christ, her commitment to mission, and her passion for teaching and research.
The transient nature of the cattle-keeping communities that she studies brings a special challenge to the development of the church. Ingrid came to the task with five years of mission experience in South Sudan. There she trained teachers and school administrators for church-related primary and secondary schools, and many of her students served the cattle-keeping communities. At Akrofi Christaller Institute of Theology, Mission, and Culture, she will draw on her experience in South Sudan and her background in higher education. Prior to entering mission service, she was an assistant professor at the University of South Carolina where she taught in the Department of English and the Women’s Studies Program.
Besides her experience and professional credentials, Ingrid says she “lives ministry with a clear sense of call” that began in 2004. She resigned her university teaching position and began a time of discernment. Her family and friends thought “I’d lost my mind,” she says. “Indeed, I felt lost, unclear about what was happening to me but yet, there was an irrational knowing deep within that my life was being focused according to the will of Almighty God.”
Ingrid worked at cost of living wages with children and youth and considered attending seminary. Eventually, she determined God was leading her to mission service, and in 2007 she accepted Presbyterian World Mission’s invitation to serve as an education officer in South Sudan. While in mission service, she has seen how Christian congregations in different parts of the world need each other. “I hope my skills and gifts will serve to foster the increasingly clear interdependence of the Body of Christ as we exist on both sides of the Atlantic and the Pacific,” she says.
As a scholar, Ingrid seeks to use the best academic tools to serve her students and the church. At the same time, she recognizes that no scholarly inquiry can totally unlock the unfathomable mystery of God. She says Isaiah 55: 8-9 conveys this truth clearly and that this passage guides her life and mission service. It reads, “‘for my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’” declares the Lord. “‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. ’”
Ingrid holds both a master’s and doctorate in English literature from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. She received her undergraduate degree from Hunter College, part of the City College of New York, graduating Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa.
At Akrofi Christaller Institute of Theology, Mission, and Culture, she serves alongside her husband, Andrew F. Walls, a theologian and Christian mission historian. Andrew and Ingrid were married in 2012.
Ingrid is a member of Shiloh Christian Fellowship in Oakland, California.
Ingrid is married to Professor Andrew Walls, a British theologian and missiologist best known for his pioneering study of the history of the African church.