Distance-Learning

A letter from Rochelle and Tyler Holm serving in Malawi

Spring 2016

Write to Rochelle Holm
Write to Tyler Holm

Individuals: Give to E074868 for Rochelle and Tyler Holm’s sending and support

Congregations: Give toD507572 for Rochelle and Tyler Holm’s sending and support

Churches are asked to send donations through your congregation’s normal receiving site (this is usually your presbytery).

Did you know that fewer than 1 percent of the population in Malawi have access to a university education, one of the lowest rates in the world? There are several vibrant churches in Malawi, but there is a great need of trained ministers.  Currently ministers must serve many congregations.  In 2003 a survey reported there was just one ordained minister for every 7,000 catechized members of the Church of Central African Presbyterian (CCAP).  The CCAP was formed in the late 1940s and has been supported by many mission personnel over the years.  Trained leaders are needed in many other areas as well; most teachers, for example, have only one or two years of post-secondary schooling.

Let your heart hold fast my words;
Keep my commandments and live;
Acquire wisdom! Acquire understanding!
Do not forget nor turn away from the words of my mouth.
—Proverbs 4:4b–5

Tyler has had the privilege since 2012 of teaching theology at the University of Livingstonia, Faculty of Theology, at the Ekwendeni campus, at the invitation of the CCAP, Synod of Livingstonia.

holm-1604-1At the University of Livingstonia, Faculty of Theology, there is now both a traditional residential and a new (this year) distance-learning program for students.  Just as the Faculty of Theology is growing with students, it is growing with additional faculty members.

The new distance-learning program is taught in intensive course modules and geared toward those working full time.  There are about 70 students studying in this module-based program for a bachelor’s (four-year program) or diploma (three-year program) in Theology on the Ekwendeni campus. Most of the students in this (nonresidential) distance-learning program are working professionals.  Some students already are pastors and are going back to school to get a bachelor’s degree, while others come from a variety of professions.  They do most of their studying at their homes, which are all over the country, and they come three or four times a year to the Ekwendeni campus for face-to-face instruction for one or two weeks of intensive seminars.

holm-1604-2As part of the distance-learning program, Tyler is teaching Church History (pre-Reformation) to first-year students and Systematic Theology (ecclesiology and eschatology) to third-year students.

The new female student dormitory at the Ekwendeni campus is also very close to completion, which is much needed space to accommodate this growth of the university.  We would love to have you come visit us at the University of Livingstonia, Faculty of Theology, in the next few months and not only see the growth of the university, but also meet our dedicated students.

Evangelism is one of the critical global issues of Presbyterian World Mission. We are very appreciative of your prayers, especially those lifted up for the University of Livingstonia, Faculty of Theology, students and staff. Please consider making an extra contribution to scholarships at the Faculty of Theology. Full scholarships for an academic year are USD$5,000, which covers all tuition, fees and living expenses.  Please send your contribution to Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), PO Box 643700, Pittsburgh, PA 15264-3700, and write in the memo line: University of Livingstonia scholarships (account E052124)—or you can use this link to give online. Also, if you would like updates on a student under scholarship, please let us know and we would be happy to provide individual progress updates to you.

holm-1604-3Rochelle continues to manage the growing Mzuzu University Water and Sanitation Centers, which are committed to increasing the availability and sustainability of clean water, hygiene, and improved sanitation in Malawi and beyond.  The Master’s in Sanitation program now has two cohorts of students and will soon welcome the first cohort of Ph.D. in Sanitation students. The students studying sanitation come from all walks of life—one student has just finished his B.Sc. in Water Resource Management and Development, another is balancing school while she works full time for the Ministry of Health, and one of our students works for the Development Department of the CCAP Synod of Livingstonia.  We are looking forward to celebrating graduation and the accomplishment of all our students on campus in August.

We are able to serve here because of your prayers, encouragement, and generosity alongside His plan and our work in theology, water and sanitation in Malawi.  Thank you for your current financial support for our family through Presbyterian World Mission, and we invite you to consider supporting our work financially in 2016.

Rochelle and Tyler Holm


Creative_Commons-BYNCNDYou may freely reuse and distribute this article in its entirety for non-commercial purposes in any medium. Please include author attribution, photography credits, and a link to the original article. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDeratives 4.0 International License.

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