Charlie Rampfumedzi (above left, with Christ Seminary lecturers) is a graduate of Christ Seminary in South Africa, a TMAI member school. He has also served as principal of Christ Seminary since 2012. His leadership at Christ Seminary over the past years has been critical in seeing many South African pastors equipped to preach God’s Word faithfully and courageously. He has graciously agreed to respond to a few questions.
I: Hi, Charlie. Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your role at Christ Seminary.
C: My name is Charlie Rampfumedzi. I am married to one wife and am blessed with three boys. The Lord led me to Christ Seminary in 1997, where I endured the hardship of learning [smile], and by the grace of God I completed my studies in 2000. In 2001 I started lecturing at Christ Seminary, and by 2012 I was invited to be its principal. It was a huge responsibility, which I felt I was not worthy of, but I realized that it is always upon the grace of God to carry such a responsibility, and so I accepted His call. My role as principal has several components, but for us to remain true and faithful to the Word, we are to make sure that we remain focused on our philosophy of ministry; we are committed to training faithful men who will also impart that truth to others.
I: What do you see to be South Africa’s greatest need in the church?
C: The greatest need that we have identified at the moment in South Africa and in Africa at large is the solid theological training of pastors, as well as their training in expository preaching. Christ Seminary is committed to the style or method of preaching which is expository preaching, and we believe that this is exactly what local churches need. If they can be equipped in that area and they go back to their local churches, fill those pulpits, and preach sound theology expositorily, the churches will be strengthened and many, many lives will be saved and encouraged. In that way we are hoping that Africa will be transformed by the preaching of the truth. That’s what Christ Seminary is doing.
I: What are some of the biggest challenges you expect to face in the upcoming years?
C: First and foremost is our accreditation with the government. The government always changes the rules and plays their own game, but we pray that the Lord will intervene and allow us to receive that re-accreditation every year.
I: Would you mind explaining for us why accreditation is important?
C: We want to be accountable. We do not want to provide training that is not recognized. Many institutions are developing rapidly to provide training but the education is not recognized anywhere. For the sake of recognition and for those students who may want to receive further training elsewhere at other institutions we must make sure that our qualifications are accredited and that our facility is accountable.
Christ Seminary is committed to the style or method of preaching which is expository preaching, and we believe that this is exactly what local churches need.
I: What other challenges do you expect to face?
C: Another great challenge we have is to bring in faithful men. We work hard to contact, visit, and meet with local churches, to challenge the men, and to let them know that there is a place where they can be trained. Bringing faithful men to the seminary for training is a yearly challenge. The “prosperity gospel” is so strong in Africa, and is drawing the attention of so many, that the desire for the Word of God is deteriorating.
I: Why should someone consider Christ Seminary for training?
C: I believe it is the best pastoral training available in our country. We desire to see men developing a high view of God and a high view of Scripture that is not really found in many other seminaries here. We also strive by the grace of God to come alongside those who are too disadvantaged to otherwise find theological training. We don’t want finance to be a hindrance, so we subsidize their education in such a way that is affordable for them. A love for the Word of God, the discipline of study, and the development of leadership are all fruits of Christ Seminary, and reasons to attend.