BUILD baseline research noted this recommendation in the Approved findings, recommendations and implementation strategies of the Aclaim Report (1999): the curriculum of the colleges be revised in order to equip trainees to preach effectively, live Christ-like lives, develop servant leadership, build communication skills, and learn “instruction in adult-learning techniques in order to equip them sufficiently to be able to train their lay readers as a fundamental component of their job.” Minute 3.1.1.3

Authorship and local ownership

The research and writing of the BUILD curriculum is ultimately the work and responsibility of Rev Dr Jem Hovil with Canon Stephen Ssenyonjo Kewaza. However, the materials have strong local ownership. It is known that they capture and carry the perspectives and input of a range of groups and individuals in and around Uganda.

Those voices include those of: the succession of Provincial Education Coordinators and other key leaders at the Provincial Secretariat of the COU; the BUILD Committee, chaired by the Rt Rev George Tibeesigwa; and the curriculum planning group that met on Namirembe Hill in 2005 and 2006 to draft the shape of the curriculum.

They particularly include those who came from Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania and Kenya to attend the series of local participatory curriculum development workshops hosted by Uganda Martyrs Seminary, Namugongo between 2009 and 2014. A curriculum review consultation held in February 2013, with representatives from the bishops, clergy and laity, also helped to guide the process.

Finally, the informants in 44 oral interviews in a research phase between 2000 and 2004 together with the 558 questionnaire survey respondents who contributed to that work provided an essential baseline for the work. That lengthy list of voices stands to represent the many at the grassroots who continue to use the materials and provide feedback for their constant revision.

Some of the sources are listed on the subpages.

Doctoral research

The original doctoral research behind the BUILD curriculum, which drew on those earlier sources, was carried out for the thesis, Transforming Theological Education in the Church of the Province of Uganda (Anglican) by R Jeremy G Hovil (2005) presented for the degree of Doctor of Theology at the University of Stellenbosch, which can be downloaded here (http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/5753).

The study presents a practical-theological examination of the changing face of theological education in the Church of Uganda (COU). It explores the hypothesis that both the effectiveness of the Church’s training and its mission are inextricably tied to their responsiveness and integrity in the midst of multiple transitions.

A contextual concern is maintained throughout the study, which draws on an extensive primary database and explores the Ugandan context from the socio-economic, socio-cultural and ecclesiastical perspectives. That contextual analysis is shaped by, and continually connects with the concerns of theological education and raises and explores a number of issues. These include socio-economic challenges such as dramatic regional variation and demographic change, the need for theological education to connect with culture, particularly in relation to its heterogeneity and its oral-literary nature, and the significance of the unique narrative and identity of the COU for its theological education.

Through the synthesis of these contextual findings, two dominant requirements for the transformation of theological education in the COU emerge, namely integration and flexibility. The history, curriculum, pedagogy and structures of theological education in the COU are then evaluated in the light of those two requirements, as well as from the perspective of the discipline of curriculum development. The analysis recognises where recent developments in the sphere have already begun to incorporate these values, but it also highlights the need for more radical transformation.

The study concludes by synthesising the findings into a dynamic curriculum development model for use in transforming theological education in the COU. Furthermore, the application of the model demonstrates its relevance and generates some specific strategic recommendations for change. As such the study contributes to both the local and global discourse on theological education, and to the field of practical theology.

This study laid an important foundation for the BUILD programme, but BUILD was in itself a response to an independent audit of the COU commissioned by the Church in the late 1990s. The consultation focussed on resource mobilisation and capacity building in the COU, and was produced in 1997 as the Aclaim Report. A proposal for action was then outlined in 1999 in the form of the Approved findings, recommendations and implementation strategies of the Aclaim Report.