The ACI Accra Conference 2010



Tuesday 6th July – Saturday 10th July 2010 


Hephzibah Christian Centre, Peduase, Accra – Ghana 

Facilitating Institution

Centre for Islamic Studies – London School of Theology – UK 

Sponsoring Institutions

  1. Center for Early African Christianity – Eastern University, Philadelphia – USA
  2. World Christianity Initiative – Yale, Connecticut – US

Key Note Lecture

Prof. Lamin Sanneh (D. Willis James Professor of Missions & World Christianity and Professor of History-Yale University) 

Conference Chair 

The Most Rev. Dr. John Onaiyekan (Catholic Archbishop of Abuja-Nigeria) 

Principal Convener/Facilitator 

Rev. Dr. John Azumah (CIS – London School of Theology) 


DAY One (Wednesday 07 July) 

  1. ‘The African Christian and Islam: Learning from the Early African Church.’ Prof. Lamin Sanneh 
  2. ‘The African Christian and Islam: The Roman Catholic Perspective’, Archbishop Dr. John Onaiyekan 
  3. ‘The African Christian and Islam: Insights from the Colonial Period, Rev. Prof. Elom Dovlo 
  4. ‘African Pentecostals & Charismatics and Islam’, Prof. Matthews Ojo 

Country Studies

  1. Ethiopia – Rev. Dr. Peter Ford
  2. Egypt – Dr. Tharwat Wahba
  3. Senegal – Rev. Daniel Gomis 

07:30 – 08:30: Breakfast 

08:30 – 09:00: Bible Reflection,  Mercy Oduyoye 

09:00-10:00 Key Note Lecture, Lamin Sanneh 

10:00-11:00 RC Perspective, AB John Onaiyekan 

11:00-11:30 Coffee Break 

11:30-12:30 The Colonial Period, Elom Dovio 

12:30 – 14:00 Lunch 

14:00-14:45 Country Study (Ethiopia) Peter Ford 

14:45-15:30 Country Study (Egypt) Tharwat Wahba 

15:30-16:00 Break 

16:00-17:00 Pentecostal/Charismatic Perspective Matthews Ojo 

17:00-17:45 Country Study (Senegal) Daniel Gomis 

18:00 – 19:30 Dinner 

19:30-20:45 Group Studies 

20:45 Prayer/Close for Day 

DAY TWO (Thursday 08 July) 

5. ‘ATR as a substructure for African Christianity and a Bridge for Christian-Muslim Relations in Africa.’ Rev. Dr. Abraham Akrong 

6. Christian-Muslim Relations in Africa Today.’ Rev. Dr. Johnson Mbillah 

7. ‘The African Christian and “Folk” Islam & Islamic Mysticism.’ Dr. David Shenk 

8. ‘The African Christian and Progressive Islam’ Nicole Ravelo-Hoërson 

Country Studies

Tanzania – William Kopwe (PhD Student) 

Kenya – Dr. Stephen Sesi Ghana – Rahman Yakubu (PhD Student) 

07:30 – 08:30 Breakfast 

08:30 – 09:00 Bible Reflection Serge Traore 

09:00 – 10:00 ATR as Substructure and Bridge Abraham Akrong 

10:00 – 11:00 CMR in Africa TodaJohnson Mbillah 

11:00 – 11:30 Coffee Break 

11:30 – 12:30 Folk Islam & Islamic Mysticism David Shenk 

12:30 – 14:00 Lunch 

14:00 – 14:45 Country Study (Tanzania) Tani Hilda Kabia (Presenter) 

14:45 – 15:30 Country Study (Ghana) Rahman Yakubu 

15:30 – 16:00 Break 

16:00 – 17:00 Progressive Islam Nicole Ravelo-Hoërson 

17:00 – 17:45 Country Study (Kenya) Stephen Sesi 

18:00 – 19:30 Dinner 

19:30 – 20:45 Group Studies 

20:45 Prayer/Close for Day 

DAY Three (Friday 09 July) 

9. ‘The African Christian and Islam: Between Naivety and Hostility.’ Rev. Dr. John Azumah 

10. ‘The African Christian and Ideological Islam.’ Bishop (Dr.) Josiah Fearon 

11. ‘The African Christian and Muslim Militancy.‘ Dr. Moussa Bongoyok 

12. ‘The African Christian and Islamic Da’wah and Polemics.’ Dr. John Chesworth 

Country Studies

Nigeria -Dr. Matthew Kukah

South Africa – Manfred Jung (PhD Student) 

Sudan – Rev. James Obwonyo 

07:30 – 08:30 Breakfast 

08:30 – 09:00 Bible Reflection Josephine Mutuku 

09:00 – 10:00 Between Naivety and HostilitJohn Azumah 

10:00 – 11:00 Ideological Islam Josiah Fearon 

11:00 – 11:30 Coffee Break 

11:30 – 12:30 Muslim MilitancYounoussa Djao (Presenter) 

12:30 – 14:00 Lunch 

14:00 – 14:45 Country Study (Nigeria) Matthew Kukah 

14:45 – 15:30 Country Study (Sudan) James Obwonyo 

15:30 – 16:30 Islamic Daw’ah and Polemics John Chesworth 

16:30 – 17:00 Break 

17:00 – 17:45 Country Study (South Africa) Manfred Jung 

18:00 – 19:00 Dinner 

19:00 – 20:00 Final Group Studies 

20:00 – 20:45 Reflections/What Next?/Closing 

DAY Four (Saturday 10 July) 

Departure – After Breakfast 


Prof. Lamin Sanneh did his PhD in Islamic history at the University of London. Prior to his appointment at Yale University as the D. Willis James Professor of Missions and World Christianity, with a concurrent appointment as Professor of History at Yale College, he was a professor at Harvard University for eight years. Prof. Sanneh is an Honorary Research Professor at the School of Oriental and African Studies in the University of London, and is a life member of Clare Hall, Cambridge University. He serves on the editorial board of several academic journals and has published numerous article and books including his most recent Disciples of All Nations: Pillars of World Christianity. 

Archbishop Dr. John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan pursued a doctorate programme at the Pontifical Urban University, Rome in Biblical Theology. Currently he is the Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), CO-President of the Nigerian Inter-religious Council and Co-President of the African Council of Religious Leaders (ACRL). Archbishop Onaiyekan has been President of the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of Nigeria; President of the Association of Episcopal Conferences of Anglophone West Africa (AECAWA); President, Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar; Member of Council of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops in the Vatican; Member Standing Committee of the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches. 

Rev. Prof. Elom Dovlo is Associate Professor in the Department for the Study of Religions, University of Ghana. He has been Head of Department and Vice Dean of the Faculty of Arts. He pursued his doctoral studies at the University of Lancaster in England. Cur rently he teaches, researches and has publications in areas of the Comparative History of Religions, Islam in Modern West Africa, New Religious Movements, Religion in the African Diaspora and Religion in Public Life. He has held fellowships in the US, Europe and Asia. Rev. Dovlo is also an ordained Minister of the Global Evangelical Church and the Director of Studies. 

Prof. Mattews Ojo earned his PhD degree from Kings’ College and the School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London) in 1986 specializing in African Christianity, with special interest in Pentecostal and Charismatic movements in Africa and Indigenous Initiatives in Protestant Missions from Africa. He has published extensively on these and other subjects. His recent book is End Time Army: Charismatic Movements in Modern Nigeria. Matthews has served as Visiting Professor to the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA (2002), and University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK (2006) among others. Presently, he is a Professor of Religious Studies at Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria, and an Adjunct Professor at the Nigerian Baptist Theologi cal Seminary, Ogbomoso, Nigeria. 

Rev. Dr. Abraham Akrong is a Ghanaian national and an ordained minister of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana. Dr. Akrong was educated at the University of Ghana and the Trinity Theological Seminary, Ghana and obtained his PhD from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. Currently Dr Akrong is a Senior Research Fellow and Head of Section of Religion and Philosophy at the Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana, Legon, Accra. 

Rev. Dr. Johnson Mbillah is an ordained minister of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana. Dr Mbillah did his doctoral work with the University of Birmingham, UK, on Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations. He is currently the General Advisor of the Programme for Christian-Muslim Relations in Africa (PROCMURA), based in Nairobi, Kenya. Dr. Mbillah has attended and presented academic papers at several international conferences and published a number of articles on Christian-Muslim Relations in Africa. 

David W. Shenk is an ordained minister in the Mennonite Church USA and holds a doctorate in religious studies education from New York University. He served within Muslim communities in Somalia and Kenya and also served as Academic Dean at LCC International University (Lithuania). At present he is Adjunct Professor at the Lancaster Campus of Eastern Mennonite University and Global Con sultant with Eastern Mennonite Missions with special attention to Islam. He is an accomplished author, one of his well-known works has been A Muslim and A Christian in Dialogue which he co-authored with a devout Sunni Muslim scholar, Badru D. Kateregga. 

Nicole RaveloHoërson who was born in Madagascar, lived and worked as a teacher in the Réunion Island until 1980. She did her theological studies at the Bible Institute of South Africa, Cape Town and holds a Masters of Philosophy from the London School of Theology. She served as chairperson of CCM (Christian Concern for Muslims), the national network for Muslim Evangelism in South Africa, until 2007. She is currently doing doctoral research on abused Muslim women with UNISA (The University of South Africa) She is also conducting training seminars on Muslim-Christian relations in Southern Africa and in Europe. 

Rev. Dr. John Azumah is an ordained minister of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana. John did his doctoral work with the University of Birmingham, UK on Islam in Africa and Christian-Muslim Relations. He is currently a Lecturer in Islamic and Mission studies and Direc tor of the Centre for Islamic Studies at the London School of Theology. He has taught in seminaries in India, South Africa and Ghana and was a Research Fellow at the Akrofi – Christaller Institute in Ghana. John is author of The Legacy of Arab – Islam in Africa: A Quest for Inter-Religious Dialogue (2001) and My Neighbour’s Faith: Islam Explained for Christian (2008). 

Bishop Dr. Josiah Atkins IdowuFearon did his MA (Islamic Theology) with the University of Birmingham U.K. and completed his doctoral studies (PhD) in Sociology with the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria. Presently he the Anglican Bishop of Kaduna, a Lecturer in Islamic Studies and Director of the Kaduna Anglican Study Centre and a Visiting Lecturer in Islam and Anglicanism at the Canterbury International Centre, U.K. Bishop Idowu-Fearon also serves as Chairperson of the Programme for Christian-Muslim Rela tions in Africa (PROCMURA) as well as Co-President, Network for Interfaith Concerns, Anglican Communion. 

Dr. Moussa Bongoyok is originally from Cameroon who had most of his theological education in the Central African Republic and obtained a PhD in Intercultural Studies (with a special focus on Islam) from Fuller Theological Seminary, USA. Dr. Bongoyok served as Associate Professor of Intercultural and Islamic studies and Academic Dean of Bangui Evangelical Graduate School of Theology and is currently the Director of the Holistic Mission Institute of the Nations and a faculty member at William Carey International University. 

Dr. John Chesworth is Lecturer and Team Member at the Centre for Muslim-Christian Studies in Oxford. Dr. Chesworth did his doc toral work on Christian-Muslim Relations in the East African context with the University of Birmingham, UK. John has served as Senior Lecturer and Programme Director of Postgraduate Courses in Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations at St. Paul’s University, Limuru, Kenya. 


Rev. Dr. F. Peter Ford, Jr. is an ordained missionary of the Reformed Church in America, having served for 28 years in the Middle East and Africa. He received his PhD from Temple University (Philadelphia) in the field of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations. Currently he is Senior Lecturer of the Programme in Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations at St. Paul’s University in Limuru, Kenya. Previously he taught ICMR in Ethiopia, at Mekane Yesus Seminary and the Ethiopian Graduate School of Theology. 

Rev. Dr. Tharwat Wahba is an ordained pastor in the Evangelical (Presbyterian) Church of Egypt. Tharwat did his PhD study with London School of Theology on the history of Presbyterian mission in Egypt and Sudan. Dr. Wahba is currently teacher of mission and evangelism and the Chair of Mission Department in the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo (ETSC), Egypt. He worked as campus director with Campus Crusade for Christ in Egypt for 12 years. 

Rev. Daniel Abdou Karim L. Gomis is minister of the Church of the Nazarene of Senegal. Daniel did his Masters in African Literature and Civilizations and presently lectures in Christian Ethics, Homiletics and Spiritual Formation at the Nazarene Theological Institute in Dakar. He also serves as the French Editor of Nazarene Publications in Africa and a member of the Christian-Muslim Evangelical dialogue committee. Daniel is currently taking an In-service Master of Divinity at Nazarene Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Missouri. 

Dr. Stephen Mutuku Sesi is an ordained minister of the Africa Inland Church Kenya. He has served as a tutor at Pwani Bible Institute and now as the National Director of the Christian Education Department. Stephen did his doctoral work at Fuller Theological Seminary on worldview change among Digo Muslims of Kenya. Dr. Sesi is now a lecturer in Christian Muslim Relations and Islam in Africa at Nairobi Evangelical Graduate School of Theology. 

Rev. Abdul Rahman Yakubu is an ordained minister in the Bible Church of Africa, Ghana. He holds a Masters degree in Contextual Theology from Kampen University (the Netherlands), in Christian-Muslim relations. Currently he is pursuing a PhD from the same university in contextual theology and interfaith relations in Ghana. Rahman and his family are working with Frontiers, and live in a predominantly Muslim area, where he is involved in training pastors and church-leaders with a view to enhancing inter-faith relations. 

Matthew Hassan Kukah studied Philosophy and Theology at St. Augustine’s Major Seminary in Jos, Nigeria. He undertook his PhD at the School of Oriental and African Studies and had a Master’s Degree in Public Policy at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. He served as Secretary General of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria, member of the Human Rights Violation Investigation Commission, was Secretary of the National Political Reform Conference. He is currently Chairman of the Ogoni Shell Reconciliation Committee and Vicar General of the Catholic Archdiocese of Kaduna, Nigeria. 

Manfred Jung studied in Switzerland, Gremany, USA and holds an MTh from Stellenbosh Univerisity (2005). He is currently pursu ing doctoral studies on the dynamics of the expansion of Islam in South Africa with Unisa. He is heading up CCM-Services and is the managing Director of AcadSA Publishing, a Christian Academic publishing house in South Africa. He is also involved as a trainer and consultant in the field of Muslim Evangelism. 

Rev. James Bol Obwonyo Padiet is an ordained pastor of the Presbyterian Church of Sudan. He holds a Masters degree in Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations from St. Paul’s University, Limuru-Kenya 2005/7. He is currently a pastor in charge of the Good Samaritan Presbyterian congregation in Sudan, Malakal, Dean of Studies for Laa Amoleker Academic Bible School of PCOS-Dolieb Hill Presbytery, and full-time teacher for the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology of the Government of Southern Sudan, Upper Nile State, Malakal. 

Group Study Moderators 

  1. Dr. Sigvard von Sicard 
  2. Prof. Yusufu Turaki 
  3. Dr. Anne Kubai 
  4. Bishop Tilewa Johnson
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