Please see the enclosed abstracts, bios, and links for our Research Day. The purpose of our gathering is to introduce and explore mentorship. Please join us on Nov. 15th, 4-5:30 pm, British Standard Time.

Click to join via Google Meet: https://meet.google.com/rvn-ofpq-xqr

List of Abstracts

  1. Dr. Susan Kilonzo, Maseno University, Assoc. Prof Sociology of Religion

“Reflective Essay on Postgraduate Supervision”

This is a reflective essay written after the Creating Postgraduate Collaborations (CPC) training, from personal accounts as a PhD student; and, a supervisor in the last twelve years. I explain how cultural, state and institutional factors contribute to the learners’ inclusion, exclusion and justice. Further, I explore how students manage their time and projects and the available options for their literacy skills as well as scholarly communities of practice. Similarly, the examination process, their (in)ability to present their research findings to examination panels are key in the journey.

  • Rev. Nicole Ashwood and Rev. Sanya Beharry Joint paper

“Equalising Power Through Co-mentoring”

Rev. Nicole Ashwood, Research Associate, University of Pretoria and World Council of Churches

Rev. Sanya Beharry, Ordained Minister Presbyterian Church of Trinidad and Tobago. Lecturer at St Andrew’s Theological College (SATC) in Trinidad. Primarily in Communication Studies and areas of Justice.)

Mentoring happens at various levels within any organization, sometimes informally and at other times intentional.  Within the pan-Caribbean context, this has occurred in theological education, in ecclesio-social contexts as well as in ecumenical spaces.  A call to intentional mentoring invites deliberate of resources and recipients (potential mentors and mentees), while making room for dynamic interactions between individuals.  In this joint presentation Rev Nicqi Ashwood (World Council of Churches) and Rev Sanya Beharry (St Andrew’s Theological College, an educational institution of the Presbyterian Church of Trinidad and Tobago) explore formal and informal mentoring of female religious leaders; with special emphasis on ‘paying it forward’ and co-mentoring; that is mentoring reciprocity.

  • Prof. Lovemore Togarasei, Full Professor, Zimbabwe Open University

“Journey of an Academic”

I will give a personal journey of my academic life from time of graduation to the present: a journey of more than 20 years. I am a New Testament/Biblical Studies scholar with interest in the appropriation of the Bible in African communities (especially Pentecostalism). I research and write on issues of gender identity, health and other social aspects. I will share my experiences on mentorship, academic exchanges, applications for external funding, field research and publication.

  • Rev. Annie Desche, Methodist Church, Circuit Minister

“Methodist Church in Britain”

I come from a background where married women would not be allowed to do work that was branded men oriented. Somehow a have managed to grow in my calling as an ordained minister with a journey that has not been very easy when I started after 17 years in marriage.

I have a Master of Art in Theology and Transformative Practice from Queen’s Foundation college for Ecumenical education in Birmingham UK. I was privileged to have been invited to serve in the Methodist Church in Northern Ireland for three years 2018 to 2021. While there I was admitted to study for a Ph.D. in Sociology which, unfortunately, I would not afford because am not a permanent resident in the UK.

I must say with passion and commitment I have returned to Britain in the Methodist Church since September 2022 as a circuit minister. My humble request is to get on with my studies when I finish my induction in the next two years and if I would get a mentor to assist me in the journey to understand how I can balance serving, family and studies I would really appreciate it.

I recently lost my younger brother after losing both my parents every three years since 2015 and this has really impacted my mental health. Thankfully I am moving on and settling in well in my new stationing.

My passion has always been studies on women and especially with the ever-troubled prosperity gospel.

  • Dr. Bridget Nonde Masaiti-Mukuka, Make Way Circle, Zambia

“Sworn to Silence[1]: Strengthening the Presence of the Youth in Religious Academy”

Sworn to silence, is the phrase that was raised during one particular Bible study conducted with women and youth from different denominations at one of the institutions in Lusaka, Zambia. In Zambia, for instance, where Christianity has been the dominant religion, women have come to realize that the Bible can be used to raise their voices to stamp out the silence. Scriptures such as Mark 5:21-43 have been interpreted within the interface of community-based activism as well as formal academic pedagogy. The same text and other biblical texts have been interpreted at organizational level, where the Circle of Concerned African Women Theologians have conducted Bible studies to ‘capacity-build’ the Make Way Consortium partners[2] and the youth.


[1] The phrase “Sworn to Silence”, is adopted from the Novel by Linda Castillo. 2009. Ohio: Minotaur Books.

In this book, Linda names one of the characters as Kate Burkholder. Kate, “a young Amish girl, survived the terror of the Slaughterhouse Killer but came away from its brutality with the realization that she no longer belonged with the Amish” Please read more or watch the movie, ‘Sworn to Silence’.

[2] The Make Way Program in Zambia is being led by the Forum for African Women Educationalists in Zambia (FAWEZA), which is a Gender Justice Non-governmental Organization. The Make Way Program focuses on improving sexual and reproductive health outcomes for the most marginalized young people, women and those who face multiple vulnerabilities. The Make Way Program is being implemented in Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Zambia and Uganda, the East African region and at the global level with funding support through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Dutch government.  As a program, the Make Way constitutes of five organizations. Each organization brings its specialization on board. These five organizations are: the Forum for African Women Educationalists in Zambia (FAWEZA) which deals with girl children; Cheshire Homes Society of Zambia (CHSZ) deals with persons with disabilities; Akina Mama wa Afrika (AMwA) deals with most marginalized populations such as LGBTQIA, Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO) deals with social accountability and the Circle of Concerned African Women Theologians which deal with women and children from a religious point of view. This is where the Circle in Zambia is using Biblical texts as back- up to affirm the lives of women and children and to transform the mindset of those who believe that women are sworn to silence.

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