God become bigger to us when we experience His work and goodness through the eyes of cultures unlike our own. BGU’s urban immersions are transforming to us in very deep and profound ways. It is an experience in a different culture with new friends from man cultures all being awed by God in fresh ways in a contagious community of fellow God seekers from all over the world.
For over fifteen years, BGU has been leading city immersions in the largest cities of four continents. BGU’s unique approach of engaging city leaders as professors allows the city to teach the world what God is doing by finding the signs of hope in the city demonstrating where God is preceding the work of city transformation.
This Nairobi city immersion follows BGU’s consistent presence over a decade in Africa developing key city leaders in the areas of leadership, work, urban transformation, peace and justice in the face of corruption and attendant under-development Africa is a huge continent with rich resources and ancient civilizations coming to age as new nations emerging from last century’s transition from colonialism are taking the world’s stage. As Christian influence is declining in most of the West, it is exploding in Africa. Africa is essential to understanding God’s global movements in the present and future.
The challenges and opportunities of ancient cultures building new nations. Most African nations were founded after the fall of colonial rule in the middle of the last century and are displaying the patterns of emerging nations similar to the US and other nations who experienced civil wars and other key defining events in their first 100 years. The echoes of past colonial abuses are too often not understood as they continue to shape current politics. The last general elections in Kenya was not without serious violence claiming many innocent lives. How can Christians steward these unique formational opportunities to shape the soul of their nations for centuries to come?
The 2020 BGU Nairobi Immersion will expose the students to various transformational leadership principles and practices in an African global city and glean transferable principles for contextual integration into their personal life and ministry. Students will be immersed in the African city that is arguably with a lot of Western influence considering the presence of international organizations, Christian missions and tourism. This course will focus on the current transformational leadership challenges of concentrated poverty and the opportunities presented by concentrated wealth. The UNIQUE HOME-GROWN SOLUTIONS being deployed for the transformation of African nations through the lens of the city of Nairobi and the implications of these realities for a globalized world will be at the core of our reflections.
BRIEF HISTORY OF NAIROBI
Nairobi, city, capital of Kenya, is situated in the south-central part of the country, in the highlands at an elevation of about 5,500 feet and popularly referred to as the Green City in the Sun. It originated in the late 1890s as a colonial railway settlement, taking its name from a water hole known to the Maasai people as Enkare Nairobi (“Cold Water”). When the railhead arrived there in 1899, the British colonial capital of Ukamba province was transferred from Machakos (now Masaku) to the site, and in 1905 Nairobi became the capital of the British East Africa Protectorate. From about 1900 onward, when a small Indian bazaar was established at Nairobi, the city became also a trading center.
Although its economy enjoys the leading position in eastern and central Africa, 16.9% of its population lives below the poverty line. The solution to poverty in Kenya as with most African nations still requires long-term, realistic, contextual and sustainable efforts. How can the Church be deployed to engage these contemporary challenges with ancient Biblical wisdom?
Nairobi city is a fast-growing city with a population of close to 6 million inhabitants. Its growth rate is approximately 4%. This is further enhanced with the recent fast rail connection with the port city of Mombasa, the potential for population explosion. Its socio-economic challenges and opportunities are enormous. Nairobi, like most cities in Africa is facing challenges in infrastructure, disparities in living conditions and wealth distribution, and massive urban sprawl. How can Christians be on the forefront of understanding massive urban challenges and solutions in Nairobi to gain insights they can take back to their own cities as practical agents of shalom?
CHRISTIANITY GROWTH & THE UPSURGE OF ISLAM
The growth of Christianity in Kenya shares its history with the rest of Africa which came through the five main trajectories, initially evangelization from North Africa to final trajectory of missionary work (during colonialism to date). Christianity was indigenized after the 1960s when most of the African states gained independence for their colonial masters. Since indigenization, Christianity has gone through various transformations. These transformations have been influenced by cultural, social, economic, and political agenda. The nation of Kenya with Nairobi as its capital has had its fair share of the growth of Christianity with many churches of the Evangelical and Pentecostal variant rising up with thousands of worshippers during weekly gatherings, but not without the challenge and threat of Islamic fundamentalism especially with the activities of Al Shabab operating from neighboring Somalia. Students will have the unique opportunity of wrestling with these contextual issues but with profound global implications while looking for the signs and needs of hope while in Nairobi.
The BGU class will be led by Dr. Dotun Reju, and a host of BGU alumni, friends, and faculty who are some of Kenya’s top church, business, and government leaders. Even students who live in these cities will see the work of God in their own backyard with a whole new historical and biblical context. Students will learn from various Christian leaders in Nairobi who lead holistic transformation work among the poor and the wealthy. Students will also visit historical, political, and commercial centers and not forgetting the WILD LIFE in Nairobi in the hope that they will understand the context of this urban center and appreciate the history of its people.
This course starts online in BGU’s global classroom on April 1, 2020 and closes when the student’s work is due on June 30. The onsite portion of the course is hosted in Nairobi, Kenya starting May 2 @ 7:30am. Students should plan to arrive on the evening of May 1st, and can leave by early morning on May 10th.
Registration on Populi: HERE
Costs: For the full course at Graduate Level credit payable to BGU includes the following:
- Doctoral Student: $525 per credit = $4,200 (8 credits)
- Master’s Student: $500 per credit = $3,000 (6 credits)
(Note: Tuition cost is based on status of the participant)
- Audit Student (to be converted to credit w/in 1 year):
- Educational Experience: $100 per day = $800 for 8 days
In addition, to the above course cost, participants will also pay to BGU:
- $450 onsite course administrative fee (covers meeting facilities, faculty costs, and ground transportation during the course; this is exclusive of probable trip to the port city of Mombasa if scheduled)
- $50 online Administrative Fee (covers the online component of the course).
Costs for which the participant is personally responsible:
- Flights to and from Nairobi, Kenya
- Hotel room and some food costs (estimate to be around $… – day onsite course)
Any questions should be directed to
Dr. Dotun Reju
Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria