The Diocesan Training Centre for Ministries and Community Development of the Anglican Church in Mauritius was established in 2004 under the visionary leadership of Bishop Ian Ernest. The bishop regarded theological training and ministerial formation as one of the priorities of his episcopate and hence started the Centre for equipping and empowering both clergy and laity, particularly from an Anglican perspective to do God’s mission in Mauritius and in the Indian Ocean Province. The Centre was formed with the amalgamation of St.Paul’s Theological College and the Bishop Ghislain Emmanuel Library which had remained non-functional for a very long time.
Ministerial formation is a continuous process involving intensive periods of theological education and constant engagement in the affairs of the church and society. The DTC has been fulfilling this function through programs modeled suitably for Clergy, Lay Readers, Ordinands and others within the Church. A notable program is Fellowship of Vocations, which enables individuals and the Diocese in discerning and training those seeking to find their specific calling through a process of fellowship and learning. Currently sixteen people are undergoing this process.
The sustained effort of the Centre over a period of time has led to increased ecumenical collaboration and surging demand among the laity for certified theological schooling. In response, the Centre with the blessing and encouragement of the leadership of the churches has started two programs: the Ecumenical Theological College (ETC), and Doctor of Ministry (D.Min) program.
The ETC offers systematic program of theological education and ministerial formation which ultimately leads to a Bachelor Degree in theology after four and a half years. This program is accredited by the African International University. The current batch comprises sixty five students out of which twenty five are Anglicans. The D.Min., program supported by Barnabas Fund is administered through the ACTS Academy of Higher Education which is accredited by Asia Theological Association from Bangalore South India. Currently, there are nineteen participants in the D.Min program. They form a pool of potential teachers for ETC. Both ETC and D.Min have rightly adopted the integrated and inter-disciplinary approach, laying emphasis on doing mission in an effective and relevant manner addressing the contextual and practical realities of the people in Mauritius.
Apart from the above programs, DTC periodically organizes workshops, Seminars and short term Training in the fields of Christian Education, Christian Counselling, Mission and Evangelism, spirituality, leadership development etc. It also arranges exposure programmes for clergy to the life and work of churches in other countries and cultures. In the past year, a few members of the clergy had the opportunity of exposure in India and Sri Lanka under the Clergy Ministerial development programme. Such programs help in developing a wider global perspective to Christian mission. DTC has also conducted public lectures, workshops and seminars with the arrival of visiting scholars and church leaders.
In addition to continuing the above programs, DTC has plans of encouraging local parishes to develop models of community development in their neighborhoods. Such programs have the potential to address socio-economic and political problems of migrant labour, drug abuse, teenage problems, ethnic fragmentation, racial discrimination, globalization and the increasing gap between the rich and the poor. It is imperative that the Church addresses all these issues and participates in the political processes to transform the world.
The DTC policies are guided by the Archbishop, the Training Committee and the Training Centre Board. The programs are coordinated by the Director and the Administrative Staff. The former directors are: Reverend Canon Brian Marajh (now Bishop, George Diocese of the Anglican Church in South Africa, Canon David Doveton, Rev Colin Peattie, Bishop Oliver Simon, and Bishop P.J.Lawrence. The current director is Reverend Dr.Y.Moses. The administrative staff members are: Mrs.Stella Congo, Administrator, Mrs.Bronwyn, Administrative Assistant, Mr.Jean Christian Ramen and Mrs.Marilyn Gaspard.