Scott Theological College

Scott Theological College was established in 1962 as the national theological College of the Africa Inland Church, Kenya (AIC). Its purpose was to provide training for church ministries at a more advanced academic level than was available through the Bible Schools of the AIC. While functioning as the national theological College of the Africa Inland Church, the College has existed from the beginning to serve all churches.

The African Inland Mission, from whose ministry the Africa Inland Church developed, had begun its work in Kenya in 1895 under the leadership of Peter Cameron Scott. In the course of the years, several fine Bible training institutions were founded by the AIM. But as good as these schools were, as the educational level of the country advanced, there came a need for a higher level of biblical education. To meet this need, Scott Theological College, named in memory of Peter Scott, was opened in 1962. The College was located at Mumbuni, Machakos where land and buildings belonging to the Africa Inland Mission were made available for this purpose.

Growth to maturity has become the keynote of College life and a giant wild fig tree, several hundred years old that dominates the College campus was adopted as a symbol of this maturity. Before the coming of the gospel, people offered sacrifices to their ancestral spirits under the branches of this historic tree. Through the course of several hundred years, this giant tree has attained a spread of 175 feet in diameter. Just as this tree has grown, so has the Africa Inland Church, the body that founded Scott Theological College in 1962.

The original Greek words used by the Apostle Paul in the New Testament to express the idea of maturity are inscribed on the College seal underneath a stylised drawing of the ancient Mumbu tree. The College aims for growth into maturity as a community and seeks to facilitate growth to maturity in Christ in the individual lives of its students.

After early difficulties and setbacks, by 1971 it was experiencing significant growth in enrolment. Initially it offered a diploma programme with an entrance requirement of the completion of primary school plus at least two years of secondary school, or equivalent. A total of 79 students, an average of 6 each year, graduated between 1962 and 1977. From an initial student body of 16 students numbers had grown by 1997 to 90.

Together with this numerical growth the College has progressively upgraded the academic standards of its courses. In 1972 a decision was made to raise the entry requirement to a minimum of Secondary School Certificate, Level Three. The first students enrolled at this higher level graduated in 1978. Between 1978 and 1985 a total of 110 students, an average of 14 each year, graduated.

A further upgrading of standards occurred in 1982 with the introduction of a Bachelor of Theology (B.Th.) programme and the consequent raising of the entrance requirement to university entrance level. This development was made possible through an arrangement with Ontrario Bible College, an accredited degree granting college in Toronto, Canada. Between 1986, when the first B.Th. students graduated, and 1994 a total of 144 students, an average of 16 each year, have graduated. This includes 29 who undertook additional study to upgrade their Diploma in Theology received from the College between 1978 and 1985.

In 1977 the College applied to the Accrediting Council for Theological Education in Africa (ACTEA) for accreditation of its training programme. This body had recently been established by the Association of Evangelicals of Africa and Madagascar to ensure high standards of theological education in Africa. Following an exhaustive evaluation process the College received its accreditation from ACTEA in December 1979.

It was the first post-secondary theological college in Africa to receive such accreditation. In 1986 full accreditation of the College’s Bachelor of Theology degree programme was granted by ACTEA. This accreditation has been maintained through periodical reviews to the present day.

In 1997, following an exhaustive process involving a substantial reworking of the College’s academic programmes and operations, the College was granted a charter by the Government of Kenya and its Bachelor of Theology degree was accredited by the Kenyan Higher Education Commission as a university level degree. At the same time, the evangelical Christian character of the College remained unchanged. Indeed, it is strongly affirmed by the terms of the charter granted by the Government of Kenya.

With this the College was firmly established as an educational institution providing distinctively evangelical theological education that is accredited at university level. The Scott graduate today has received a ministry-oriented academic education that is firmly grounded in the Scriptures and, at the same time, caries the credentials that mark it as a sound basis for further study at university level.

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