While Anabaptist theological education is offered around the world, it is largely absent from French-language theological programs.
Le Centre de Formation à la Justice et à la Paix (CFJP, Justice and Peace Training Center) is changing that. CFJP developed curriculum for a new theological program in French in February. CFJP launched its teaching ministry in March 2021 with free online monthly webinars.
About 20 researchers and practitioners who specialize in justice and peace in the French-speaking world gathered Feb. 23-25 at Université de l’Alliance Chrétienne d’Abidjan (University of the Christian Alliance of Abidjan) in Ivory Coast, where the center is accredited, to prepare the curriculum for CFJP.
Focusing on restorative justice, conflict resolution and peace studies, the curriculum is the first of its kind in French-language theological education in the evangelical Protestant sphere.
“Peace and justice studies are largely absent from French-language theological programs in Africa, Europe and Quebec, though churches feel an urgent need for training in conflict resolution and restorative justice as violent conflicts, societal upheavals and generational traumas increase,” said Steve Wiebe-Johnson, Mennonite Mission Network co-director for Africa and Europe.
Many theological schools in the French-speaking world have indicated their desire to participate in this program. CFJP has nine partner institutions in sub-Saharan Africa, two in Europe and four in North America.
CFJP hopes to develop teaching methods optimized for an online format and ultimately to design bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in restorative justice, conflict resolution and peace studies.
By the end of the meeting, participants had created a draft of CFJP curriculum that will be refined in the coming months. The completed proposal will be presented to member institutions by the end of the year.
Funding for CFJP’s curriculum development comes from United Service Foundation and Deep Run East Mennonite Church in Perkasie, Pa.