African Initiatives

Dr. Kenaleone Ketshabile

Dr. Kenaleone Ketshabile

Boston University hosts the second oldest African Studies Center in the United States, and is recognized by the federal government for its excellence in the study of African languages and cultures. The School of Theology is a vital component of African Studies at Boston University, beginning with the sending of graduates to Africa as missionaries over a century ago. Important African alumni include Bishop Josiah Kibira (1964 graduate), the first African head of the Lutheran World Federation; Dr. Kenaleone Ketshabile, Head of the Mission Desk, Methodist Church of Southern Africa; Yusufu Turaki, Professor and former General Secretary of the Evangelical Church of West Africa; and Professor Emmanuel Anyambod, Rector of the Protestant University of Central Africa.

Passing Out Trees

Prof. Daneel (Bishop Moses) and tree-planting eucharist

Africa research in the CGCM grows from the work of retired Professor M.L. “Inus” Daneel. His over forty-year presence among African Initiated Churches in Zimbabwe culminated in the 1990s with the largest tree-planting movement in southern Africa, and a program in Theological Education by Extension. The son of missionary parents, Daneel served as a missionary of the Dutch Mission Councils, and then as professor of African theology and missiology at the University of South Africa. He and Professor Robert co-edit the African Initiatives in Christian Mission Series, published by the University of South Africa Press. The goal of the series is to reflect upon contemporary African Christianity, and to document its expansion. Other Africa projects include the digitization of Daneel’s photography and publications on the multimedia site Old & New In Shona Religion, and ongoing research into southern African traditions of earth-care.

See also the Dictionary of African Christian Biography (DACB) listed under Digital Projects.

Dr. Marthinus Daneel, Africa Research Director

web stats

African Pentecostalism

By dri
April 26th, 2016 in Africa, World Christianity.

Allan Anderson, one of the foremost scholars on Pentecostalism, delivered a lecture at the Boston University School of Theology on April 14th: “Pentecostalism and the African Spirit World: Continuity or Discontinuity?” In the lecture, Professor Anderson, explored the complex relationship between African Traditional Religions and Pentecostalism, highlighting how–often at the same time–Pentecostalism is both a rupture with the past and in continuity with it. The lecture drew not only students from Boston University, but also from the Pentecostal Leadership and Theological Institute of The Church of Pentecost, U.S.A. (pictured below).


Back row: Students from the Pentecostal Theological Institute; Front Row (L to R): Joseph Paintsil, Allan Anderson, Inus Daneel, Dana Robert, Nimi Wariboko


BU memorial service and streaming for Father Machozi

By Eva Pascal
April 25th, 2016 in Africa, Announcements.

Fr. Machozi Memorial Service - Final FlyerBoston University will hold a memorial service for Father Vincent Machozi on Tuesday, April 26, at 2pm in Marsh Chapel. The service will be followed by a reception in the School of Theology Community Center at 3pm. The community invites all to attend this service for Father Machozi, a martyred graduate student of the School of Theology. The service and reception will include visitors and participants from the Congolese community, the Assumptionists, the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Everett, and the university community. Live streaming will be available at for people to join in from other locations.


Vincent Machozi Memorial Services

By dri
April 11th, 2016 in Africa, Alumni Profiles and News.

On April 26th, life and death of Father Vincent Machozi, A.A. was remembered during a memorial service to be held in the Boston University Marsh Chapel. The service began at 2:00 pm, and included various people from the communities Father Machozi overlapped with in Boston, such as the School of Theology, African Studies, the Assumptionists, Congolese immigrants, and the Church of the Immaculate Conception.

Recently, a service was held for him at the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Everett, Massachusetts, and his funeral was held in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Vincent Machozi (’15) Laid Down His Life for Peace

By dri
March 23rd, 2016 in Africa, Alumni Profiles and News, People, Students, World Christianity.


Rev. Vincent Machozi (STH’15), an Assumptionist priest, was gunned down Sunday night in the Democratic Republic of the Congo by a dozen armed men, reportedly members of the country’s army. Photo courtesy of Augustinians of the Assumption North American Province.

Sunday, March 20th, Father Vincent Machozi, A.A. was murdered for his work in documenting the human rights abuses that were happening in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Machozi had been a ThD student in Mission Studies and Ethics, but returned to Congo before completing the degree in hopes that he could speak out agains the atrocities that were being committed in eastern Congo.

A memorial service will be held at Boston University. For fuller coverage of the story, BU Today, Crux, and the Assumptionists have each published accounts of the heroic life and tragic death of Rev. Machozi.

Jesse Lee Prize Awarded to Doug Tzan

By dri
December 21st, 2015 in Africa, Alumni Profiles and News, Announcements, People, Publications, Research, World Christianity.

image001The General Commission on Archive and History (GCAH) of The United Methodist Church announced the 2015 winner of its highly sought-after Jesse Lee Prize: The Rev. Dr. Douglas Tzan (pictured), elder and full member of the Baltimore-Washington Annual Conference. Tzan’s award winning manuscript is titled “The World His Circuit: The Methodist Odyssey of William Taylor.”

This work is a case study of a Methodist preacher, missionary, author, evangelist and bishop who not only mobilized the then Methodist Episcopal Church across the American frontier but brought the same energy, organization and enthusiasm across six continents. William Taylor (1821-1902) introduced American revivalism in places other missionaries disregarded, growing churches among marginalized populations, especially in South Africa and India. Forged in American Methodism, his global encounters with different cultures, languages and religions shaped the ways and means of the entirety of Christian mission outreach for generations.

The Jesse Lee Prize, awarded once every four year is named for United Methodism’s first historian (1758-1816) and given for serious manuscripts about the denomination’s history, including studies of antecedent Methodist churches or its missions. The $2,000 prize is granted by GCAH to assist authors with publication of their manuscript related to Methodist history.

The Rev. Dr. Tzan currently serves on the staff of the Sykesville Parish (St. Paul’s and Gaither UMC) in Sykesville, Maryland. He holds a PhD. in the field of the History of Christianity from Boston University where his extensive research of William Taylor began. Tzan continued his research utilizing materials at the United Methodist Archives and History Center in Madison, New Jersey. Tzan is a graduate of Iliff School of Theology and The University of South Carolina. He teaches at Wesley Theological Seminary and Boston University School of Theology.

GCAH is pleased to sponsor the Jesse Lee Prize awarded next in 2019. Information about various awards, grants and prizes for scholarly work in Methodist History can be found at .