By Danjuma Auta
The ECWA President, Rev. Stephen Panya Baba, has been conferred with an Honorary Degree in Missiology by the ECWA Theological Seminary, Igbaja, Kwara State, at a colourful ceremony to mark the 56th graduation of the institution.
He was honoured along with three others.
The provost of the school, Rev Dr. John Olu Adetoyese, said that the recipients had earned all the honors bestowed on them going by their track records in their service to God, humanity and the entire nation.
According to him, since the institution had distinguished itself in the field of theological education over the years, it would continue to recognize people who deserved recognition.
Speaking on the theme of the graduation, `The place of Christian Ministry in a Confused Generation, Nigeria a Case Study,’ Dr. Adetoyese disclosed that this year’s award focused on mission due to the high level of immorality, wickedness and the senseless killings going on in many parts of the country.
He added that the management of the institution and the Board of Governors had screened shortlisted nominees before arriving at the four awardees who he described as mentors and role models of Christian youth and promoters of high ethical standards in all aspects of life.
The provost enjoined the awardees to see their recognition as a call to greater service to God and appealed to Christians to identify areas in which they could contribute in supporting the institution to grow.
In his own remarks, the Board Chairman, Elder Chief Ayobola Samuel, said that the year 2020 had been very challenging as a result of the outbreak of the COVID- 19 pandemic which threw not only the school but the entire world off-balance but thanked God that no member of the school was affected in anyway.
He enjoined the graduates to keep track of what they learned in the seminary and serve as good ambassadors of the institution and the church of Christ wherever they find themselves.
Speaking on behalf of the visitor of the institution, ECWA General Secretary, Rev. Yunusa Sabo Nmadu, congratulated the graduates and the awardees, adding that today’s environment for ministry was becoming more challenging as many pastors had become complacent and lacking focus.
Rev. Nmadu cautioned the Church against disunity and called on Christians to close ranks and work towards carrying the Great Commission to every nook and cranny of the world.
Rev. Nmadu expressed gratitude to Igbaja Seminary for finding the ECWA president fit for the honor, noting that the church received it with joy and would continue to support the institution in its efforts to attain higher heights.
Responding, the ECWA President, Rev. Dr. Stephen Panya Baba said he received the award with joy because it was in the area of mission which was his field of specialization and promised to continue focusing on reviving the church towards fulfilling the Great Commission.
He pledged his continued support to the school and announced a take-off grant N2 million for the Panya Baba Memorial Foundation for Mission Research in the institution.