Date of Award
Doctor of Ministry (DMin)
Antipas Harris, DMin
Randy Woodley, PhD
Carole Spencer, PhD
The Quaker church missionaries came to Kenya as part of the West's Christian movement to the dark continent. Historians have usually referred to the Society of Friends' spiritual life as quietism, which did not resonate well with African spirituality which was disregarded by the missionaries as evil. Africans unquestioningly believe in the supreme creator of the universe and humanity. There is no ethnic group in Africa that does not have a specific name for a supreme God.1 Therefore, the Quaker belief that "there is that of God in everyone" was not considered by the Western missionaries that Africans believed in their supreme God. Therefore, the American Quakerism in pastoral ministry did not resonate well with the pastoral ministry in Kenya. This research process seeks to unearth the mystery behind Kenya's current Quaker leadership's conflicts and confusion. It also reveals how missionaries started the Quaker church in Kenya without fundamental Quaker principles and practices that were part of the Quaker foundation. In Kenya, the Quaker church is at a crossroads, and the early Quaker beliefs are hard to implement in the African context.
Therefore, this dissertation has revealed four fundamental problems that obstruct effective Quaker religious practices in Kenya, hence the conflicts between them. 1). Lack of grounded Quaker foundation to the Kenyan church, whereby missionaries aimed to evangelize and convert to Western Christianity without incorporating Quaker values/ethos in the African context. 2). Lack of proper Quaker structures for continuity and managing the church by the African Quakers when the missionaries went back to the States in 1964. 3). Lack of an anthropological model2 for contextualized Quakerism, thus little ownership of Quakerism by Africans. 4). Lack of an articulated pastoral theological structure in the African context to raise the support.
Muhanji, John, "Conflict Between the Clergy and the Laity in the Quaker Church in Kenya" (2021). Seminary Doctoral Programs. 412.