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CAPA Opens One of Malawi’s Most Complete Theological Libraries

Last August, The Central African Preaching Academy (CAPA) welcomed the first class of students to its one-year Advanced Diploma Program in Expository Preaching. More than 40 African pastors enrolled for the purpose of learning how to proclaim God’s Word.

Since then, momentum has surged at CAPA. As the men who are training there begin to apply what they are learning, and as God’s people flourished under the sound exposition of Scripture, CAPA has grown. This summer, CAPA leadership will launch the next phase in its plan to minister to the church in Africa: A three-year Masters of Divinity program.

Amid such exponential growth, there remained one area of need within the CAPA ministry – a library. On any campus, a library serves as of hub of scholarship. Staffed properly and equipped with the right resources, it is where students expand their knowledge base and where they can sharpen their skills in research and information literacy.

In Malawi, a nation not blessed with an abundance of theology books and other resources, a library becomes even more important. Without it, students have scant options for the kind of deep research that is a hallmark of a seminary education.

CAPA Library boxesLast December, CAPA’s need for such a library was met. It came in the form of an offer from a donor who met with CAPA leaders Jim Ayres and Brian Biedebach in the spring of 2014. This donor was excited about the prospect of reaching churches in Africa with sound Bible teaching. He wanted to know how he could help.

Months later, workers at CAPA were unpacking a shipping container stuffed with books and other resources that Ayres and Biedebach had selected. In addition, with the help of a number of students at Grace on Campus UCLA, as well as a team from Grace Community Church Florida. CAPA reached out to various organizations, publishers and other donors to acquire more than 4,000 books.

It took months, but each of those books has been categorized, labeled, indexed and shelved.

In February, the CAPA library – now one of the most compete theological libraries in Malawi – opened its doors. These books and, more important, the knowledge and wisdom within them, are now at the fingertips of pastors and future pastors training in Malawi.

CAPA Library students