The Nagel Institute continues to partner with Langham Partnership International, to provide for the “Prophet's Chamber,” a program that hosts visiting scholars in theology from Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe. This program offers a one-to-four month residency at Calvin University to early career theologians who need to finish a dissertation or a book. Scholars have access to Hekman Library as well as opportunities to engage with other outstanding Christian scholars and ministry leaders for their research and writing. Along with a two-bedroom apartment and access to Hekman Library, the visiting scholar also receives a stipend for groceries, as well as an office within the Nagel Institute.

Guests of the Prophet's Chamber

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Riad Kassis is Director of Langham Scholars Ministry, Langham Partnership; and International Director for International Council for Evangelical Theological Education
August 2017

While in residency at the Prophet’s Chamber, Dr. Kassis is working to develop an alternative perspective to creationism that brings “harmony between science and biblical faith through presenting an evolutionary understanding of God’s creation”. Through his writing of the tentatively titled book, Reconciling faith and science: Towards a better understanding of God’s creation, Dr. Kassis intends to encourage holders of each view to show respect and understanding to each other realizing that we need not to be dogmatic and judgmental but to express our convictions in a Christ-like manner.

Read about Dr. Kassis's story in the Theological Book Network newsletter.


Pastor Leonid Mikhovich has served as president of the Minsk Theological Seminary for the past several years. As of this spring, he is also serving as regional pastor for the Minsk area, overseeing approximately 60 churches in the region around the capital city of Belarus. He is very committed to the students and their ministries even after they graduate. Says another evangelical leader, "It is not uncommon for Leonid to be out on the weekend preaching at a current or former student’s church. On his vacations, he often takes part in evangelistic meetings. It’s partof his overall biblical philosophy of life and ministry." Under Mikhovich’s leadership, Minsk Seminary has graduated nearly 800 students, with more than 430 of them being pastoral students. Earlier this year, they also inaugurated a three-year Biblical Counseling track to be taught by guest teachers from Baptist churches across Ukraine. Other courses of study offered at Minsk Seminary include Theology, Practical Ministry, Bible, Missionary and Evangelism, Music, and Christian Education.

William Mbuluku is a Congolese biblical scholar writing a dissertation on Luke and Acts. Mr. Mbuluku is seeking further training in order to train the next generation of pastors, teachers and evangelists for the growing global church.

Read Further

Topic of Research: Understanding the Eucharist and Challenges to its Celebration in Africa.

The death of Jesus Christ is at the heart of the Gospel of salvation as we have it in the four canonical gospel writings and epistles of the New Testament.  It is the fulfillment of both the law and the message of the prophets of the Old Testament.  During the course of all my postgraduate studies, the death of Christ and its implications for the people of faith has in part been the subject of my investigations.

In the life of the Christian church, the Eucharist remains the central Christian ritual in which the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is celebrated.  African life is by nature very ritualistic both in its religious and non-religious forms.  My thesis is that a contextual understanding of the Eucharist is key to the African understanding of the meaning and significance of the death of Christ for the faithful.

The project that I am working on is aimed at producing a book that can be used in University and middle level theological institutions as well as a tool for pastors in Churches in Africa and elsewhere. The discussion traces African political theology from the African traditional and pre-colonial roots through a trajectory of colonial and post-colonial influences with the attendant missionary enterprise. The gist of this academic discussion attempts to decipher the contours of the problem of African political engagement with a view to pointing out possible components of the political theology of the church. African political engagement in most part is characterized by leadership that fails on its political and moral responsibility of expending just and righteous leadership. Along with numerous civil agencies, political players have increasingly continued to not only be agents of oppression but have perfected skills and legalities of abetting injustice and incessant moral vices. Like sharks in the waters these forces are relentless proliferators of socio-political problems in Africa. The church on its part, in its abnegation of politics has failed to be the conscience of society in giving appropriate direction on socio-political issues. In this regard it not only lacks a political theology but has also abdicated its role and responsibility in addressing the vices wrought by poor politics. Using the Kenyan context as a case study, the work provides a theological reflection of politics in Africa and suggests possible characteristics relevant to the shaping of the church’s political theology. Essentially this work is a wake-up call for the church to speak to the socio-political issues in any given context based on a biblically relevant theology. This way the church will be true to its calling as Christ’s agent in his redemptive act to all the nations.

"Pursuing an Elusive Ecclesiastical Unity: A History of the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian 1924-2016,” is the proposed title of a book on the history of the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian which I intend to develop from a dissertation I submitted in fulfillment of the requirements in respect of the Doctoral Degree in Church History and Polity in the Faculty of Theology of the University of the Free State in October 2015.

There is no single book that treats the history of the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian despite the importance of the denomination in Southern Africa. The only major works that treat the history of this denomination are those works that concentrate on the individual synods of the Church. However, even these do not bring the discussion to the present but concentrate on mission history before the synods were handed over to indigenous leadership.

Dr. Kivatsi teaches Bible at the Free University of the Great Lakes Region in Goma, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and is an Old Testament scholar who recently finished a dissertation at the University of South Africa on the Old Testament's treatment of the essential character of water and the issues surrounding water. During his time here at Calvin, Jonathan has developed this treatise into a book to guide other theologians and Bible teachers in Africa and beyond on such matters. He is also developing an article that has been invited by the editor of a South African journal in OT studies.

Josephine3Josephine Munyao from Machakos, Kenya, is working toward the completion of her PhD in Theology by finishing her dissertation, "Marital Disharmony Among the Akamba: A Consequence of Women Empowerment or Improper Contextualized Theology?"

Ezua Miria SamuelEzua Miria Samuel is a doctoral student at Shalom University of Bunia, Democractic Republic of the Congo, and will be working to complete his dissertation dealing with the book of Nehemiah.

Riad KassisWhile in residency during August 2017 at the Prophet’s Chamber, Dr. Kassis is working to develop an alternative perspective to creationism that brings “harmony between science and biblical faith through presenting an evolutionary understanding of God’s creation”. Through his writing of the tentatively titled book, Reconciling faith and science: Towards a better understanding of God’s creation, Dr. Kassis intends to encourage holders of each view to show respect and understanding to each other realizing that we need not to be dogmatic and judgmental but to express our convictions in a Christ-like manner.

prof-maluleke.smallProf. Tinyiko Maluleke, a distinguished South African theologian, will continue writing a book on Mandela and hope. Its tentative title is "Giving an Account of the Hope in Nelson Mandela." Maluleke, who teaches at the University of Pretoria and who is an outspoken public theologian, insists that his study will not be a romanticization of Mandela, nor does he intend to "idealize or glamorize hope either." Most of the time, Maluleke argues, Mandela's hope "lived in the dark, damp and wet places of the soul; where survival, meaning and duty fought running battles."

Ernest small Feb. 2018

Reverend Ernest Nyarko of the Akrofi-Christaller Institute of Theology in Ghana will spend his residency working toward the completion of his dissertation, "Paul's Sexual Ethics from an Akan Perspective." Rev. Nyarko hopes to offer a response to the theological and missiological needs of the Ghanaian within an African context.

Angu use TBN

Ms. Angukali Rotokha, PhD Student at SAIACS (South Asia Institute of Advanced Christian Studies) spent her residency working toward the completion of her thesis dealing with the concept of divine retribution in the Old Testament and in five Jewish texts from the Second Temple period. Angu hopes to demonstrate how retribution in the Old Testament is not a monochromatic concept as popularly understood – obedience leads to blessings and disobedience leads to punishment – but is a multi-faceted concept having at least five different aspects.

Philomena use TBN

Dr. Philomena Mwaura of Kenyatta University in Nairobi, Kenya, will spend her residency writing a book on Pentecostalism in Africa. The proposed book will attempt to investigate the origins, growth and development and theology of Pentecostal Christianity in Kenya with an emphasis on classical Pentecostal churches and the newer forms of Pentecostal churches that emerged in the 1990s and continue to emerge. Pentecostal churches are the fastest growing churches in Kenya and currently define the Kenyan religious landscape. This phenomena is hardly understood and is usually dismissed by ordinary people and even by some scholars as a fad that will disappear with time. Its impact on society has also been ignored despite the fact that some Pentecostal leaders are increasingly voicing their concern on varieties of issues ranging from poverty, social-economic inequalities and democratic representation. Some have even vied for political offices and succeeded.

Please follow link for Dr. Mwaru's interview with Theological Book Network, discussing her upcoming book about the roots of early African Pentecostalism, the unique challenges and opportunities she has faced as a woman in the Church, and the need for more theological books in Kenya. Dr. Mwaru's interview

Patrick at Calvin Sept 2018 website

Father Patrick Nwosu, lecturer at the University of Ilorin in Nigeria, will spend his residency working toward the completion of his book, Sickness and Suffering: Interrogating the Relevance of Inclusive Hospital Chaplaincy and Pastoral Care of the Sick in Yoruba. Father Nwosu hopes the findings from his research would be used to develop a course on inclusive hospital chaplaincy with focus on Yoruba land and Africa in general. It would be taught at the postgraduate level in the Department of Religions.

Joshua at Calvin Sept 2018 website

Dr. Joshua Iyadurai is Director of the Marina Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Religion, Chennai, India. Dr. Iyadurai's specialty is the psychology of religion and religious conversion, and he will work toward the completion of his book dealing with social research methods for theological and religious studies. The book could be used in several courses related to research methods in seminaries and universities, as well as a possible text book for research methods in the fields of mission studies/missiology, inter cultural studies, practical theology, church history, and religious studies.

Jonathan and Justin TBN March 2019 website

Rev. Dr. Jonathan Kivatsi Kavusa, Associate Professor of Old Testament at the Université Libre des Pays des Grands Lacs in Goma, Democractic Republic of the Congo, will spend his residency working to complete his book, Ecological Crisis, Indigenous Knowledge and Sustainable life in Africa: An Empirical and Eco-theological Approach.

Bony and Calvin students at French Chapel March 2019

Dr. Bony Guiblehon, Research professor at  Alassane Ouattara University, Ivory Coast, will spend his residency working to complete his book, Being a Carrier of HIV: Aids Between Belief, Spirituality, and Medical Rationality

Victor Emma May 2019

Victor Emma-Adamah is a doctoral student at the University of Cambridge at the Faculty of Divinity. Mr. Emma-Adamah will spend his spring residency at the Nagel Institute completing his PhD thesis, "Between Mystery and Manifestation: French Spiritualism and the Possibility of a Renewed Christian Metaphysics.

Bishop Zac

Dr. David Zac Niringiye is the retired Assistant Bishop of the Diocese of Kampala, Church of Uganda, as well as a Senior Fellow with The Institute of Religion, Faith and Culture in Public Life (INTERFACE), where he leads the Religion in Public Life Project. Bishop Zac will spend his residency as a Nagel Institute visiting scholar researching and writing his book project, The Gospel and the Common Good: Repenting Mission.

Prophet's Chamber is a visiting scholars program that offers the opportunity for Christian scholars to spend one to four months at Calvin College to continue work on their research.