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The title of the Project refers to the conversion through Philip of the Ethiopian high official royal treasurer in the court of Ethiopia's Queen Candace (Acts 8: 26-40). Philip was equipped to meet the spiritual need of the African official whose zeal for the study and obedience of the scriptures mark him as one of the outstanding converts in Acts. Without stretching the metaphor excessively, it was realised that Christians in the UK, like Philip in the Acts story, have the potential to meet a spiritual need of the Church in Africa.

The Philip Project arose out of the vision that Wanyeki Mahiaini (then a UCCF staff worker in London) had for training up African Christian students in UK universities to teach the Bible faithfully. Wanyeki saw African students as people with potential - not only when they returned home to positions of prestige and authority but also in their churches where they might be expected to preach or take a leadership role. Many of these churches could be weak in faithful exegesis and exposition of the Scriptures and so follow unbiblical teaching. By training such students to have the skills to understand and teach the Bible and to develop a passion for faithful Bible teaching, Wanyeki saw that these students could benefit the churches in Africa through their teaching and through motivating others to learn what they learned.

Since its commencement in 2000, the Philip Project has seen over 50 students return to 14 African countries. Many have been involved with local ministry (preaching, adult Sunday School, youth work, discipling). Some have taken steps into full-time ministry and a number have been involved in programmes to train pastors, preachers and university students in the same Bible handling skills that they have received themselves. Some have linked with organisations such as Langham Preaching, Crosslinks and IFES.

As the course grew, the Philip Project drew African students not only from higher education institutions but also from short-term professionals (such as those on post-study work visas) and church volunteers with Careforce. It is now open to students, professionals and volunteers from all over the world.

The Philip Project course is now offered in a number of centres of international student ministry in the UK. Please get in touch to discover what may be happening in your area.

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