A magnificent gate with good lawn and serene atmosphere welcomed the reporter. The entire place is dotted with high-rise buildings rich in modern architecture. Welcome to LIFE Theological Seminary, Ikorodu, Lagos. The Provost of the school is Dr. Cletus Chukwuemeka Orgu. Orgu took time out of his busy schedule to speak with CORRESPONDENT Rotilefon Sunday on his calling, stewardship in the school, the journey so far and future plans of the seminary…
PHD in New Testament
I have my first degree in Christian Religious Studies from the University of Ibadan and second degree in New Testament also from the University of Ibadan. Later, I attended United Seminary, Jos for my Masters degree in Theology Seminary. I had earlier obtained Diploma in Theology at LIFE Theological Seminary at Ikorodu. In the quest for more knowledge, I proceeded to Lagos State University where I obtained PHD in New Testament. Being a senior minister in Foursquare Gospel Church, I was posted to LIFE Theological Seminary College in 1995 as a lecturer.
Aspirations as a Youth
When I was growing up, my intention was to be a medical doctor or a lawyer but along the line, I had a call as a pastor, so that now changed the whole story. I had a call to be a pastor and a trainer. So this propelled me to attend Seminary College for more knowledge about the task ahead.
My Parents Did not Object to the Calling
My parents did not object to the calling. The only initial fear was that I might end up as a reverend father, but later they understood that my calling is different from being a catholic reverend father
No Regret Not Being Medical Doctor or Lawyer
Not at all; even if I had studied Medicine or law, I would have ended up being a pastor.
Achievement is Measured in Terms of God Blessing
Achievement for me is measured in terms of God blessing. It is not in terms of what people think. Achievement for me is about impacting life, helping people, giving to people and helping them to succeed. So I have no regret not being a lawyer or a doctor.
No Objection to Any of My Kids Being Full Time Pastor
One of my children has just completed his University education and he is a pastor. If there is any one of them that wants to be a full time pastor, I have no objection. My role is to guide them to be successful in life.
We Must Keep Counseling Children against Being Wayward
We keep on reminding them about the promises of God concerning them. Because their parents are pastors, good conducts are expected of them. We keep on praying and conseling them. The expectation of the people from them is high and there is pressure on them to do everything in a right way to be a good leader among their peers. If they behave the same way with other children, comments on them will be different. Glory be to God, they have been exceedingly great. Because we understand the pressure on them, when they misbehaved, we correct them through counseling and prayers. There are some that their parents have done all they could do, counseling, prayer, fasted but remained wayward, while some failed to tame them when they were young. It takes the grace of God to train them.
Counseling Takes Care of Discipline
Being a theological seminary school, counseling takes care of discipline. We try to understand why they behaved in that manner and counsel them against future occurrence. Sometimes it may lead to a drastic action like issuing queries and on very rear occasions, suspension may follow.
Negligence of Duty, Non-challant Attitude of Staff May Warrant Suspension
When there is negligence of duty and non-challant attitude of staff to work, it may lead to suspension.
Worked with Nestle Nigeria Before
As a young boy I worked with Nestle Nigeria and PZ industries both in Lagos as a factory worker.
I Did n’t Attend Secondary School
It will also interest you to know that I did not attend secondary school. It was from my primary school that I came to LIFE seminary for my diploma in Theology. It was in the process that I bought books and started study on my own for General Certificate in Education (GCE). I passed my GCE through self-study. I had in mind to be educated so I kept pursuing it, it was when I became a Christian and came to Bible College that I sat for my GCE.
Establishment of LIFE Theological Seminary
The college is to train men and women for Christian ministry as pastors, ministers, good citizens of the economy. It is purely for practically training Christians.
It’s for All Christian Denomination
The college is interdenominational. We have many students from other independent churches. We also have students from other neighbouring countries such as Ghana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cameroon, Benin Republic, Togo, South Africa, etc.
Campuses Outside Lagos?
Our campus at Aba has metamorphosed into an independent campus. We have study centers in Ife, Ota, Sango, Ilorin, Abeokuta, Akure, Badagry, Ibadan and Benin-City.
Affiliation with University of Ibadan at present on Hold
We have an affiliation with University of Ibadan. They have visited the college and satisfied with our facilities, staff and teaching; they gave us a letter of affiliation. It was in the process of implementation that the National University Commission (NUC) suspended affiliation of seminary schools with universities. Our affiliation is put on hold for now.
When I Came in as Lecturer…
When I came in as a lecturer, a male hostel was uncompleted; it was only provost and registrar that have small offices while lecturers were using one staff common room. When my predecessor, Rev. (Dr.) S. O Shobanjo, came on board, a library was built, additional block of classrooms and lecturer offices were built. When I came on board as a provost, I raised the male hostel to two-storey building, built a new female hostel and new administrative block. There is a new improvement from what we met on ground.
Contributions So Far…
We met a computer laboratory but we later changed it to computer school; computerization of school library, on going construction of about 2,000 sitting capacity new chapel, which will also serve as our graduation arena, high tech internet facilities, pitch for sporting activities and conducive classrooms.
Bachelors in Theology in 4 Departments…
We have Bachelors in Theology in the following four departments; Mission and Church Growth, Christian Education, Christian Leadership and Biblical Studies.
Future Plans of Seminary
Already, we have Diplomas, B Tech and Masters Degree courses. We are planning to commence Doctorate in Ministry. We are also planning to build additional blocks of classrooms.
The Uniqueness of the School
We teach Bible. We teach relevant courses that will help them in life and ministry. We also teach from God’s honouring perspectives. We are practical-oriented and that has helped the growth of the college.
Alumni of the Seminary
We have many of them. The likes of Pastor Matthew Ashimolowo of Kings International Christian Church (KICC), Tony Akinyemi of General Overseer Good Shepherd Flocks, Dr. S. O Shobanjo, Rev. Felix Meduoye, General Overseer of Foursquare Church, among others.
Is the Seminary Accredited by NUC?
We are working for affiliation with the University of Ibadan and they have agreed in principle. We have an affiliate membership status of Association of Christian Theological Education in Africa (ACTEA). They are the body saddled with the responsibility of accrediting seminary schools in Africa.
Every Christian should attend theological school. It will enable them to know more about God and the Bible. Attending seminary school will make you to be refined as better Christians. You will be able to render more intelligent service to God when you become more knowledgeable and well equipped. You will be able to render more effective and better service to God and humanity.
The college is growing. And there is improvement in the growth.
Financing the College
The school fees are not enough to operate the school. If we are compelled to charge normal fees to run the school, many people may not be privileged again to attend. Our parent church, Foursquare Gospel Church, has always come to rescue us. The church is our main sponsor apart from a few individuals who occasionally make donations to support us.
Challenges Facing the College
We don’t have sufficient fund. Some of our challenges are human while some are spiritual forces. How to mentor our students to be better in life is also a challenge to me.
Advice to Christians
They should always emulate the life of Christ. They should do the will of God so that the glory of God could manifest in their life.
View about Rampant Kidnapping, Abduction, Boko Haram
From the spiritual perspective, Nigeria is a society that has no fear of God. Nigeria is a society that does not live in biblical principles and precepts. If we have submitted to the rulership of God, all these problems would not have happened. Christianity is not by name; it’s how you allow God to be ruling your life. The society has deviated from biblical principles. It is a sign that the society is far from God.
Number of Churches Springing up Not the Issue
It is not the number of churches that are springing up daily that is at issue. The question is how many of such churches are living according to Bible laws and God’s will? My advice is that we should go back to God and begin to fear God. How many of these churches are truly projecting Christ? Corruption and material things are part of the sins. If you have a genuine repentance, corruption will be far from us because all these are manifestation of life outside Christ.
Christians and Politics. What is your view?
Most upright Christians say the political landscape of the country is corrupt but you cannot change a situation from outside. It will be very difficult to clean a house from the outside. Christians should summon courage to participate in politics and clean up the mess.