Trinity Baptist Church in Nairobi, Kenya, began meeting in 1978. In 1981 Keith Underhill received a plea from the Church of Christ in Africa in Kisumu to help train men for its churches. Trainees were going to overseas institutions but would never return to serve in the church. Because he was only able to be in Kisumu for a few days each month the studies were of necessity largely self-study. The same course of study was started in Nairobi as well on a one-to-one basis. We felt that this was of preparation for the ministry had many advantages: by only having to come to Nairobi periodically and doing much self-study they would not be separate from their ministry for the 3 years; the discipline of self-study would be good training for the future.
When we had a number of teachers resident in the church in Nairobi we were able to teach the men in each year separately. Now we call them all at the same time, for 8 days every other month. It means that whatever year a student is in he learns the same course. The new first years might begin with second year work, etc. Although this is not the best teaching practice it does have the advantage of those who are more advanced in study helping and encouraging those just starting. Often those who start get discouraged by the sheer amount of work, especially if they are not well-disciplined. As years went by men would come to Nairobi, get involved in the church, and then wish there was such a church in their home area. We would tell them that to do this they, or someone, must undergo this course of study. The TPC has always been for those who are actually involved in the ministry of the word, and not just for those who want to learn. So the students have tended to be more mature, and some of them of fairly limited education. Over the years more than 100 men have participated in what came to be known as Pastoral Theological Course (PTC). More than 60 continue to be involved in the ministry of preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ in various places in Kenya, and even outside. We are now in the process of setting up an official Board and have renamed it Trinity Pastors’ College (TPC). It has been financially made possible by regular giving from outside Kenya, and teachers have come from Zambia, United Kingdom, United States, Canada, and New Zealand, as well as from the Pastors and Missionaries of Trinity Baptist Church, Nairobi.
The purpose of the TPC is: “To be the means under God to train pastors for local churches who rule well by labouring in preaching and teaching (1 Timothy 5:17)”. This includes being well grounded in all Biblical doctrines (Titus 1:9), knowing the principles of Biblical exposition, and so be able to refute false teaching and build people up in the true faith. Therefore, we have a very practical purpose. We ask God to give us godly, committed, self-denying men, who will give themselves to the ministry of the Word in the local church, and take it to those who have never heard. We believe that such men need to be very well equipped and so we promise to do all we can to see that all who are involved in the TPC attain the highest level of which they are capable.