“You have been fully equipped with the tools that are necessary for you to act as agents of transformation. Seize the opportunity and use the capacity that your theological training has afforded you to shape tomorrow today in order to change things for the better.”

That was the message of SMMS President Rev Vido Nyobole, to graduands during the eighth graduation ceremony, on 11 May.

The 2019 ceremony was the largest since the founding of SMMS ten years with 130 graduands receiving their certificates, diplomas and degrees.

Rev Nyobole said our world is searching for meaning of life and for security and urged the graduands to be the spiritual ‘avant-garde.’

“What the world is looking for is inspiration and inspiring leadership. The entire world is in desperate need of courageous, transforming leaders who have the knack to metamorphose our society from its current individualistic and parochial egocentrism, avarice and corruption into a community where ubuntu and shalom have become its hallmarks and the common good, no longer a utopian ideal. To attain this, courage will be an indispensable prerequisite.

“Indeed, the world is crying for credible, selfless, exemplary leaders who can provide inspirational, life giving, ethical and irreproachable moral leadership to a church that is at the cross-roads, a wounded, polarised and groaning world. It is expectantly looking for leadership that is embedded in truthfulness, kingdom values and bravery. You, who are graduating today, are the courageous leaders and thinkers the church and the world have been waiting for,” he said.

Rev Nyobole encouraged the graduands to ensure that the future of all people and ensuing generations will be bright and prosperous.

He said, “You are the leaders to whom the baton has been handed over and you need to run with it into the future, while a host of people will be following you hoping that you will lead them into a future where there is indeed ‘a better life for all’, not just a slogan. It is you and your generation who will hand the same baton over to the next generation of leaders.

“Given the current demise in which our world finds itself, it will take courage from you to stand up for what is right; it takes courage to remain who you are in the face of those who continually want to form you in their own image; it takes courage to remain voraciously prophetic and veritably true to your calling; it takes courage to make a difference when others have become indifferent and cynical; it takes courage, boldness and faith to walk with a resolute pioneering spirit.”

Rev Nyobole noted that the graduation was taking place in the year in which SMMS is celebrating its 10th Anniversary and paid tribute to Rev Seth Molefi Mokitimi, who  modelled the kind of ‘transforming leadership’ the seminary hopes to emulate.

He recounted the journey that the seminary has travelled and expressed gratitude to God for what it has achieved in this short period of time.

He said, “The journey during the last ten years has not been a walk in the park. The passing decade has been characterised by many challenges, changes and turbulences, but by God’s grace we are able to stand tall, lift up our heads, clap our hands and shout with a voice of triumph with Samuel of the old, declaring: ‘Thus far the Lord has helped us.’”