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Bishop of Southern Malawi accepts post at US College

Posted on: July 12, 2013 1:22 PM
Bishop of Malawi James Tengatenga
Bishop Tengatenga is to become Dean of the Tucker Foundation at Dartmouth College
Photo Credit: Diocese of Texas
Related Categories: Americas, Central Africa, Southern Malawi

By ACNS staff

The Rt Revd James Tengatenga is to leave his role as Bishop of Southern Malawi after accepting a position as Dean of the Tucker Foundation at Dartmouth College, in New Hampshire, USA.

Bishop Tengatenga this week wrote to his fellow bishops of the Anglican Church of Central Africa (CPCA) informing of his decision. He said he wrote with “mixed feelings” about tendering his resignation to his primate, Archbishop Albert Chama.

“It is my belief that it is time to move on and let others lead the church to new levels,” he wrote, “and that this new calling is another opportunity to serve the Lord in the moulding of a moral world-leadership.

“I have had a very blessed and fulfilling ministry working in the church in Malawi for 28 years, your bishop. I will indeed miss ministering among you as your bishop but I look forward with fear and trembling to this new challenge the Lord has put before me.

“‘Liberavi Animum Meum’ is my old high school’s (Bernard Mizeki College) motto which means ‘I Release My Spirit’ such was my call to serve the Lord. Where I am going (Dartmouth) the motto is ‘Vox Clamantis Deserto’ translated ‘The Voice Crying in the Wilderness’ and such is my new call. Pray for me as I continue to pray for you.”

Though he is still awaiting confirmation of a successful visa application, Bishop Tengatenga expects to begin his new role as the Virginia Rice Kelsey Dean of the William Jewett Tucker Foundation at Dartmouth College on January 1, 2014.

The Tucker Foundation is one of the many centres at Dartmouth College. It is located within the Arts and Sciences section. The Foundation is the Centre for spirituality and chaplaincy overseeing the development of moral leadership and service placement for the college.

Bishop Tengatenga has been heavily involved in public life in Malawi primarily as Bishop of Southern Malawi since 1998 and most recently as Chair of the Public Affairs Committee (PAC), a civil society interfaith organisation consisting of Christians and Muslims. PAC was instrumental in leading Malawi’s transition from one-party dictatorship to political pluralism between 1992 and 1994 when the country’s first democratic elections in 30 years were held.

Bishop Tengatenga is also a member of the Malawi National AIDS Commission, which co-ordinates the national response to HIV and AIDS, plus he has chaired the Malawi Council of Churches. 

In the wider Anglican Communion, Bishop Tengatenga has been a long-standing member of the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) and of the Standing Committee.  He was elected as ACC Chair in 2009, and therefore is also Chair of the Standing Committee. As the Chair and Vice Chair are elected and serve independently of their respective role as a provincial representative or co-opted member, he is able to see out his term until 2016.