Hekima College first opened its doors as a Jesuit School of Theology to a handful of students, mainly belonging to the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), in 1984. From its inception, Hekima College has had as its leitmotif the quest for truth versus any form of ideology, the struggle for freedom versus any type of oppression, and the promotion of justice and peace versus any form of social disorder.
The theology programme of the College now boasts both male and female students from about fourteen local and international religious congregations as well as the diocese of Mamfe in the Cameroon. Our Peace and International Relations programmes appeal to students from all walks of life. Besides Kenyans, we have students from other countries of Africa and beyond.
Responding to the African Continent's dire need for peace and international co-operation, Hekima College established its Institute of Peace and International Relations in 2004. The institute began offering a Master's degree in peace studies and international relations and was accredited by the Ministry of Higher Education in the academic year 2007/2008.
The theology programme not only seeks to offer students a contextualized theology, i.e. one that takes into account the needs of their contexts, it also seeks to form them as women and men equipped to transform the said contexts. Just as the theology programme seeks to form transformers of the world, so also the peace and international relations programmes seeks to educate and form women and men who are equipped with appropriate skills for conflict transformation and peace building.
Hekima College is the publisher of Hekima Review, a journal of Theology, Peace & International Relations.
Each academic year, the college convenes a Theological Week and a Peace Forum. In addition, the college convenes a Forum for Exploring Faith in Public Life, a diversified symposium that seeks to contextualize our students' studies and point them towards societal transformation.
Hekima College is an institution that blends integral human formation with higher learning to prepare men and women for the challenges of a "faith that does justice". This is achieved through pursuing "Truth that sets free", with full dedication and integrity, in the best of the Jesuit tradition of education; that is,
Jesuit School of Theology has the specific mission to train students to be effective pastoral leaders and ministers of the Word, providing an ecumenical and inter-religious perspective to the evangelization of the people through contextualized and relevant theological inquiry rooted in the creative fidelity, Ignatian pedagogy, and the Catholic tradition.
Hekima College was founded in 1984 as a school of theology by the Major Superiors of the Society of Jesus in Africa and Madagascar. Its central aim and purpose was to provide a first theological formation at University level for Jesuit students preparing for priesthood. Hekima College has been recognised as a Constituent College of The Catholic University of Eastern Africa in the University Charter. Relations between the College and the University are established by the terms of the Constituent Colleges Convention, dated 10th June 1993.
Besides the central aim and purpose of providing courses in theology for the members of the Society of Jesus, the College was to offer formation for men and women seeking to take their place in the evangelizing mission of the Church, be they religious or lay people. It is in line with this second aim and to respond to new challenges that in 2004 Hekima College celebrated its 20th anniversary.
A Contextualized Theology
To realize its goals of offering a contextualized theology and serving the local Church, Hekima strongly encourages insertion. This is done in two ways: first, all students are involved in a pastoral experience (field-work) between their first and second years of theological studies that form part of their theological reflections during the second semester as part of their course on pastoral theology, second, students are expected to get involved in apostolates at least once a week for the duration of their studies at the college. Among others, these apostolates include: teaching catechism in parishes and schools, teaching regular subjects in high schools, working with street people, animating choirs. Yet another apostolic activity through which students of Hekima College serve the local church is the animation and retreats giving to members of Christian Life Communities (CLC).
Through the efforts of Hekima Students, CLC group in Kenya has turned out to be the fastest growing in the world. In just over ten years of existence, Kenya has hosted a World CLC Forum and has a representative in the World EXCO. In trying to live the Jesuit call of collaboration with the Jesuits in responding to those in greatest need, CLC-Kenya has opened a school that caters for students whose families have been affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic. The school is growing in size and popularity.