His academic interests are in World Christianity, African indigenous religions and worldviews, World Christianity in African literary writings, Ritual theory and practice in the public sphere and Religion in African democracies. The title of his dissertation is, “A River Between: Re-imagining Indigenous Puberty Rites in the Anglican Church of Kenya” and was supervise by Professor Afe Adogame. By drawing on ethnographic data and engaging Ngugi’s account in the novel, The River Between he examined the resurgence of indigenous puberty rites in Anglican congregations in Kenya. He explored the ways in which indigenous worldviews influence construction of social realities and negotiation of Christian identity in the process of ‘making of a Christian’ and ‘Christian in the making’ within Anglican Christianities.
“The UK church has so much to learn from other parts of the world, where the Church is vital and thriving. So we are thrilled to be welcoming Ofula as part of the Wycliffe community. His doctoral thesis on how the Kenyan church engages with the surrounding culture will feed helpfully into Wycliffe’s commitment to foster a new Renaissance of Christian scholarship and culture. We look forward very much to the academic, pastoral and liturgical contribution he will be able to make to our life together," said Michael Lloyd, Principal of Wycliffe Hall.
He has more than 15 years of experience in public worship, outreach, discipleship, and leadership development in churches in Kenya and the United States of America. He has served in various capacities at the diocese and the All Saints Cathedral Church, Nairobi, a transitional minister at the Turning Point United Methodist Church, Trenton, New Jersey, and English Minister at Peace Korean Reformed Church, Fair Lawn, New Jersey, U.S.A. He played many significant roles in the organization of the World Christianity Conference at Princeton Theological Seminary from 2018 to 2021. He also coordinated regional workshops and arranged travel courses abroad for students at Princeton Theological Seminary. He served as the lead Researcher in the “Imagining Church” Project, funded by a grant from the Lilly Endowment, Inc., Thriving Congregations Initiative. The Princeton “Imagining Church” project was a digital ethnographic study of 23 diverse thriving congregations under COVID-19 in the United States of America. The project aimed to explore the extent to which shared imagination – “That Extra Special Something” (TESS) – functions as a key factor in thriving and the ability to continue to thrive.
“I am deeply humbled and excited to become a member of the Wycliffe Hall community as a Tutorial Fellow in World Christianity," says Dr Ofula. "Given the nature of environment that Wycliffe Hall has created around the act of prayer where Christian leaders are transformed and intellectual exercise flourish within the context of Christian values, it will be a privilege to learn and be part of that mission.”
Dr Ofula Kenneth will begin his post in September 2023.