TICCS is a research and teaching institute of the Catholic Church in Tamale, Northern Ghana, promoting culture and ministry, and culture and human development. We offer a joint MA in African Theology with the Akrofi-Christaller Memorial Centre (ACMC) as well as a variety of courses and training programs including orientation and introduction courses, study tours, cross-cultural internships, seminars and workshops to a broad range of participants.
A SHORT VISION STATEMENT:
It is stated on the TICCS brochure that “TICCS is a research and teaching institution of the Catholic Church in Ghana” that helps ministers in cross-cultural situations to do language-learning, culture-learning and action-learning (action for ministry and action for appropriate development). In these few words a lot is said and it is difficult on first hearing to appreciate all that is implied by this and all that is involved in carrying out this task.
THE PARADIGM OF MISSION-SENDING AND MISSION-RECEIVING:
To gain a clearer insight into this we should make explicit an important hidden paradigm in the church and in its ministerial training. The paradigm involves a complementary process: a “going out” and a “coming in”. It presumes a “sending” church and a “receiving” church. It presumes a group of people who are “missioned”, and a group who are “missioned to”. The paradigm is accompanied by strong expectations concerning their respective roles and functions. “Sending” churches have been characterized by such terms as: “parent church,” “one,” “universal,” “true,” “holy,” “traditional,” “self-sufficient,” “self-propagating,” “self-sustaining,” “mature,” “majority,” while the “receiving” churches have been associated with quite different terms: “child, plural, popular, local, syncretistic, flawed, weak, dependent, immature, minority.” The “sender” assumes a position of power and truth, the “receiver” a stance of weakness and falsehood. One knows and teaches, the other is ignorant and must learn.
Today it is both “politically” and theologically incorrect to continue to hold such distinctions. Today we say that all are meant to be both senders and receivers. Furthermore if we but look around us, it is simply inaccurate to continue to view church using this model of senders and receivers. The former “senders” are now, in fact, the “receivers” and the former “receivers” are “senders” and “receivers”. Yet, despite the anomalies and inconsistencies, our formational structures are very resistant to change. Most seminaries are now in the “receiving” world, the “Third” world, but they still produce priests and missionaries who are the “senders” when we need both “senders” and “receivers”. The old paradigm is still plainly visible at the core.read more »