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SOMA is an informal theological training curriculum built on cohort learning and Socratic discussion. Its aim is to equip pastors with essential knowledge and skills for faithful ministry. The word SOMA in Greek denotes ‘body’ whereas in Swahili, the lingua franca of East Africa, it means ‘study’.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, scarcity of resources, cost, and English illiteracy are barriers to theological training. Nine out of every ten pastors on the African continent have no access to formal theological education.

By translating books into Swahili and printing locally, Ekklesia Afrika offers a sustainable solution to the African pastor.




Year one: Develop basic understanding of Word-centered ministry, Ecclesiology, Theology, and Missions
Year two: Deepen convictions
Year Three: Increase ability to discern truth from error
Year four: Disciple others in these same convictions


Each year has been divided into five areas of study:

  1. Ecclesiology

  2. Biblical and Systematic Theology

  3. Pastoral Theology

  4. Word-based Ministry

  5. Missions.


SOMA utilizes Socratic discussion under the direction of a cohort leader.

Each month, every pastor receives:

  • A purposefully selected book

  • An applicational study guide

  • A report-writing guide

Each pastor must submit a book report before participating in a monthly cohort discussion in his local area.

Cohort Learning

Cohorts are groups of 6-12 pastors that meet in a single region. These local gatherings allow men to be near home and ministry while studying. Participants meet at least once a month to encourage and hold one another accountable in reading and living out truth.

Socratic Discussion

Cohort leaders present open-ended questions designed to create dialogue amongst students. Discussion helps stimulate critical thinking and draws out underlying presuppositions. The aim of cohort discussions is to apply Scriptural principles to varying ministry contexts.

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