Kojo Opare-Hammond stepped into his first seminary class in Nigeria, three countries and 260 miles east of his home in Ghana. Kojo's future as a politician was as yet unseen.
He read about ACTS (the Africa Center for Theological Studies), a ministry of Cru in Nigeria, in the seminary's newsletter. His friend was highlighted in an issue, and Kojo began asking him about the school.
Kojo enrolled in the Christian Ministry and Leadership program in 2004, seeking training to aid him as the director of a Christian ministry.
Men like Kojo were on the minds of Cru leaders who realized the strategic need for training Africans for leadership. Originally created out of a Cru leadership school in Kenya, ACTS only offered part-time study.
Today, students travel to the Lagos campus quarterly for intensive weeklong seminars and lectures. Back home, they study independently.
"ACTS is poised to help train and equip the servant leaders Africa needs," says John Reaume, ACTS principal, "so that God's people here will become leaders, influencing their local communities and the world, as Africa begins sending out missionaries."
The location of ACTS in the city of Lagos was strategic as well. "The commercial, industrial and media center of Nigeria and West Africa," says John, "with its 15 million inhabitants, became a clear choice."
During Kojo's first year in the program, he served on the student union, and surprised many at ACTS with his decision to run in Ghana's October 2004 election. Because of growing population in Accra, the capital city, a new precinct was added to the representative government.
Kojo won the district's Parliament seat, soundly beating his opponent.
He determined to continue in the ACTS program even with his added responsibilities. "I see my [position in Parliament] as a ministry," Kojo says, "and I need to be guided by sound, godly principles, which I believe ACTS can provide."