Friends Theological College (FTC) was founded at Lugulu in Western Kenya in 1942 as Friends Bible Institute. That means 2017 is the 75th anniversary of FTC and we are grateful not only for its survival, but its growth in quality and enrollment.
The unifying vision of early Friends work in Kenya was expressed by one of the three pioneers of the mission, Willis Hotchkiss: “We mean to help the African to change the conditions that surround him so as to realize the highest possible ideal in the Christian life, and so make him a positive force in the advancement of the kingdom of Christ.” The breadth of the vision of the pioneer missionaries was indicated by the term “Friends Industrial Mission,” used in the early days. This vision included many things, especially education for Christian ministry and leadership, as well as the broader challenges of leading a productive life.
One of the early missionaries, Jefferson Ford, began teaching students already engaged in pastoral ministry or feeling called to this service. Throughout its history, Friends Theological College has remained focused on the goal of training pastors and church leaders, especially for the Friends churches in Africa. Ford served in the northernmost Friends mission station in Lugulu, drawing students primarily from that area. In 1950 the missionaries moved the program to Kaimosi, the original Friends mission station, where it has continued until the present. In 1994 the name of the college was changed from Friends Bible Institute to its present name, Friends Theological College.
Today, FTC operates programmes on the main campus in Kaimosi and at satellite campuses in Lugulu, Nairobi, Samburu and Lugari.