Throughout the 2023-24 academic year, Lancaster Bible College | Capital Seminary & Graduate School will celebrate our 90th anniversary! Here, we introduce our community to “90 Faces of LBC” each week. Keep up with all the news and events of our 90th year, read stories and more at lbc.edu/90.
Dr. Richmond Wandera (’20)
Founder/President of Pastors Discipleship Network, Kampala, Uganda
There is no doubt Dr. Richmond Wandera’s (’20) challenging childhood directly fuels his passion for impact.
“The majority of pastors in Sub-Saharan Africa are desperate for truth,” Wandera says. “They appear confident and bold to their people, but in the back of their mind, they have fear and anxiety.”
As the founder and president of the Pastors Discipleship Network (PDN) in Uganda, Wandera is dedicated to seeing the fears of these pastors alleviated so they can truly be bold in leading their churches. Lancaster Bible College | Capital Seminary & Graduate School partners with PDN to offer African pastors the opportunity to earn a Master of Arts in Contextualized Pastoral Ministry. In 2020, Wandera furthered his own education by earning a PhD in Leadership from LBC | Capital.
Growing up in the Naguru slum near Kampala, Uganda, Wandera had an abundance of responsibilities at a young age. The people of Naguru experienced great poverty, sickness and tragedy, and the Wandera family was not immune. When Richmond was just 8 years old, his father was killed, which forced him to drop out of school and care for his six siblings.
Soon after the death of his father, Wandera came under the umbrella of Compassion International’s Assisted Child-Development Center through his local church. Compassion International sponsors not only saved Richmond’s life but also gave the entire Wandera family the opportunity to thrive physically and spiritually. The loss of his father and the weight of his newfound familial responsibilities were the very things guiding Wandera to what would later be known as the “first step” in God fueling the passion he would one day have for his own organization.
This next “step” for Wandera came after he finished school and was accepted into Compassion’s Leadership Development Program, where God further revealed his leadership abilities. Wandera graduated with an accountant’s degree and spent time working in the field at Uganda Christian University; he was later given the opportunity to develop his gifts as a leader by furthering his education in The United States.
After attending Moody Bible Institute’s graduate program for Spiritual Formation & Discipleship, Wandera returned to Uganda where he began to use his education and passion to train local pastors. This was the beginning of PDN Uganda.
Through his ministry efforts, Wandera saw impact among Uganda’s pastors and churches, but he desired to see more church leaders experience deeper biblical training.
In 2015, he and LBC | Capital’s then-president, Dr. Peter Teague, discussed the possibility of the discipleship network and the college working together. Today, through LBC | Capital and PDN, pastors in Africa receive foundational biblical teaching through an online master’s degree. In turn, these pastors are learning to teach their congregations and train other church leaders well.
“When you look at Richmond, in terms of being an LBC alumnus, it represents an iceberg,” says Robert Blanks, LBC | Capital’s Program Director Master of Arts in Contextualized Pastoral Ministry and PDN Liaison, “because he has touched and will touch so many lives.”
Under Dr. Richmond Wandera’s leadership, the Pastors Discipleship Network shares these impactful facts:
- 15,000 pastors trained since 2009
- 1,860,000 believers now in healthy churches under PDN-trained pastors.
- 53% overall growth rate compared to 2021
- 5 acres of property in Kampala acquired for the future construction of Cornerstone University
- 244 pastors in refugee and other emergency crises cared for and rescued.
- 695 pastors’ spouses trained and equipped through PDN’s 10-week empowerment course
- 21 new PDN faculty trainers of trainers educated by LBC | Capital
- 11,700 hours spent training pastors
- 14,425 study Bibles, Bible resources, pastors’ handbooks and source books distributed across East Africa by PDN
- 24 LBC | Capital and PDN graduates celebrated in May 2023
- 44 new students learning together in a cohort during 2023-24
To learn more about LBC | Capital’s partnership in Uganda through the Pastors Discipleship Network and how to sponsor a pastor for $250 a month for 24 months, visit lbc.edu/uganda or email Robert Blanks at email@example.com.