This mission started with a farm, the predecessor of the current Farm, somewhere in 1998-1999. Missionaries of Frontline Fellowship South Africa, led by men like Virgil Tountas settled at the mission station of the Baptist Association at the tarmac. Their primary vision seems to have been to establish a base closer to the North African countries they served, to rest and replenish. Local evangelism also was part of their vision. Perhaps it was the history of the place they rented, the Baptist Mission station, that urged the early missionaries to get involved in training church leaders as well.
In 2001, this got a new impulse and took formal shape with the arrival of David and Marion Fraser. Having served in South Africa for many years, they had the desire to work more directly for the much deprived churches of rural Africa. Frontline Fellowship gave up the Zambian base, having seen that pastors training had become a major emphasis, a ministry that did not fit in their usual pattern of mission work. Rev. Fraser's vision was to establish a wide mission station, not only to teach pastors, but also to promote a Biblical worldview in all of life, or to Christianize culture. He saw the Farm as one place to exemplify this. He also looked at the Farm to create income, in the hope that the mission could become financially independent. He recognized the need for Christian education and encouraged the establishment of a Christian Community Schools Association. He realized that the proper development of each required a full time missionary.
In 2004 Covenant College moved to the new property, where we are today, and registered under Covenant College Zambia Trust. In the same year, Rev. Van Straaten became the new Principal of Covenant College. The Fraser Family went back to Scotland. Jan and Fransa van Straaten stayed until the end of 2006. Rev. Van Straaten saw the need for strengthening the academic character of the College, and focussed on the development thereof.
In 2006 the Dutch Rev. Cees and Mirjam Molenaar arrived. After the Van Straaten family moved back to South Africa, Cees Molenaar became the new principal. He drafted a vision document that was first circulated at the 2008 AGM, and approvingly discussed in 2009. This document has since given direction to the development of the College under Cees and Heinrich's guidance, resulting in the Certificate and Diploma differentiation. Rev. Heinrich and Jacomien Zwemstra from South Africa arrived at Covenant College as a second lecturer early in 2008. Together they served three full years.
In 2011 Rev. David and Katie Lachman arrived from Scotland as a third lecturer. But all changed! In June the Molenaar family left, in September Heinrich accepted a call from a church in South Africa and the Zwemstra family left as well. Suddenly the Lachman family had to carry on by themselves. Graduate pastor Lovemore Banda from Petauke was as CCZT trustee also involved in teaching students and became acting principal, while the trust was looking for a local principal. That process ended with the coming of Rev. George and Brigit Kalengo from Malawi. They arrived in 2015 and left in 2016. In the same year the Lachman family had left already to serve a church in Tasmania. Thankfully the Lord provided a new principal, so the good work could continue. In December 2016 Pastor Emmanuel and Maggie Sakala arrived. The first Zambian principal!
Our students are intern during two semesters each year from Monday night till Friday lunch. Although students from far will stay during the weekends as well. The first semester runs from February till May, the second semester from July till October. By teaching the students two times three months, they have still enough months to put lessons in practice in their own churches and also to be home during planting and harvest seasons. Our main instrument is differentiated classroom instruction by full time and part time lecturers. Our teaching is accompanied by assignments, reading, group discussions, tests and exams. We offer Certificate and Diploma training to meet the needs of each student. We approach teaching comprehensively, to encourage spiritual growth, to instil a servant attitude, to develop intellectual gifts, and to shape practical skills. Under practical skills we include items such as are required for pastors to support themselves and their families (e.g. farming). We are convinced of the important role pastors' wives play in the ministry of their husbands, and of the need for basic training in the Bible and practical Christian and pastoral skills. That's why we once a year organise a conference for the wives of students and graduates. We also see our responsibility to teach children the Word of God. Therefore the College runs a children's ministry once a week and encourages students to do the same in their church. Also the involvement from pastors in opening Christian community schools is encouraged.