by Eyrah Foli SJ
During the summer, the main theological institute closes as students depart for various experiments and pastoral assignments. However, there are some professional courses and programs that take place during the period in ITCJ.
The first of these is the Ecole De Formation Des Formateurs Pour l’Afrique (EFFA).
This program is a proposal from the former students of the Institute of Psychology of the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome working in Africa. The main participants of this program are vocation directors and formators in Religious Institutes.
The participants come from different countries and this gives a very unique dimension to the program. Given the diverse background of the participants, there is always a fusion of cultures sharing of experiences from different backgrounds which helps to enrich the course. The program is headed by Fr Joseph Compaore SJ, a lecturer here in ITCJ who decided to choose ITCJ as the most appropriate institutional framework.
EFFA started in June 2013 and it offers a two-year training program in the form of nine-week annual sessions, usually from mid-June to mid-August. Successful candidates receive a diploma in Psycho-Spiritual Counselling and Vocation Discernment.
The second is Centre de Counselling Professionnel et de Pastorale Clinique (COPAC) which first started as Certificat Universitaire en Ecoute et d’Accompagnement (CUEA) with Fr. Jean Messingue SJ, as its founder in 2015. This certificate program is co-signed with the Jesuit University, CERAP, in Abidjan.
COPAC’s programs are geared towards a threefold mandate of:
• ITCJ’s mission to listen to society and the local church
• Responding to the mental health needs of many in Africa today
• Responding to social injustice which is rife in modern-day Africa.
July 15 to July 20 of this year, Dr. Melinda Varga, a Pedo-Psychiatrist and Psychotherapist, aided by Dr. Jean Messingue SJ, organized a program on listening and psychological accompaniment of infants and adolescents. Participants included social workers, doctors, students of clinical psychology and psychiatry, those involved in special education as well as people who are enrolled in a diploma program at COPAC. The second part of this program is slated to take place from 9-14 December 2019.