The Sankofa Institute for African American Pastoral Leadership is an interdisciplinary, multidimensional academic, formation and professional leadership process for developing and supporting pastoral/church leaders committed to ministry and proclamation. All Institute programs foster an understanding and appreciation of African Americans’ contributions to Christian faith, life, and witness in North America and the world.

Transformative Leadership

Sankofa Institute programs provide opportunities for intellectual, professional, and inspirational development of transformative leadership. Resources, partnership, and cultural engagement enhance classes, lectures, symposia, worship conferences, workshops, internships and practical field education, and support our programming across North America, and include sister and brother communities from Africa.

A Web of Connections

In recognition of the web of connections and faith traditions represented in the African American Christian community, the Institute is committed to partnering with other academic and cultural institutions for our mutual benefit and for the most effective and efficient way to reach the programmatic goals of our students and the mission of the Oblate School of Theology.

Sankofa Institute Events

There are no upcoming events at this time.

Become a Sankofa Scholar and pursue any degree, or complete the Lay Ministry Institute, with a certificate in African American Pastoral Leadership.

For information regarding any program, please contact the Registrar’s Office

(210) 341-1366 EXT 226

About the Name

The concept of SANKOFA is derived from King Adinkera of the Akan people of West Africa. SANKOFA is expressed in the Akan language as “se wo were fi na wosan kofa a yenkyi.” Literally translated it means “it is not taboo to go back and fetch what you forgot.”

SANKOFA teaches us that we must go back to our roots in order to move forward. That is, we should reach back and gather the best of what our past has to teach us, so that we can achieve our full potential as we move forward. Whatever we have lost, forgotten, forgone or been stripped of, can be reclaimed, revived, preserved and perpetuated.

Visually and symbolically SANKOFA is expressed as a mythic bird that flies forward while looking backward with an egg symbolizing the future in its mouth.