Missionary Children in the Development of the Ruanda Mission

01 February 2023, 16:00 - 01 February 2023, 17:30 Divinity Faculty

Blended Seminar/Webinar


Dr Hannah (Briscoe) Mollallegn

Abstract: This paper is a generational analysis of missionary children in the development and impact of the Ruanda Mission from before its foundation in 1922 through the East African Revival and the first few decades of Kabale Preparatory School (KPS). It not only examines how missionary children experienced these events and changes, but also investigates how the Ruanda Mission itself was shaped by these children. It explores the influence of an earlier generation of British Evangelical networks, including Keswick and the Cambridge Inter-Collegiate Christian Union (CICCU), in creating the conditions in which the Ruanda Mission was established. It then highlights the strategic role of two missionary children in the founding of the Ruanda Mission—Algie Stanley Smith (co-founder of the Mission) and Handley Hooper (friend and incoming Africa Secretary for CMS)—and their diplomatic influence during a fragile time of theological upheaval and post-war financial hardship. The analysis then widens out from this friendship to a larger relational network and explores the particular “family” identity of the Ruanda Mission. It argues that the establishment of KPS was a significant component to the mission’s family-identity and longevity and examines the significance of KPS in the lives of the children. This paper is an investigation of the flow of knowledge and values between these generations and argues that the Ruanda Mission was uniquely shaped by missionary children in ways that are distinct from the CMS more generally.

Bio: Hannah (Briscoe) Mollallegn has recently completed her PhD in History at the University of Birmingham supported by the Global Challenges PhD Scholarship and the College of Arts and Law doctoral award. Her thesis is titled ‘Transnational Childhoods and Religious Migration: The Case of Missionary Children in East-Central Africa’. Hannah also holds an MLitt in Reformation Studies from the University of St Andrews and a BA in English from Dallas Baptist University. Her research interests include cross-chronological and transnational perspectives on children and religious and revival history.

Register to join, please email: centre@cccw.cam.ac.uk