Jem Hovil

Click to see location in Bing maps

United Kingdom and Africa's Great Lakes region


Jem Hovil and his family live in Bath, UK. Jem leads BUILD Partners (, which helps to strengthen the BUILD training initiative.

BUILD stands for 'Biblical Understanding for In-service Leadership Development', and is one of the programmes Jem helped to establish during his time living in Uganda and South Africa.

BUILD helps to equip the many local church leaders at the grassroots who have neither the time nor the money to access formal training. It does so through training local trainers to use a curriculum that has been developed in context.

The work has its roots in the Church of Uganda, where it continues to be part of the Provincial Education Department, but it has spread further afield, mainly in the Great Lakes Region of east and central Africa.

From the perspective of BUILD that region has Uganda at the centre, surrounded by South Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, all of which have BULD training going on within them. BUILD is also being used on a small scale in South Africa and has been taught further afield.

Jem trained initially as a science teacher, is ordained in the Church of England and served on the staff of two UK churches before working overseas. His doctoral research was on theological education in the Church of Uganda and curriculm development.

You can sign up for the BUILD Partners blog here – it has reflections on BUILD, which also have wider application.

For the map of the main region BUILD operates in click here for the UN map of the area with some of the place names Jem mentions (permissions as per this link).


Others in the area