In a move that will boost the profile of the seminary, SMMS has been chosen by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) of the United Methodist Church, to host the Regional Hub for Leadership, Education and Development (LEaD), for English speaking Africa.
This exciting development was announced by Rev Dr Kim Cape, GBHEM’s General Secretary, on a recent visit to the seminary. Dr Cape was accompanied by Dr Amos Nascimento, GBHEM Associate General Secretary for Global Education and New Initiatives whose department will oversee the functioning of the Hub.
GBHEM serves as a global vehicle to support Wesleyan and Methodist-related education (including basic education, higher education, theological education, online education, and continuing education). It also supports clergy and lay leaders, and offers leadership development programs and initiatives in five continental regions – Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, and North America.
The emphasis of the Regional Hub will be Leadership, Education and Development in a wide range of areas that include Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE), health, poverty eradication and Early Childhood Development (ECD). While in the past GBHEM has trained African scholars in the US, something that was very costly and without any guarantee that the scholars would come back to serve the continent, the Hub will also be responsible for the training of future African scholars at SMMS and other partner institutions on the continent.
Other projects of the Hub will include hosting conferences and other sharing events, the E-reader project, African publications, fundraising training, as well as the establishment and running of an internationally accredited Journal. The Regional Hub will also produce and make available theological and training resources for affiliated institutions, ecumenical partners and other Wesleyan churches.
Rev Prof Stephen Hendricks, Education Desk Coordinator of the MCSA, has been appointed to head the Regional Hub while a full-time Administrative Assistant will man the LEaD Hub Africa in the GBHEM office at SMMS, providing office and logistical support and project management. An Advisory Board will soon be set up comprising representatives from the GBHEM, MCSA, SMMS, ecumenical partners and business.