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Campaign planned for Global Education Fund

With the help of a translator, Kalamba Ka-Banze Monga (left) asks a question during the spring meeting of the United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry. A UMNS photo by Linda Green.
With the help of a translator, Kalamba Ka-Banze Monga (left) asks a question during the spring meeting of the United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry. A UMNS photo by Linda Green.

By Vicki Brown*
March 27, 2007 | NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS)

A marketing and fundraising campaign kicks off this year for a global fund to help Methodist schools around the world develop stronger and more effective leaders.

The drive includes a goal of raising $1.5 million in 2007 and putting structures in place in Africa and Latin America for the Methodist Global Education Fund for Leadership Development, an initiative of the United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry.

Planned as a four-year, $4 million program, the fund will underwrite the costs of technical assistance, improving and strengthening schools, on-site mentoring for professional development and scholarship support for leadership development.

There are 775 Methodist educational institutions in 69 countries, including 110 United Methodist-related academic institutions and 13 United Methodist seminaries in the United States.

The global fund was launched as an unfunded mandate by the 2004 General Conference, the denomination’s top legislative body. For 2007, the board budgeted $300,000 for structuring, marketing, fundraising and programming for the initiative. Plans include a direct mailing to church leaders, advertising, a Web site and articles aimed at increasing awareness.

Global education initiatives

The governing members of the United Methodist Board of Higher Education were briefed about the campaign during the board’s March 8-10 meeting.

Ken Yamada, special assistant to agency chief the Rev. Jerome King Del Pino, said the fund joins Africa University, the International Association of Methodist Schools, Colleges, and Universities and other global education initiatives in breaking new ground to prepare leaders for the church and the world.

"Africa University is ready to move up to the second phase to expand into west, central and east Africa. Africa University was always designed to serve all the people of Africa," Yamada said.

Ken Yamada

As the first step, Africa University is providing technical assistance for the Mozambique Distance Learning project, expected to be fully operational this June. The project is a joint effort of the board, the Methodist University of São Paulo, Brazil, Africa University and the Mozambique Annual Conference.

"We hope to create a model in Mozambique for the rest of Africa," Yamada said.

Board member Kalamba Ka-Banze Monga, who is academic general secretary of higher education of the North Katanga Conference in the Congo, questioned why the project was being done in Mozambique rather than the Congo. Zimbabwe and the Congo originally were considered as sites for Africa University but, due to the unstable conditions in Congo at the time, Zimbabwe was chosen.

Now that Congo is stable and ready to receive higher education offerings from the Board of Higher Education and Ministry and Africa University, Bishop Ntambo Nkulu Ntanda, resident bishop of the North Kantanga Area, has invited officials from both entities to visit Congo in April to assess how to move forward there.

Developing Christian leaders

The Global Education Fund is part of the board’s global focus that includes developing Christian leaders around the world.

The fund will cover the costs of providing technical assistance to Methodist-affiliated schools, colleges, universities and theological schools working to design leadership development programs to address local needs for clergy or lay leaders. Each of five regions – Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the United States – will raise or pool money and disburse the funds to approved sites and programs.

Through the Methodist Scholars program of the fund, an institution can request that an outstanding Methodist leader be placed at the institution for six to 24 months to serve as a faculty member, chaplain or administrative leader. The fund also includes scholarship assistance.

To contribute to the fund, write in the check memo line "Methodist Global Education Fund for Leadership Development, World Services Special Gift Number 05-06-04" and give to a United Methodist church treasurer or mail directly to the General Council on Finance & Administration, The United Methodist Church, 1 Music Circle North, PO Box 340029, Nashville, TN 37203-0029.

For more information, contact Ken Yamada at 615-340-7398 or kyamada@gbhem.org.

*Brown is an associate editor and writer in the Office of Interpretation, General Board of Higher Education and Ministry.

News media contact: Linda Green, Nashville, Tenn. (615) 742-5470 or newsdesk@umcom.org.

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Africa University

General Board of Higher Education and Ministry

United Methodist Schools

The United Methodist Church in Mozambique

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