Graduate School of Theology at United Methodist University Starts Classes Soon
After several months of negotiations, planning, and endorsements which include the granting of operational permit by the Government of Liberia in April 2015, the United Methodist University (UMU) Graduate School of Theology is now set to start classes this August 2015. According the Dean of the UMU Graduate School of Theology, Dr. Yatta R. Young, the school is starting with Masters of Divinity program now with the intention of adding other disciplines such as Human Rights and peace-building. “With over 20 students now registered, nothing can stop us from impacting theological knowledge into these enthusiastic Liberian ministers of the gospel,” Dean Young said.
During an orientation meeting with the students and faculty members of the UMU Graduate School, the Dean indicated that as the oldest church that brought theological education in Liberia, UMC Liberia through the UMU will ensure that Liberian gospel ministers attain the highest and best theological education. “You are about to enter into a cutting edge institutional learning program,” the told the students who gathered for the orientation. She asserted that overseas partners of the United Methodist Church in Liberia especially the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) will not settle for anything less than excellence from the UMU graduate school of theology. She reiterated that the graduate school of theology is here to ensure that clergy within UMC Liberia have a minimum of Master of Divinity.
The educator asserted that the granting of diplomas and undergraduate degrees at the Gbarnga School of Theology (GST) will feed into the graduate school of theology. “We expect that students graduating from GST will make use of this opportunity and don’t stop because they have an undergraduate degree,” she cautioned. She further indicated that she hopes that the UMC Liberia will upgrade the graduate school of theology in the near future just as it being done to the Gbarnga School of Theology.
The UMU graduate school of theology has over 20 students from several denominations of Liberia including the Salvation Army Liberia Command, the Church of the Lord Aladura, and the Don Stewart Christ Pentecostal Church program. Student Tamba Gborie of the Church of the Lord Aladura: “I am enrolling in this graduate school of theology because my experience at GST tells me that the United Methodist Church can better prepare theologically than any other institution.” Jokor Varney Fahnbulleh of the Salvation Army: Enrolling in the UMU graduate school of theology is like coming back home because the founder of my denomination was once a Methodist.
The UMU graduate school of theology has an array of faculties with doctorates in several theological fields. It is expected that the UMU, the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM), and the General Board of Discipleship (GBOD) will enter into of partnership that will help to provide text books and e-readers for the students of the graduate school.
Reporting and photos by E. Julu Swen