The participants of the fourth annual Writers’ Workshop for Anglophone faculty of the African Association of United Methodist Theological Institutions (AAUMTI) were privileged to receive greetings from Johnson Gwaikolo, President of United Methodist University in Liberia. He demonstrated a clear understanding of our vision for the workshop and offered encouragement to write material that is “contextual to [Africa’s] history, identity and struggle.”

His remarks below give insight into the passion, calling and work of DRI and Higher Education and Ministry. 

After three years at Africa University, the participants have decided a different school should host the workshop each year in order to see and appreciate each of the campuses and give the entire faculty at each school a chance to benefit from the workshop. This year Gbarnga School of Theology was chosen to host and next year, Wesley College in Tanzania will host.

June 21, 2017

Distinguished participants at this Anglophone Africa United Methodist Theological Institutions (AAUMTI) Writer’s Workshop, I bring you greetings on behalf of the Board of Directors, Faculty, Administration, and Student Body of the United Methodist University of which the Gbarnga School of Theology (GST) is a college. It is an honor for the University through GST to serve as host for the Writer’s Workshop for Anglophone Countries of AAUMTI. GST is one of the oldest seminaries in West Africa and we are proud of its contribution to theological education in Liberia and beyond. As you have all assembled here this morning, we say, “Welcome.”

President of United Methodist University, Liberia
President of United Methodist University, Liberia

Approximately six years ago in September 2011, AAUMTI was established. The purpose at that time, which I believe it still is today, was to see the expansion of theological education on the African continent. The Association was to coordinate the teaching of Methodist theology in Africa. In the process, it would offer relevant and redemptive studies for future leaders of the church and world. In so doing, Bishop Gasper Domingos, one time President of the Africa Central Conference pointed out that, “African wisdom needs to be collected and at this moment, Africa needs information which is contextual to its history, identity and struggles.” The Association, therefore, provides the opportunity for member Theological Institutions to identify, articulate, and respond to challenges, trends and opportunities in theological education, of course, giving reference to the Wesleyan orientation.

The Writer’s Workshop is one means to attend to the challenges posed to theological education in the African context. Writing is an individual art or craft, one that embodies knowledge, creativity, and skills. However, a Writer’s Workshop is where the work of individuals is exposed to professional colleagues to be critiqued as a way of insuring that contents and presentation are responsive to the needs of the readers. The Workshop helps to improve writing skills. We at the United Methodist University, therefore, greet you and welcome you. We are honored that you chose GST for this workshop.

May the blessings of God abide with us all.