The United Methodist University plans to launch its graduate school of theology in March with the goal of ensuring clergy in Liberia have a place to earn a Master of Divinity.
“We have been granting diplomas and undergraduate degrees since the Gbarnga School of Theology was founded in 1959,” said the Rev. Yatta Young, dean of the new graduate school and former dean of the Gbarnga School of Theology, one of five colleges operated by the university.
The hope, she said, is that all United Methodist clergy in Liberia will have a minimum of a Master of Divinity. The graduate school will begin with the divinity program and move onto other fields, including peacebuilding.
Bishop John G. Innis said one of the Four Areas of Focus for the church is developing disciplined, effective United Methodist leaders. “Having a graduate school of theology will fulfill and strengthen that focus by educating well-disciplined, well-trained pastors,” he explained.
“Having an educated clergy and trained theologians is of paramount importance to the church,” Innis said.
Young said The United Methodist Church in Liberia has reached a point at which it needs to upgrade its scholarly ministry to the people of Liberia, including the more than 200,000 United Methodists in the country. “We have long provided primary, secondary, and college education,” she noted. “It is now time that we upgrade to graduate level.”
The university is prepared to run a graduate program with an array of faculty members, all of whom have their doctorates in several theological fields, Young said.
Click here to read more.