|Agency will help develop leaders in Brazil|
A partnership agreement between the United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry and the General Council of the Methodist Institutions of Education
is signed March 19 in Nashville, Tenn. A UMNS photo by Donnie Reed.
By Vicki Brown*
March 25, 2009 | NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS)
Leaders of the United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry are hailing a new partnership agreement between the agency and Brazilian educational institutions as a major step in their mission of developing leaders for the church.
The agreement will further the board’s ability to “engage effectively in its global work of developing principled Christian leaders for the church and the world through the Methodist international connection and network,” said the Rev. Jerome King Del Pino, top staff executive of the board.
Under the agreement, signed March 19 between the board and the General Council of the Methodist Institutions of Education, the council will function as the “regional operating vehicle” of the Methodist Global Education Fund for Leadership Development. This is the first of five such arrangements planned under the initiative.
Bishop Marcus Matthews, president of the board, said the partnership is the culmination of “24 years of hard work” and represents a significant step in furthering the global education work of The United Methodist Church.
Bishop Luis Vergilio, vice president of the College of Bishops of the Methodist Church in Brazil, said the agreement represents the understanding of the church that education promotes human life, stewardship of nature and justice.
“This agreement, by means of the higher education in Brazil, will reach the whole of Latin America,” Vergilio said.
Under the agreement, the council will provide technical assistance and support to 120 Methodist educational institutions that enroll 95,000 students in Latin America.
“The present economic crisis impacts every corner of the world. This is the time for us to work together, as partners, not only to overcome current difficulties, but also to advance the development of principled Christian leaders around the world,” Del Pino said.
Under the agreement, the board and the fund will:
- provide technical expertise in developing an institutional network among Methodist-related educational institutions in Latin America;
- provide technical expertise in improving and strengthening institutional health and viability;
- assist the council in increasing institutional effectiveness of those Methodist educational institutions in Latin American through developing quality governance, administration, academic programs and faculty, student recruitment and retention, marketing and physical facilities;
- assist the council in exploring and cultivating possible funding sources to support Methodist-related educational institutions in Latin America and its network;
- help the council facilitate the needs of Methodist-related educational institutions in Latin America with Methodist-related educational institutions in the other four regions for faculty, staff, and student exchanges, research and program cooperation, and other initiatives;
- assist the council in implementing the institutional self-assessment tool developed by the International Association of Methodist-related Schools, Colleges and Universities as a way to establish institutional quality standards.
The council will:
- serve as the anchor agency of the Methodist educational network in Latin America and function as the regional vehicle for the Methodist Global Education Fund for Leadership Development;
- develop collaborative support relationships among Methodist-related educational institutions in Latin America;
- design, implement and administer a Methodist education network to minimize operational costs and maximize efficiency and effectiveness. That should include technical assistance, professional development, and scholarship support.
- gather and maintain institutional profiles of Methodist-related educational institutions in Latin America;
- develop annual operating income and expenditure budgets;
- interpret and promote Methodist-related educational institutions in Latin America;
- create a corporate branding of Methodist-related educational institutions and develop marketing strategies appropriate in Latin America;
- explore and secure funds from external sources in Latin America;
- evaluate periodically performance of the global education fund’s regional office functions.
On March 18, council members met with board officials and Bishop Neil Irons and Vivian Bull, a board consultant, to discuss Methodist higher education in Brazil, as well as the role of the Methodist Church in higher education in that country.
The Rev. Luis de Souza Cardoso, the council’s executive director, told the group that while public education is the right of all citizens of Brazil, many families simply cannot afford for their children to access education. “Many have to work,” he said.
Information about the Methodist Global Education Fund for Leadership Development is available at http://umc.gbhem.org/mgef.
*Brown is associate editor and writer in the Office of Interpretation, Board of Higher Education and Ministry.
News media contact: Linda Green or Tim Tanton, Nashville, Tenn., (615) 742-5470 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Higher Ed board approves plan, cost cuts, scholarship fund
United Methodists seek to ‘turn worlds upside down’
General Board of Higher Education and Ministry
Four Areas of Ministry Focus
Methodist Global Education for Leadership Development