What's Going on at GBHEM
Since returning from Tampa last May, GBHEM staff has been busy with two initiatives assigned to the Board by the 2012 General Conference — the Young Clergy Initiative and the Central Conference Theological Education Fund. In addition to these two major new initiatives, here are some other ways GBHEM is working hard to resource our church:
- GBHEM’s Division of Ordained Ministry trained Group Candidacy Mentors for 32 annual conferences, and about 1,000 BOM members, BOM staff, dCOM members, and DSes in ministry legislation for the new quadrennium. Webinars of some trainings are posted online.
- Work began on the Young Clergy Initiative with a summit held in Nashville. Staff are surveying data about young clergy, mentoring, and debt; and also considering forming partnerships, sharing best practices, and creating or supporting pilot programs to test what works.
- The Commission on Central Conference Theological Education meets August 25-29 in Copenhagen. The commission will set the policies and procedures governing disbursement of funds from the Central Conference Theological Education Fund.
- Africa University just celebrated its twentieth anniversary and is launching a major new fundraising campaign to ensure its financial independence. Since its founding, more than 4,000 AU graduates are changing the face of Africa.
- More than 560 college students, campus ministers, and chaplains attended Imagine What’s NEXT last fall, an event which focused on helping students consider the next faithful steps for their vocations, communities, churches, and the world.
- For the 2012-2013 academic year, GBHEM’s Office of Loans and Scholarships awarded 2,204 recipients a total of $4,803,604, all accomplished while converting to a new loans and collections software.
- For the first time, an issue of Interpreter magazine was devoted to a single topic — United Methodist higher education. The March / April 2013 issue chronicles the commitment of the denomination to education, with a special emphasis on students.
- Planning is well underway and registration is open for Exploration 2013, a three-day event for young adults age 18-26 to hear, discern, and respond to God's call to ordained ministry in The United Methodist Church. The event will be held in Denver, Colo., on November 15-17.
- GBHEM is collaborating with GBOD to raise $30,000 to buy 100 electronic books preloaded with text for professors and students at the Gbarnga School of Theology in Liberia. You can donate online to this project.
- Training materials for annual conference BOMs, presentations from a churchwide sexual ethics summit, and a lecture by a well-known civil rights activist are among the materials now available through the UMC Cyber Campus, part of the new UMC Learn Portal. See the presentations here.