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Asia-Pacific Association of Methodist-Related Educational Institutions Resolves to Make Peace Peacefully

Beth Neil
November 27, 2018

Cultural presentation from Isabella Thoburn College students for Inaugural APAMEI session

The Asia-Pacific Association of Methodist-related Educational Institutions (APAMEI) held its 2018 conference at Isabella Thoburn College, Lucknow, India, the first Christian college for women in Asia, established in 1870. Themed “Transcending Boundaries for Peace: Making Peace-Peacefully,” more than 250 participants from seven countries attended the conference.

Honorable Shri Ram Naik, governor of the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, Bishop Dr. Phillip S. Masih, Lucknow Episcopal Area and Dr. Elizabeth Charles, President, Isabella Thoburn College

Honorable Shri Ram Naik, governor of the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, delivered the welcoming address during the opening ceremony. Congratulatory remarks from Rev. Dr. Kim Cape, general secretary, General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM), were shared by Dr. Amos Nascimento, associate general secretary, Global Education and New Initiatives, GBHEM.

Keynote address by Rev. Dr. Thomas Wolfe
Keynote speakers were Rev. Dr. Thomas Wolfe, president, International Association of Methodist-related Schools, Colleges, and Universities (IAMSCU) and Mr. Cherian Thomas, director and CEO, World Vision India. There were 27 additional seminars held over the course of the four-day conference covering: Methodists as Peace Makers; Pluralism and Secularism; Race Gender and Environment; Economy and Technology; Education and Culture – The Contribution of Methodism; Responsible Citizenship on Ecological Crisis; Gender – The Unfinished Agenda; Economy and Education; Management of Christian institutions in a Multicultural Canvas; Technology and Education; Peace and Poverty; and Dialogue between Cultures – Crossing Bridges.

On November 4, 2018, at the end of the conference, APAMEI members adopted the following resolutions on peace:

  • As educators and leaders of Methodist-related educational institutions from countries throughout the Asia-Pacific region, we commit ourselves to transcend boundaries for peace and to foster peacemaking and peaceful coexistence in our schools, in our communities and countries, in the Asia-Pacific region and for the world.
  • We encourage our schools, colleges and universities and all educational institutions to promote international peace education in the Wesleyan tradition for the next generation so that young people with a vision for peace can transcend boundaries and realize peace with justice in this world. 

See the full "Resolution on Making Peace Peacefully" here

APAMEI President Dr. Florita Miranda presenting The Rev. Dr. Connie Semy Mella Union Theological Seminary (Philippines) the APAMEI membership certificate

Dr. Florita V. Miranda, APAMEI president, reiterated, “APAMEI‘s gathering coincides with the unveiling of the Statue of Unity in India, and APAMEI celebrates with the whole Indian nation. We feel our connection with our Indian brothers and sisters as we remember John Wesley’s words, ‘I look upon the whole world as my parish.’ The words that planted the seeds of connectionism in our genes. For more than 200 years, Methodism and its Wesleyan legacy of solidarity, networking, building bridges for peace, and in carrying out its social principles made an impact all over the world. In this gathering, APAMEI stands as one voice that recognizes each other‘s uniqueness, values our differences, upholds and respects God’s wonderful creation, strengthens our commonalities, and appreciates a shared goal, a common path, as a way forward.”

Isabella Thoburn College Choir

The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) has established Global Hubs for Leadership, Education and Development (LEaD Hubs) in each of five regions—Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and North America. These hubs connect the Methodist Global Education Fund for Leadership Development (MGEFLD) and regional associations of Methodist-related educational institutions. This decentralized system brings together the work of the MGEFLD offices, LEaD Hubs and GBHEM.

In 2011, GBHEM signed partnership agreements with Yonsei University and its School of Theology in Seoul, Korea, to serve as the LEaD Hub in Asia. Projects have been initiated in Korea, Japan, Vietnam, the Philippines, Cambodia, and India. Shortly after, APAMEI was created in 2012.

Isabella Thoburn College, Lucknow, India
Rev. Dr. Young Min Paik, executive director, GBHEM LEaD Hub South Korea, and executive secretary/treasurer, APAMEI, noted, “This conference has become a wonderful opportunity to discover and connect many unknown Indian Methodist-related institutions and build a strong network with the Methodist Church in India (MCI). There is great support of the Council of Education and Christian Nurture of MCI.” All bishops and head officers of MCI actively participated in the conference as preachers, presenters and session leaders.

In other business, the following people were elected to the APAMEI board of directors:

  • Dr. Byung Shik Jeon: Baewha Women's University, South Korea
  • Dr. Neerja Masih: Isabella Thoburn College, India
  • Dr. Florita Villanueva Miranda: Wesleyan College of Manila, Philippines
  • Bishop Emerito Nacpil: retired, Philippines
  • Dr. Su-Hui Ou: Soochow University, Taiwan
  • Dr. Young Min Paik: Executive Director, GBHEM LEaD Hub of Asia-Pacific, South Korea
  • Dr. Paul Tsuchido Shew: Aoyama Gakuin University, Japan
  • Dr. Philip Stewart: Westminster School, South Australia
  • Dr. Priscilla Viuya: Philippine Association of Methodist Schools, Colleges, Universities, and Seminaries (PAMSCUS), Philippines

Ex-Officio members:

  • Dr. Connie Semy Mella: Executive Director, GBHEM LEaD Hub of Asia-Pacific, Philippines
  • Dr. Amos Nascimento: GBHEM Associate General Secretary, Global Education and New Initiatives
  • Dr. Jerome Sahabandhu: GBGM Mission Theologian in Residence, Sri Lanka

Officers of the board will be elected at its next meeting.

Proposals to host the 2021 APAMEI Conference may be sent to Dr. Young Min Paik at leadSouthKorea@gbhemhubs.org. The board will determine the final host site.

Visit the GBHEM LEaD Hub Facebook page or GBHEM.org to read the entire resolution and learn more about GBHEM’s global initiatives.

About GBHEM: As the leadership development agency of The United Methodist Church, the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry’s mission is to build capacity for United Methodist lay and clergy leaders to discover, claim and flourish in Christ’s calling in their lives, by creating connections and providing resources to aid in recruitment, education, professional development and spiritual formation. Every elder, deacon and licensed local pastor benefits from our training and candidacy programs. Many young adults find help in clarifying their vocation and God’s call on their lives through our leadership and discernment programs. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook: @GBHEM.