Global Theological Education

Commission on Central Conference Theological Education

The Central Conference Theological Education Commission awards $1 million annually to theological institutions, Boards of Ordained Ministry, and agencies integrally related to training United Methodist pastors.

Learn more about who is eligible to apply and the specific process. View the applications or apply online.


General Conference 2012 approved the creation of a Central Conference Theological Education Fund and a commission to oversee it. A budget that included $5 million from World Service funds for the next four years was approved.

The Commission on Central Conference Theological Education, elected by the Council of Bishops to oversee the use of the funds, met in Copenhagen in August 2013 and drafted plans for distributions of the funds.

The Central Conferences include Africa, Europe, and the Philippines.

Bishop John Innis, episcopal leader of the Liberia Annual Conference and president of the College of Bishops of the West Africa Central Conference, was elected chair of the commission. Click here for the full membership.

The commission agreed that on an annual basis, half of the funds, or about $500,000 a year, would be distributed based on the number of episcopal areas in a conference. However, these grants are not guaranteed and will go to the best proposals. Regional screening committees will recommend which proposals receive funding.

Applicants can request grants in the categories approved by General Conference, which are:

  • development of theological schools
  • development of Courses of Study
  • development of libraries and contextually developed resources
  • scholarships and faculty development
  • support for associations and networks of faculty and schools
  • support for new and innovative approaches to theological education.

The commission agreed that 25 percent of the funds (about $250,000 per year) would be distributed based on the number of churches and active clergy. The delegates from Europe asked that their portion of those funds be distributed to the other Central Conferences because they believe the needs are greater in Africa and the Philippines.

Those funds will be distributed as follows: Africa Central Conference, 15 percent; Congo Central Conference, 35 percent; West Africa Central Conference, 30 percent; Philippines, 20 percent.

The remaining $250,000 a year will be available for proposals that go beyond a single conference. Examples would be proposals by language groups, production of contextual materials, or new and innovative proposals that might affect more than one region.

While General Conference 2012 approved the fund at $5 million, the money comes from the World Service Apportionment Fund. GCFA expects that fund to pay out at 85 percent, which would mean the actual dollars would be reduced to $4.2 million, or about $1 million a year for each year of the 2013-2016 quadrennium.

Reports from the 2011 Consultation

Rev. Dr. Beauty R. Maenzanise
Djoman Nathanaël Ohouo

Romeo del Rosario

Michael Nauser

Latin America
David Maldonado, Jr.

United States
Myron F. McCoy

A Report in Progress / Executive Summary

AUMTS Consultation on Global United Methodist Theological Education

The United Methodist Church is growing faster in Africa than in any other part of the globe. Today, UMC membership in Africa is nearly 4.2 million, compared to 7.7 million in the United States. While church membership in Africa represents more than 30 percent of United Methodists worldwide, Africa has a critical shortage of trained clergy.

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Connect with us via email or phone for any questions or concerns you might have. A full listing of staff is also available.

Membership of the Central Conference Theological Education Commission


  • Chair: Bishop John Innis, Liberia, West Africa Central Conference
  • Vice-chair: Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar, Boston Episcopal Area, Northeastern Jurisdiction
  • Secretary: The Rev. Irene Kraft, Germany Central Conference

Executive Committee Members:

  • The Rev. Daniel Lunge Onashuyaka, Central Congo Conference
  • The Rev. Connie Semy Mella, Philippines Central Conference
  • The Rev. Tsitsi Madziyire, Africa Central Conference.

Members of the Commission:

Europe Central Conferences

  • The Rev. Sergei Nikolaev, Northern Europe and Eurasia
  • Bishop Patrick Streiff, Central & Southern Europe

West Africa Central Conference

  • The Rev. Francis Charlie, Sierra Leone
  • The Rev. Brigitte Atsin, Côte d’Ivoíre

Africa Central Conference

  • The Rev. Michael Ssekandi, Uganda
  • Bishop Gaspar Domingos, Angola

Congo Central Conference

  • The Rev. Katchiko Furaha, East Congo
  • Bishop Nkulu Ntambo, North Katanga

Philippines Central Conference:

  • The Rev. Roberto Ladia, Davao
  • Bishop Pete Torio, Baguio

General Board of Global Ministries

  • The Rev. John Nuessle
  • The Rev. Guy Mande

General Board of Higher Education and Ministry

  • The Rev. Gregory Bergquist
  • The Rev. Shannon Conklin-Miller

Staff Coordinator:

Dena Cheatham


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