GBHEM Partners with Africa University and Wesley House Cambridge for a New Doctoral Program Expanding the Capacity for Theological Education on the Continent of Africa

Published On: April 10, 2018

The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM), the leadership development agency for the denomination, today announced a partnership with Africa University and Wesley House Cambridge in the creation of a new five-year, part-time doctoral program in Methodist Theology. With the inaugural class to begin in 2019, applications for the doctorate program are now available. 

The inaugural program will be available to 12 educators currently working within theological institutions in Africa. The degree candidates will be required to study at Africa University and in Cambridge. However, the program is designed to allow the students to remain in their current teaching positions. Supervisors, one from Africa University and the other from Wesley House, will be assigned to each student for assistance along their journey in the program. 

 “Expanding access to theological education and building capacity for Methodist leaders on the continent of Africa is a top priority for GBHEM. With the rapidly increasing number of United Methodists in Africa, we want to ensure the continent is equipped with trained clergy leadership,” said Rev. Dr. Kim Cape, general secretary, GBHEM. “Our goal is to meet the growing need for theological schools and education in Africa, helping to provide sustainable, quality Methodist theological education. We are extremely honored to play a role in funding this vital initiative.” 

The doctorate research projects for the degrees are required to address a contextual African issue or question from a theological or religious studies perspective and/or build up an identified theological/religious studies expertise needed by the theological/higher education institution in which the applicant works.

Through the partnership and funding from GBHEM, Africa University, Wesley House and the Central Conference Theological Education Fund, tuition for all five years of the program, travel, lodging and visas are covered for participants. 

The new doctoral program is a stepping stone to building greater capacity for more masters and doctoral programs in Africa. Contextually appropriate leadership development is essential to the creation of effective clergy leaders. The doctoral program will allow for African leaders to expand their education and training in their context.

Applications should be sent to by May 31, 2018 together with an academic reference, bishop endorsement, a reference from a manager at the applicant’s Methodist-related, Africa-based school, transcripts, and an academic, theological writing sample (e.g. dissertation or published article). 

For more information about the program, eligibility and requirements, download the recruitment packet or contact Wesley House at  

About Africa University: Africa University—a Pan-African higher education institution of The United Methodist Church—is celebrating its Silver Jubilee this year. The university opened in 1992 with 40 students from six African countries. It now has an annual full-time enrolment of 1,400 students representing as many as 29 of Africa’s 54 nations. Degree programs as well as short courses are offered in three colleges: Health, Agriculture & Natural Sciences; Business, Peace, Leadership & Governance; and Social Sciences, Humanities, Theology and Education. More than 90 percent of Africa University’s 8,000+ alumni have remained on the continent of Africa. Graduates are in leadership roles in more than 32 African countries as well as in countries in Europe, Asia, Latin America and North America. The university’s main campus is located near Mutare, in the eastern highlands of Zimbabwe. To learn more about Africa University, visit and

About Wesley House Cambridge: Wesley House Cambridge was established in 1921 as a ‘house of residence within the precincts of the University of Cambridge’* for the education of Methodist clergy. Today it works with several university partners in the UK and beyond to facilitate global theological education in the Wesleyan tradition. For more on Wesley House, visit  

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 in their lives through our leadership and discernment programs. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook: @GBHEM.

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