The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM), the leadership development agency of The United Methodist Church, has formally announced a new agreement between GBHEM and Wesley House, Cambridge, effective August 2018. The partnership establishes the agency’s newest Global Hub for Leadership, Education and Development (LEaD Hub). Located in Britain, the LEaD Hub will address needs in Methodist-related projects, programs, and initiatives and promote education as well as leadership development opportunities within local churches and the communities related to Wesley House worldwide.
This announcement comes as The United Methodist Church and The Methodist Church in Britain mark the 50th anniversary of their concordat, the agreement affirming the relationship between the two denominations, signed in 1968. In addition to observing this occasion in London, leaders from institutions in the Wesleyan, Methodist, and Uniting traditions gathered in Cambridge for an important event on “Empire and Decolonization in Wesleyan Traditions.” The gathering focused on how churches and educational institutions can work together while affirming their autonomy and exercising their prophetic voice denouncing oppression and injustice. This was one of the first activities supported by the new LEaD Hub in Britain.
The new initiative builds on the history of Methodism in the British context. It honors the tradition of academic excellence in Cambridge and the longstanding partnership between The United Methodist Church and The Methodist Church in Britain.
“Through this agreement, we will promote concrete ways to work together. Given Wesley House’s connections with the global churches formerly part of the British Methodist Connexion, a partnership between our organizations represents a unique strategic opportunity,” said Bishop William McAlilly, president, GBHEM Board of Directors, at the August 11 signing of the partnership.
In addition to promoting partnership between churches, the agreement also consolidates several ongoing programs involving GBHEM and Wesley House, such as the doctoral program in Methodist Theology offered in partnership with Africa University in Zimbabwe.
“The new LEaD Hub will complement the already existing hubs established by GBHEM in Europe at Reutlingen Theological School in Germany and in the Baltic Area, as well as strengthen the work of the Methodist theological schools in Europe,” added McAlilly. “May God bless this partnership and allow it to serve as an inspiration for other initiatives aimed at bringing our churches together.”
About GBHEM LEaD Hubs:
GBHEM has 11 LEaD Hubs throughout the world as part of its strategic plan to better serve the United Methodist Church worldwide in the preparation of leaders and difference makers who can change the world. GBHEM has been working on the establishment of a decentralized structure since 2004 when it launched the Methodist Global Education Fund for Leadership Development. Today, the LEaD Hubs are located:
- LEaD Hub in Africa – French-speaking areas (Côte d’Ivoire)
- LEaD Hub in Africa – Portuguese-speaking areas (Mozambique)
- LEaD Hub in Africa – English-speaking areas (South Africa)
- LEaD Hub in Asia Pacific (Philippines)
- LEaD Hub in Asia Pacific (South Korea)
- LEaD Hub in Europe (Germany)
- LEaD Hub in Europe (Britain)
- LEaD Hub in Northern Europe and Eurasia (Sweden)
- LEaD Hub in Latin America and the Caribbean – Spanish-speaking areas (Argentina)
- LEaD Hub in Latin America and the Caribbean – Portuguese-speaking areas (Brazil)
- LEaD Hub in North America (United States)
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.