Liberian president invited to be keynoter at IAMSCU conference

By Vicki Brown*

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, president of Liberia and 2011 winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, has been invited to be the keynote speaker at the 2014 International IAMSCU Conference in Hiroshima, Japan.

“We are delighted that Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who is a United Methodist and the first elected female head of state in Africa, is making plans to attend. Of course, we understand that affairs of state could prevent her from accepting, but we have a full roster of speakers and panels that promise to make this an exciting and worthwhile conference,” said Ted Brown, president of IAMSCU.

IAMSCU, the International Association of Methodist-related Schools, Colleges, and Universities, includes more than 800 Methodist educational institutions around the world. The organization was founded in 1991 at the World Methodist Conference in Singapore.

The conference in Hiroshima, May 24-28, will take advantage of the historic site where an atomic bomb was dropped during World War II, to show how the human spirit can be destructive. The agenda includes a visit to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and Museum, as well as presentations that will focus on human rights, ethics and social responsibility, and theology and peace. The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry supports both IAMSCU and the conference.

Other speakers at the conference include Koko Kondo, a survivor of the dropping of the atomic bomb; R. Fischmann, a professor at Methodist University in São Paulo, Brazil; M. Huang, professor of Soochow University; Steven Leeper, former CEO of the Hiroshima Peace Museum; Jan Love, dean, Candler School of Theology, Emory University; Douglas Meeks, professor, Vanderbilt Divinity School; Kasap Owen, president of Katanga Methodist University; J.C. Park, president of Korean Methodist University; and Bishop James Dorff, president of GBHEM’s Board of Directors.

The theme of the conference is “Peace, Reconciliation, and Human Rights.”

To learn more, or register for the conference, visit

*Brown is associate editor and writer, Office of Interpretation, General Board of Higher Education and Ministry.

General Board of Higher Education & Ministry

GBHEM is the leadership development agency of The United Methodist Church. The work of the Board is preparing global leaders for the church and the world. Every elder, deacon, and licensed local pastor has benefited from our training and candidacy programs. Many young adults have found help in clarifying their vocation and God’s call on their life through our leadership and discernment programs, and through values-centered higher education and collegiate ministries at the 106 UM-related schools, colleges, and universities. United Methodist leaders — both lay and clergy — have benefited from GBHEM’s loans and scholarships programs.

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