A timeline of our Global Partnerships activity.
Perkins and Cliff sign MOU
Cliff College and Perkins School of Theology (Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX) have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), representing the formalisation of the ongoing work between our two institutions. Even more than this, however, it represents our shared values- to bring greater access to quality theological education for all. We are especially excited for the shared resources this agreement brings to our Global South partners. The future is bright for this partnership and we look forward to the fruits it produces and the impact it has on our global theological community.
We were pleased to convene a four day e-learning seminar conference for our partners including United Theological College and Africa University. It was a great opportunity to develop the partnerships, share learning and create resources together.
Church Planting Conference
Cliff’s Principal Ashley Cooper and some of our students travelled to the beautiful city of Tallinn, Estonia, for a church planting conference. Ashley says, ‘It was good to engage with the MTSE (Methodist-related Theological Schools of Europe) on church planting. Methodist students from all over Europe explored and shared their differing contexts and experiences. Cliff College was well represented by students Anna, Ben, Dan and Leah.’
Online learning at MTSE
The Global Partnerships office spent a successful week in Varna, Bulgaria. There, we led sessions on e-learning and took part in discussions with our European colleagues in Methodist theological education. One particular highlight was our Head of Global Partnerships, Rev. Andrew Harper, unveiling ‘Theo’, a device that allows those without internet access the ability to engage in quality theological education.
The Cliff Year students undertook an immersion trip to Uganda with Ashley Cooper (Principal), Andrew Harper (Head of Global Partnerships) and Tom Donoghue (Evangelist & Cliff Year Leader).
While Ashley, Andrew and Tom provided training for ministers, pastors and churches, the Cliff Year student had the opportunity to interact and learn the stories of the people they met, and share experiences with them. They attended a Circuit Youth Day, which included Bible Study, worship, games and very energetic dancing. Their busy week also involved visits to churches, projects like First African Bicycle Information Organisation (FABIO) – an All We Can project, and a Children’s Centre which helps provide education and practical support for families.
Tom says ‘Uganda is a beautiful country we were always struck by the kind welcome and appreciation received by everyone we met. It was exciting to see a growing and multi-generational church, and have the opportunity to learn about faith in a different culture and context.’
Rev Andrew Harper spent time in Nairobi, Kenya working with pastors for the purpose of resource creation and teaching seminars.
Staff, students and other Methodist Church representatives had a fantastic time in India! From the warm welcome by local churches to the moving testimonies shared with us, each participant was left touched and forever changed. We thank the Karimnager Diocese and Bishop Reuben for their hospitality, and look forward to the future of this new partnership.
Baltic Methodist Theological Seminary
It was great to meet with the leadership and faculty of the Baltic Methodist Theological Seminary (EMKTS) to discuss how Cliff can partner in the region. We look forward to working together, beginning with a conference in church planting in Tallinn in March 2020!
Pictured: Kulli Toniste, Rector EMKTS; Andrew Harper Head of Global Partnerships at Cliff College; Tarmi Lilleoja of EMKTS.
We are very excited to share with you that Andrew Harper, our Head of Global Partnerships, has been ordained as a Methodist minister in the Methodist Church Nigeria. Andrew was one of 150 ministers ordained in Abakiliki on Sunday 11th August 2019 and he was supported by our Principal, Revd Ashley Cooper. We are pleased to have a global partner in the Methodist Church Nigeria who, like us at Cliff College, continue to look beyond their borders to benefit the world Methodist communion.
It was a great privilege to sign a collaborative partnership with the Methodist church in Fiji. Ashley Cooper and Andrew Harper were in Fiji for the annual Methodist Church conference, and also visited theological colleges.
We were joined this week by Dean Clement Matarirano if United Theological College, and former Cliff student Bishop Richman Ncube. Both are ministers in the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe and have a passion for bringing greater access to quality theological education across Zimbabwe and beyond.
We look forward to returning to Zimbabwe, where Cliff College plays a small part in the amazing work being done by United Theological College and the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe in the are of theological education.
We were delighted to host a study tour group from Perkins School of Theology in Dallas, Texas, led by Dr. Ted Campbell and Jane Elder. As part of their whistle-stop Wesley tour, the group of students enjoyed the beautiful Cliff grounds and surroundings, and even made a stop at Englesea Brook Chapel and Museum of Primitive Methodism.
The Office of Global Partnerships was delighted to join past principal Revd Canon Howard Mellor in Cambodia. Here we discussed how Cliff College could play a role in supporting the already excellent work of the Cambodia Methodist Bible School.
We also visited our friends in the Hong Kong Methodist Church and the Chung Chi Divinity School. Cliff College is excited to partner with the Hong Kong Methodist Church and the Methodist International Centre to offer theological courses in Hong Kong in the next academic year!
Cliff College, in partnership with Wesley University, Ondo, helped facilitate the first Doctor of Ministry course in the first dedicated Department of Theology in Nigeria. Over the training block at the end of March, Cliff faculty fostered healthy debate around some difficult topics such as worship and liturgy, global justice, the theology of preaching, and theological reflection. Please continue to pray for the work of this young department as it seeks to bring greater access to theological education to West Africa and beyond.
Cliff College is happy to announce the official beginning of its partnership with the Methodist E-Academy Europe. Today, in Zurich, Andrew Harper and Ashley Cooper from Cliff, and Bishop Patrick Streiff and Dr. David Field from the E-Academy, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the two institutions. This MOU centres around promoting the use of e-learning technologies for theological education. Together, the two institutions will also explore content creation, collaborative courses and faculty sharing.
This is a major moment in the life of the college, and is yet another milestone in our vision for international collaboration and the utilisation of digital technologies for theological learning.
Cliff College has just returned from the Methodist Training Centre Iganga, Uganda. Here we facilitated a training week for a group of Methodist Church Uganda and United Methodist Church Uganda ministers, pastors and lay leaders. Over the week we explored the roots of Methodism and how those roots have helped shape the Methodist Church in Uganda. We are particularly proud to be part of this training event as it, for the first time, brought together the two Methodist denominations in Uganda and highlighted their common heritage. We offer special thanks to Bishop William Muriuki and Bishop Daniel Wandabula for making this joint training event possible and for being such gracious hosts.
Cliff College recently returned from an immersion trip to Zimbabwe. While we are grateful for the safe return of staff and students, we are even more grateful for the radical hospitality and Christ-like love shown to us by our in-country partners and strangers alike.
Though our trip finished in the midst of difficult political and economic issues, it is the memory of the Zimbabwean people that will remain with us. Kindness and care was shown to us out of sacrificial love despite the impossible situation and for this, the College is grateful.
A fantastic visit to Africa University in Mutare today, where we were warmly welcomed by the Chaplain, Revd Maud Muchanyerei, pictured here with Andrew Harper, Head of Global Partnerships, and Ashley Cooper, Cliff College Principal. The future is bright for our two institutions.
It was good for Andrew Harper, Cliff’s Head of Global Partnerships, to spend some time in Basel before Christmas with Dr David Field, Coordinator of the Methodist E-Academy. This time together enabled the filming of a number of lectures for the updated Methodist E-Academy that Cliff College is playing a key role in developing. Cliff continues working with the Methodist E-academy and Bishop Patrick Streiff, the Resident Bishop of the Central and Southern Europe Area of the United Methodist Church, as we pursue greater access to quality theological education for all.
Perkins School of Theology, Dallas
We are very excited to be one of the partners in an innovative project to expand global theological education, alongside Perkins School of Theology and the Endowment Fund for the Theological Education of the Central Conferences of the United Methodist Church. Andrew Harper, Cliff Head of Global Partnerships, said, ‘the project aims to meet a need for theological education outside the U.S., particularly in Africa, where church membership is growing rapidly and the pipeline for educating pastors can’t keep pace.’ More details of this project are available in this article.
Rev Ashley Cooper, Cliff Principal, said, ‘this is a key development in the growth of global theological education and we are thrilled to be playing a central role in this project.’
Mexican Methodist Church
It was great to have a delegation from the Mexican Methodist Church visiting Cliff this week. They had a tour of the site, met with our evangelism team and Principal, and also led a presentation to students.
All African Theological Education Association
Cliff College is excited about our partnership with the All African Theological Education Association (AATEEA). We are delighted to have signed a Collaborative Agreement to explore the facilitation of online theological resources and courses. Together with AATEEA, Cliff College continues to promote access to quality theological education for all.
An excellent visit to Zimbabwe has enabled us to plan an exciting Immersion Trip in partnership with Perkins School of Theology, in Dallas, and the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe. We are particularly pleased to be working with Revd Richman Ncube, the Bishop of the Methodist Church Harare East District in Zimbabwe and a past student of Cliff College, and the staff of the United Theological College in Harare.
ITC Review Visit
Our Academic Director Justin Thacker and our Overseas Partnership Officer Andrew Harper have been in Sierra Leone and Uganda to plan next phase of CCITC training. Watch out for more details.