North American Association of Methodist Schools, Colleges, and Universities meets in Chicago

The North American Association of Methodist Schools, Colleges, and Universities (NAAMSCU) is holding a historical meeting in conjunction with the University Senate of the United Methodist Church. NAAMSCU is an independent organization with institutions related to various denominations in the Wesleyan and Methodist traditions in North America, with a majority of United Methodist schools, colleges, seminaries, and universities. Membership is defined by the institutional commitment to an education historically rooted in the vision and actions of the founder of the Methodist movement, John Wesley. NAAMSCU affirms the Wesleyan emphasis on connecting intellectual development with spiritual growth and the pursuit of sanctification. As Charles Wesley’s out it in a famous hymn, NAAMSCU seeks to connect ‘knowledge and vital piety’ as well as faith and reason in order to educate the whole person: body, mind, and spirit.

At this important event, NAAMSCU will be having a joint meeting with the University Senate of the United Methodist Church. The Senate was founded in 1892 as the first accreditation organization in the United States, and probably the world. As such, the University Senate has been responsible for the evaluation of institutions related to the UMC. This evaluation considers various dimensions, including the relationship to the Church, governance, academic freedom, and financial health. This model has now been expanded to both private and governmental initiatives around the world, which have established similar organizations to be responsible for institutional evaluation. In the United States, this evaluation is done by non-governmental associations. In Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America, this task is the responsibility of national governments and their educational offices.

Traditionally, both organizations meet around the same time, in late June or early July. For the first time, they will be meeting in the same venue in 2022. The program includes separate meetings of NAAMSCU and the University Senate, and the organizations will then come together for a couple of joint plenaries. For more information, contact Rev. Dr. Tamara Gieselman (tgieselman@gbhem.org).

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