After a record-breaking number of registrations, Methodist educators from around the world will be meeting in the United Kingdom, joining an international conference to celebrate 275 years of Methodist education, which began with the foundation of the first Methodist school in 1748. This unique conference, will take participants back to the birthplace of the Wesleyan and Methodist tradition, honoring the 275th anniversary of Kingswood School, founded by John Wesley. The conference will also celebrate the current impact of Methodist education, which includes Kindergarten, Primary and Secondary Education, Higher Education, and Theological Education offered by more than 1,000 schools in 80 countries, and 5 continents. To showcase this diversity and discuss future perspectives for Methodist education in the future, the conference is based in a broad concept and will be held at three different locations in England, which represent the variety of institutions active in these areas.
Based on the conference concept, each portion of the conference will host international speakers and participants who will share their expertise on various topics and contribute to the conference theme: “Transforming Lives.” Here is the conference program:
April 25 – Pre-Conference meetings at Southlands College, University of Roehampton, including meetings of Regional Associations and the meeting of the IAMSCU Board of Directors.
April 26 – Conference track on Higher Education (London) at Southlands College, starting with procession in academic/liturgical regalia, worship in the chapel, and an academic program with speakers from around the world, representing areas such as theology, human rights, environmental studies, leadership development, indigenous studies, international cooperation, social justice, and many others.
April 27-30 – Conference Track on Primary and Secondary Education (Bristol/Bath) which will include plenary sessions, panels, and seminars on governance, Methodist studies, environmental advocacy and climate change, mental health and wellbeing, and many other themes of importance to schools worldwide. Participants will also visit Kingswood School and celebrate its 275th anniversary. This part concludes on Sunday morning (April 30) with a Closing Worship in which Bishop James Swanson, Sr. will be the preacher.
May 1 – Conference Track on Theological Education (Cambridge) held at Wesley House. The program will include a keynote lecture by Bishop Emmanuel Asante (Ghana) and various workshops. The conference will conclude with a Procession in academic, liturgical or cultural regalia, leading to St. Mary’s Church (Cambridge University’s Church), where the IAMSCU President, The Rev. Dr. Tom Wolfe will be the preacher.
May 2 – Post-Conference Meeting: the Network of Methodist Theological Schools in Europe (MTSE) will be meeting in Cambridge, to have its Business Meeting, Elections, and planning of its future activities.
Online Option: Conference organizers are also offering the possibility of online participation. For information on the program, visit the conference website: 2023methodistschools.org.uk. Many of the plenary sessions and seminars will also be streamed online, so those unable to travel to the United Kingdom will be able to join parts of the program. The 2023 Conference Handbook will also be available through the website. For any questions, please contact the conference organization at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.