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United Representatives Invited to Sierra Leone
Date:2/23/2013

Dayton, Ohio (PRWEB) February 23, 2013

At the invitation of United Methodist Bishop John Yambasu of Sierra Leone, representatives from United Theological Seminary, of Dayton, OH, will be visiting the country from March 2 to 11.

United’s President Wendy Deichmann will be traveling to this West African nation during the first week of March along with Dr. Peter Bellini, his wife Maria, both of Dayton, and Rev. Stephen Crowell from New York. They will be guests at the meeting of the Sierra Leone Annual Conference in Kenema and participants in the ordination service at the conclusion of the Conference. The group will also visit the University in Freetown.

“The United Methodist Church is growing rapidly on the continent of Africa,” President Deichmann said. “One of the difficulties facing United Methodists in Sierra Leone is that there are limited resources for formal theological education for pastors," President Deichmann said. "Those called to ministry must decide whether to stay in their local communities and do the best they can in ministry with limited formal higher education, or leave the country for several years in order to obtain it. Usually this means leaving family and community behind for several years, which is very costly. Many who leave do not return, which adds to the problem of ‘brain drain’ in areas deeply in need of ministry and church leadership.”

Bishop Yambasu is working with United staff to arrange for four Sierra Leonean pastors to enroll in United's UM FLEX hybrid program this fall. The FLEX program meets UM requirements for ordination, but also allows students to continue living and working in th
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