A NEW research centre for theology and religion has been opened in Yangon, Myanmar, by the Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Michael Jackson.
The building had been bought by the Association for Theological Education in Myanmar, and paid for by the Barnabas Fund, and the Association for Theological Education in South East Asia (ATESEA).
Dr Jackson led inaugural prayers at the opening event, earlier this month, which was attended by the International Director of the Barnabas Fund, Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, and the executive director of the Foundation of Theological Education for South East Asia, Dr H. S Wilson, which is partnered with ATESEA.
The new centre joins 31 other colleges that Dr Jackson and a non-stipendiary priest in the Wellspring Benefice of the diocese of Salisbury, Canon Joshva Raja, have been visiting since 2012. They provide training for theologians in leadership, contextual theologies, and public theology.
It will be part of a consortium of three colleges that will support 50 Ph.D. students who, previously, have had to go to Hong Kong, Singapore, or Western universities for the Ph.D. programme. Canon Raja, who set up the consortium, explained: “This consortium will fully support the admission and other process of Ph.D. programme with a collaboration from three colleges. This is the first of its kind and thus the [launch] was historic for many colleges.”
The three colleges will start running Ph.D. programmes under ATESEA, he said, and next year this would be extended to other colleges in Yangon and countries near by.