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International Union of Diaconic Managers founded in Colombo

16.08.2015
Monday 10th, at Paradise Beach Hotel Negombo In Sri Lanka, kicked off the first meeting of the Alumini of the international Masterprogramm Diaconic Management. Under the auspices of the Methodist Church of Sri Lanka (MCLS), the Institute of Diaconic Management (IDM) of the Protestant University Wuppertal/Bethel and United Evangelical Mission (UEM), the six day conference is sponsored by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). The memorable event brings together 24 diaconic managers from the Philippines, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Kamerun, Rwanda, South Africa, Namibia, Congo DRC and Ghana (class 2011-2013 and class 20013-2015 known as K1 and K2) with their counterparts, graduates of Diaconic Management from Germany.

The “Global citizens” had flown thousands of miles from Africa, Asia and Europe to the great “rendezvous” in Colombo. One of the participants is Fred Wong Lap Kay from Hong Kong. Fred has got a bachelors degree in social work and he graduated as Master of Arts in Diaconic Management in April 2013. “I am very excited meeting my friends with whom I lived and studied in the different universities of our Mastercourse” he said. “I am also fascinated by the idea of  interacting with new friends from K2. I hope that we will have memorable exchanges and a week full of colors”. 

St. Gallen Management Model (SGMM) Generation IVIn his opening speech, Prof. Martin Büscher, Deputy Director of the Institute of Diaconic Management (IDM) and  Programme Director of the MA Diaconic Management reiterated the unique profile of the programme being interdisciplinary designed, cross culturally tailored and flavoured by the integration of normative strategic and operative management. Latest developments of the main paradigm, the St. Gallen Management Model (SGMM) and the idea of Multi-Rational Management dealing with contradictory demands within an organisation were presented. “We are proud of you” he stated.”. “You were students,  and now we meet you as leaders in your churches.” Graduates  serve in various positions: bishop, general secretary, teacher, treasurer, head of diaconic departments. Five of the graduates pursue PhD-programs. “What once seemed to be a dream far big to reach”, Büscher confirmed, “has become reality!”

A new organisation IUDM

Speaking at the inauguration Angelika Veddeler,  Executive Secretary of UEM Germany, said “It is such a profound joy for UEM to have those different professions, capacities and competencies blended together.We hope that the meeting will be a platform of learning, sharing and finally formalising an international network of  diaconic managers!” 

During the conference, participants gave reports about their present positions and the work they do in their churches since their return from studies. They also discussed structures for providing mutual consultancy and support. On 15. August, they elected the Board of the International Union of Diaconic Managers (IUDM), consisting of a chairman (Arulnathan Nadarajah, Sri Lanka), regional chairpersons (Hazel Corro-Navarra for Asia, Mathilde Umuraza for Africa, Heike Park for Germany), a communication officer (Fred Wong Lap Kay, Hongkong) and a treasurer (Peter Imponge, Congo DRC) .

Mathilde Umuraza

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