Memorandum of Understanding with Belhaven University

Research & faculty mobility partnership

BAD LIEBENZELL/JACKSON. Dr. Brad­ford M. Smith, direc­tor of Adult and Online Psy­cho­lo­gy Pro­grams and the Insti­tu­te for Inter­na­tio­nal Care and Coun­sel at Bel­ha­ven Uni­ver­si­ty, has alrea­dy been co-edi­tor of a volu­me of IHL’s publi­ca­ti­on seri­es “Inter­kul­tu­ra­li­tät & Reli­gi­on • Inter­cul­tu­ral & Reli­gious Stu­dies: Lie­ben­zel­ler Impul­se zu Mis­si­on, Kul­tur und Reli­gi­on.” In 2015, he and his col­league Prof. Dr. Ulrich Gie­se­kus, IHL pro­fes­sor of psy­cho­lo­gy and coun­se­ling, orga­ni­zed an inter­na­tio­nal sym­po­si­um about “Glo­bal Men­tal Health and the Church” which inclu­ded par­ti­ci­pants from 17 dif­fe­rent countries.

Ulrich Gie­se­kus and Brad Smith have worked on a num­ber of rese­arch and mis­si­ons pro­jects tog­e­ther, and are cur­r­ent­ly invol­ved in a joint rese­arch pro­ject. The coö­pe­ra­ti­on bet­ween the two insti­tu­ti­ons has now beco­me offi­cial: IHL Rec­tor Prof. Dr. Vol­ker Gäck­le was plea­sed to sign a memo­ran­dum of under­stan­ding for an insti­tu­tio­nal part­ners­hip bet­ween IHL and Bel­ha­ven Uni­ver­si­ty on Novem­ber 29, 2017. Vol­ker Gäck­le said: “This part­ners­hip is spe­cial in two ways: first, it is IHL’s first part­ners­hip with an US Ame­ri­can insti­tu­ti­on, and second, it is IHL’s first part­ners­hip which focu­ses on rese­arch and facul­ty mobi­li­ty as it has been our con­cern to fur­ther advan­ce the topic of glo­bal men­tal health and the church’s role in it. This part­ners­hip allows us to enab­le two pro­fes­sors to dig deeper, and to sup­port their coö­pe­ra­ti­on in a serious way.”

In Febru­a­ry 2018, Bel­ha­ven University’s pre­si­dent, Dr. Roger Par­rott, also signed the memo­ran­dum of under­stan­ding which also inclu­des that Brad­ford Smith was the first to be appoin­ted as hono­ra­ry rese­arch fel­low of the Lie­ben­zell Insti­tu­te of Mis­sio­lo­gi­cal, Reli­gious, Inter­cul­tu­ral & Social Stu­dies, in equi­va­lence to Ulrich Gie­se­kus´ appoint­ment as fel­low of the Insti­tu­te for Inter­na­tio­nal Care and Coun­sel at Bel­ha­ven Uni­ver­si­ty. “Being able to share com­mon inte­rests and working with a com­mon goal in joint pro­jects in this way is a gre­at pri­vi­le­ge, just as buil­ding a trans­at­lan­tic friendship of indi­vi­du­als and insti­tu­ti­ons,” Ulrich Gie­se­kus said. The empha­sis of their com­mon rese­arch is glo­bal men­tal health and the role of mis­si­ons and church­es. With the­se pro­jects, they are fol­lowing up on the “Cape­town Decla­ra­ti­on on Care and Coun­sel as Mis­si­on” of the Third Lau­sanne Con­gress in 2010.

Inter­na­tio­na­le Hoch­schu­le Lie­ben­zell was estab­lis­hed in 2011, is reco­gni­zed by the Sta­te of Baden-Würt­tem­berg, and accredi­ted with the Ger­man Coun­cil of Sci­ence and the Huma­nities. Its slo­gan is “Stu­dy­ing with a world­wi­de horizon.”

Bel­ha­ven Uni­ver­si­ty is a Chris­ti­an libe­ral arts col­le­ge belon­ging to Regio­nal Uni­ver­si­ties South. It has about 5,000 stu­dents, and was ori­gi­nal­ly foun­ded in 1883 in Jack­son, Mis­sis­sip­pi, USA.

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