Memorandum of Understanding with Evangelical University

Partnership initiated by Liebenzell Mission

IHL signing ceremony. Photo: IHL/Heidi Rentschler, 2017.

BAD LIEBENZELL/NDOLA. It was in September, 2016, when Dr. Lazarus Phiri, Vice Chancellor of the Evangelical University in Ndola, Zambia, visited IHL in order to speak during the September School on Contemporary Issues in World Mission. Lazarus Phiri has been connected to IHL and more so its trustee agency for years. In fact, Liebenzell Mission field worker Margit Schwemmle has been on his staff as dean of academic affairs in Ndola. Thus, it became inevitable at some point to discuss a formal partnership between the two higher education institutions.

On November 29, 2017, IHL Rector Prof. Dr. Volker Gäckle signed the official memorandum of understanding which focuses on student and faculty mobility as well as on research through the Liebenzell Institute for Missiological, Religious, Intercultural & Social Studies (LIMRIS). During the signing ceremony, Volker Gäckle expressed his joy about this partnership: “Today, IHL stepped into the global South where our trustee agency has been at for a long time already. I hope that our students and faculty will benefit from each other. In this regard, I am also glad that the foundation Baden-Württemberg-Stiftung has considered us for their new BWS REK program allowing us to use grant money for incoming and outgoing students from and to this new partner.”

First formalized academic partnership between missions and academics in Liebenzell. Photo: IHL/Elke Pfrommer, 2017.

Martin Auch, director of missions at the Liebenzell Mission, also showed gladness about the signing of the MoU: “We are happy that IHL and the Evangelical University have agreed on the memorandum of understanding which also includes that our external field workers will help outgoings and incomings prepare for their stay in Zambia or Germany. For the first time, this also is a partnership between our missionary teams and our academics. This is the future of missions!”

On February 9, 2018, Martin Kocher, director of the global South at the Liebenzell Mission, took part in the signing ceremony of the memorandum of understanding at the Evangelical University in Ndola. It was a festive procedure with Dr. Lazarus Phiri and Margit Schwemmle.

Three IHL students have already applied to Evangelical university for a study abroad semester. Tamara Geiser, IHL undergraduate student of Theology/Social Work in an intercultural context, even wants to stay for one full year as she aims to spend one semester at Evangelical University and do an internship semester with Liebenzell Mission field workers with kids in Ndola.

Signing ceremony at Evangelical University. Photo: EU, 2018.

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.”