The Association of Christian Universities and Colleges in Asia installed a Payap University team as leaders for the coming two years. Dr. Sompan Wongdee, President of Payap University was ratified as President of ACUCA and the Rev. Dr. Esther Wakeman, Chaplain and past Assistant to the President of Payap, was installed as General Secretary of the association at their biennial General Assembly, October 13-16.
ACUCA was founded in 1976 with 22 Asian colleges and universities as charter members, including Payap. Dr. Amnuay Tapingkae, President of Payap College at that time was elected to the initial executive committee. ACUCA was initiated by the United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia, which provided support for several years.
As of the opening of the General Assembly in Bali, Indonesia last week, ACUCA has 59 members. To be a member institution a college or university must be owned and operated by a Christian foundation (not a private individual or government). Nations in East and South East Asia from which institutions have joined ACUCA are Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan and South Korea. National caucuses take turns in rotation providing the top two officials and office services.
Activities of ACUCA include annual leadership conferences, especially designed for presidents of Christian institutions in the association, student camps for delegates from all the institutions, student exchanges and a newsletter. These and any other activities of the association are organized under the auspices of the ACUCA Executive Committee, composed of the officers (President, Vice President/President Elect, General Secretary, and Treasurer), as well as a representative from every country not otherwise represented.
As of October 15, 2016 until the next General Assembly in October 2018, the office of ACUCA will be at Payap University. Ajan Malee Kongwannit, Assistant for Internationalization to the President of Payap University, will coordinate ACUCA’s secretarial services. The 2018 General Assembly is scheduled to be held on Payap University’s campus.
The main mission of ACUCA is to sustain and encourage Christian values and identity for the colleges and universities. Leadership of institutions of higher education, by the very nature of the offices, tends to be constantly changing. ACUCA provides a valuable opportunity for the presidents (and their representatives) to get acquainted and to maintain wisdom about the nature of Christian higher education in the region.
The last time ACUCA leadership was from Thailand was 2004-2006 when Dr. Janjira Wongkhomthong of Christian University of Thailand was President and I was General Secretary.
Rev. Dr. Kenneth Dobson posts his weekly reflections on this blog.