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Partnership forged with university in Kenya

December 4, 2009 : Sarah Funderburke

Dr. Ergun Caner, president of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, signs an agreement with members of Karabuk University administration at the school's Commencement in November.

Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary has forged its first international partnership with a school in Kenya. On Friday, Nov. 20, seminary president Ergun Caner visited Kenya to sign a memorandum of understanding with Kabarak University that will provide unique opportunities to students of both schools.

“It enables our faculty to teach there, and their students to enroll in Liberty University Online’s Master of Arts in Theological Studies,” Caner said.

Liberty students will also have the opportunity to study at Kabarack for a semester or for a shorter intensive course, while working toward their LUO or residential degree.

“We will probably send faculty over twice a year,” Caner said. “I will be going with another faculty member next August.”

Kabarack lies a mere 10 miles south of the equator in the town of Nakuru. The country’s second president, Daniel T. Moi, founded the school in 2000 to provide Kenyan students with an academically excellent and biblically sound college education.

The partnership between Kabarack and LU started at the suggestion of Dr. Jones Kaleli, an associate professor of intercultural studies at LU. Kaleli is a native of Kenya.

“I had given a sermon about my hunger to teach evangelical pastors in Africa, and Kabarack did not have a master’s program, they only had an undergraduate program, so Kaleli approached me with the idea,” Caner said.

The Rev. Jonathan Falwell, Liberty's Vice Chancellor of Spiritual Affairs, looks on as Caner speaks during the ceremony.
After two years of research and hard work, the idea came to fruition at Kabarack’s November 2009 graduation ceremony. Liberty Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. asked his brother, the Rev. Jonathan Falwell, Liberty’s Vice Chancellor of Spiritual Affairs, to speak in his stead at the graduation ceremony. Rev. Falwell, also the senior pastor of Thomas Road Baptist Church, hopes to forge a partnership with the Kenyan government that will allow TRBC to bring millions of pounds of food to Kenyan citizens.

Chancellor Falwell said he hopes to one day visit Kabarack University and meet former President Moi.

“I was greatly honored by his invitation and disappointed that I had to decline because of all the events I was committed to attending at LU this fall,” the Chancellor said. “I appreciate my brother standing in for me and I commend Dean Caner for establishing strategic worldwide partnerships like this one. Liberty University is honored to partner with Kabarack in training champions for Christ on the other side of the globe.”

Although this is the seminary’s first sister university, it will not be the last. Caner said he hopes the seminary will someday have a partnership of this type on every continent. Currently plans are in the works for partnerships with universities in Australia, Russia and South America.