12th July 2019
On Wednesday 10 July, Pastor Obinnaya Iheoma had the privilege of attending the graduation celebration of two young people in the capacity of an authorised Chaplain, at the University of Birmingham.
Okantan Ayeh, outgoing president of Adventist Students on Campus (ASC) at the university and Gladys Owusu-Afriyie, an active member of ASC, both graduated with their Master in Pharmacy. Both were vibrant and active members of the group of ASC at the University of Birmingham which Obinnaya has been involved with. While Okantan was ASC President, he approached the university administration on behalf of the Adventist students to enquire about the university’s protocol when appointing chaplains. He also enquired whether the university could appoint an Adventist minister to represent and support the Adventist students at the university. Obinnaya explained, “The six-month process involved completing an application form, attending two interviews with the university’s Chaplaincy Management Board and obtaining references from my employer, the North England Conference (NEC). The council of the university formally welcomed me as a part-time recognised Chaplain for the Seventh-day Adventist Church on 4 June 2019.”
It is a welcomed achievement for Obinnaya (who also has a pastoral district within the NEC), representing the Seventh-day Adventist Church who are often under-represented in chaplaincy roles within the university chaplaincy realm.
Speaking of some of the duties as a recognised chaplain Obinnaya highlights: coordinating the delivery of individual faith based and worship responsibilities on behalf of the Adventist faith community on campus; to be an ethical theological and pastoral resource for the university and to work with the full-time chaplain to ensure support for all students.
If you are studying at the University of Birmingham or plan to next year, enquire of Pastor Obinnaya Iheoma who will gladly welcome you.