old The President on the introduction of an Institutional Development Office

The Seth Mokitimi Methodist Seminary was built out of the amazing generosity of Methodist people who saw the need for the Church to establish a centre for higher learning whose mission and mantra would be to produce “transformed and transforming leaders for the Church and Nation”. While Methodist-founded, SMMS seeks to serve churches beyond the confines of denominational affiliation. It seeks to serve the nation at large.

From as early as October 2012 the Governing Council of the SMMS identified the need for an Institutional Development Office (IDO). What has been proved over and over again is that the greatness of a University is always tied to two factors: its ability to draw in the most capable educators from wherever they may be in the world, and secondly its ability to draw in the most capable students, irrespective of their own state of material resources. This is the vision of SMMS, with a desire to ground such potential leaders in the highest ethical values that make for a church worthy of its witness and nation that thrives in its service to its people. The success of this mission is inextricably linked to the strength of an institution’s resource base. The institution must not be hamstrung by the inadequacy of its resources. It is for this task that SMMS has established the Institutional Development Office.

Philippa Cole at her collaring service at SMMS in 2012
Philippa Cole at her collaring service at SMMS in 2012

The vocation of Institutional Development Officer is a fairly new discipline in South Africa. It is often associated with successful world class Universities like Duke, Harvard and the like in the US. In South Africa a few schools are taking advantage of this service. Since November 2012 SMMS has been searching in vain to secure the services of an Institutional Development Officer. We were finally led to recognise the latent skills in one of our own seminarians, the Rev. Philippa Cole which we believe can be developed and honed into the first class Institutional Development Officer qualities that are required. This to us is a source of great pride, that we ourselves trust the product of SMMS before we expect others to do the same. Philippa assists the President in running this office while at the same time acquiring greater skills to finally give us the leadership we need in this regard.

The focus of the Institutional Development Office is to build partnerships for SMMS. Robust educational centres are sustained by strong communities who believe in the mission of the institution and who support it unstintingly. This is our desire for SMMS. We need men and women who believe in our vision to build strong, wise leaders for the church and for the nation. Through their generosity they must help us build SMMS as their gift to the church and our nation.

For more information on how to partner with us please contact Philippa Cole @ colep@smms.ac.za or call her on 033-8466200

HM DANDALA (President of SMMS)