The 11th Triennial Conference of Colleges and Universities of the Anglican Communion (CUAC) met in Melbourne, Australia, on July 2 through 7 under the theme “Rediscovering Community.” Delegates represented 55 campuses. This meeting, hosted by Janet Clarke Hall and Trinity College of the University of Melbourne, was the first after a six-year hiatus amid the COVID pandemic.
“For the five days we lived together, rediscovering community was not just an abstract theme, but a lived reality,” said the Rev. Dr. Jeremy Law, dean of Canterbury Christ Church University, who presented on “Discerning Truth.”
Dr. Esther Mombo, professor of theology at St. Paul’s University in Limuru, Kenya, presented on “Deepening Learning” in a postmodern context.
The Rev. Ray Minniecon, pastor at Sacred Trees Indigenous Ministries in Sydney, grounded the conference in an Aboriginal perspective, as well as presenting on “Enhancing Community.”
The Rev. Canon James Callaway, who retired as general secretary after 12 years, told the conference, “What I treasure most are the dreams and fears that members have shared, whether principals, chaplains, or students. I have been amazed by the commitment and imagination that our members bring to finding creative solutions.”
He is succeeded by the Rev. Richard Burnett, former rector of Trinity Church, Columbus, Ohio. “CUAC gathered together in its 30th year in a week marked by a wonderful spirit of shared learning, empowering worship, and mutual understanding that promises to grow in significant and sustained ways,” Burnett said. “I thank God for the founding of, the purpose for, and the lasting community of faith that shines through CUAC, a network worth following closely and getting to know well in a world where community and mutual understanding is never optional.”
CUAC delegates elected these officers:
- Dr. Lilian Jasper, president of Women’s Christian College in Chennai, India, chair;
- The Rt. Rev. Martin Wharton, retired Bishop of Newcastle, England, vice chair;
- Dr. Gisela Luna, president of Trinity University of Asia in Manila, secretary;
- Dr. Joel Cunningham, vice chancellor emeritus, University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee, treasurer.
At the concluding banquet, two CUAC Distinguished Fellowships were inducted. The Rev. Nita Byrd, dean of spiritual life at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York, was recognized for her leadership among Episcopal colleges and in convening CUAC chaplains. The Rev. Dr. Mark Garner, former head of Whitelands College, London, was cited for his leadership in making the college a resource to clergy and laity in the Diocese of Southwark, and as founding editor of Occasional Papers on Faith in Higher Education.
Colleges and Universities of the Anglican exists for the mutual flourishing of its members through engaging each other, their churches, and societies as they seek to enable their students, staff, and faculties to become active and responsible citizens in God’s world.