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ScholarLeader of the Year

This program celebrates gifted leaders from the Majority World by creating venues for them to share globally regarding their work.

ScholarLeader of the Year 2014

David Kasali, PhD
(Democratic Republic of Congo, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, 1993)

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SCHOLARLEADERS INTERNATIONAL presented Dr. David Kasali with the 2014 ScholarLeader of the Year Award, in recognition and celebration of his outstanding achievements and contributions, and to provide him a new platform to share from his experience. David completed his PhD in New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in 1993. He immediately returned to the faculty at Nairobi Evangelical Graduate School of Theology, eventually serving as president for eight years. In response to the devastation following war in his native country, Congo, David and his wife, Kaswera, sensed God’s call to return home. In 2005, bringing together leaders from the church, government, education, and health care, David and Kaswera founded Congo Initiative, a holistic ministry working to rebuild families and kindle hope in the war-torn country.

In 2007, Congo Initiative founded the Christian Bilingual University of Congo. The school trains Christian women and men to serve faithfully across all sectors of society, with a commitment to reconciliation and strengthening their communities. The government of Congo has already recognized this private university for its exemplary graduates who are helping to build a stronger nation.

In addition to the work of Congo Initiative, David serves as an advocate for reconciliation through the Great Lakes Initiative, has written for the Africa Bible Commentary, and was a speaker at the 2013 Clinton Global Initiative.

Presenting the award at the Great Lakes Initiative Reconciliation conference in Uganda, Evan Hunter, vice president of SCHOLARLEADERS INTERNATIONAL, joyfully affirmed: “David is a man of great vision. Where others saw limitation, challenge, and hopelessness, David and Kaswera returned to Congo, called by God with a vision of hope.” While accepting the award, David expressed his commitment saying, "I don't ask what will I be doing in 20 years, but where will my country be in 20 years."

The ScholarLeader of the Year award creates opportunities for its recipients to share their work globally. In January 2014, Dr. Salim Munayer – Palestinian Christian, founder of Musalaha, noted author on reconciliation, and the first recipient of the ScholarLeader of the Year Award – joined Dr. Kasali at the Great Lakes Initiative as teaching faculty for a seminar on reconciliation and theological education.

ScholarLeader of the Year 2012

Julie Wu, PhD
(Hong Kong, Fuller Theological Seminary, 1992)

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On April 30th ScholarLeaders International presented Dr. Julie Lee Wu with the 2012 ScholarLeader of the Year Award in recognition and celebration of her outstanding achievements and contributions, and to provide her a new platform to share from her experience.

Julie earned her PhD in New Testament at Fuller Theological Seminary in 1992. She began her tenure as the President and Dean of the China Bible Seminary in Hong Kong in 2002. Julie has a passion for equipping church leaders for effective ministry in Hong Kong and throughout Asia. She has written a number of books and articles, including features in the Dictionary of the Later New Testament and Its Developments (IVP), Dictionary of Paul and His Letters (IVP), Women's Biblical Commentary (IVP), and Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary. She has spoken at numerous events and was awarded the Women in Leadership Award by the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) in 2000.

China Bible Seminary in Hong Kong trains pastors and lay leaders for the church in Hong Kong and China, and missionaries who serve in Asia and around the world. Over 200 students are enrolled. The school is in the midst of a capital campaign, raising funds to relocate and expand their main campus. The $10,000 award that accompanies recognition as ScholarLeader of the Year was dedicated to the China Bible Seminary campaign as a demonstration of Julie's solidarity with the school and its mission. 

In presenting the award, Larry Smith, President of ScholarLeaders International, noted: "Dr. Julie Wu, in 1985, was among the first recipients of a scholarship from our organization. Her career and contributions demonstrate the importance of supporting theological leaders for China." Julie affirmed that the award: "made it possible for me to enroll at Fuller Theological Seminary, obtain a doctorate, and launch my teaching career."

ScholarLeader of the Year 2011

Antonio Barro, PhD
(Brazil, Fuller Theological Seminary, 1994)

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Antonio founded South America Theological Seminary (SATS) (www.satsbrazil.com) in Londrina, Brazil, in 1995. He began with a typewriter and a desk in his home, and a vision for a school that would bring the truth and hope of the Gospel to bear on issues facing the Church in Latin America. In 2010 SATS celebrated its 15th anniversary and is one of the most effective and fastest growing seminaries in Latin America. The school – now with extension programs in various sites in Latin America and Portuguese-speaking Africa – has trained more than 500 church leaders. Antonio has written books and dozens of articles advocating a theology of holistic mission to serve Brazil. As ScholarLeader of the Year, Antonio traveled to Manila where he presented the work of SATS at the Asian Theological Association Dean's Seminar. This created an opportunity for theological leaders in Asia to interact with a seminary model which addresses Majority World realities in unique and potentially more fitting ways than many of the school models inherited from the West.

ScholarLeader of the Year 2010

Gladys Mwiti, PhD
(Africa, Fuller Theological Seminary, 2005)

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Gladys Mwiti founded Oasis Africa (www.oasisafrica.info)with her husband, Dr. Gershon Mwiti in 1990. She now supervises a team of over 20 MA counseling psychologists. Oasis has built a significant reputation as a training organization for peer counseling and trauma intervention for groups such as the US Embassy and USAID, Coca Cola, South African High Commission, and Food for the Hungry among others. In addition, their holistic work has created several grass roots ministries for education, economic development and empowerment among some of the poorest people in Kenya.

Dr. Mwiti has led teams to train trauma counselors and address issues related to such crises as the Rwandan genocide of 1994, the US Embassy bombing in 1998, the Gujaret India earthquake in 2001. In addition to trauma counseling, Dr. Mwiti has written on the topic of HIV/AIDS counseling and her work is now used as a curriculum to develop counseling support for HIV/AIDS patients. More recently, Dr. Mwiti's books and training have provided the curriculum for training counselors in Burundi seeking to bring healing after their civil war. After the violence following the 2007 election, Dr. Mwiti was called upon to conduct training and counseling among eight major corporations and all 57 public high schools in Nairobi.

Dr. Mwiti holds an M.A. in Counseling Psychology that she earned in Nairobi as well as an M.A. in Christian Leadership and her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Fuller Theological Seminary. She is the author of four books and a video based training curriculum for counselors in Africa, produced in conjunction with Fuller Seminary. She is currently the chair of the Kenya Psychological Association and a consultant to the Lausanne Consultation on Care and Counsel as Mission.

ScholarLeader of the Year 2009

Salim J. Munayer
(Bethlehem, Israel-Palestine, Oxford Center for Mission Studies, 2000)

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Salim is founder and Executive Director of Musalaha Reconciliation Ministries (www.musalaha.org). He began this work in 1990 in the midst of the first Intifada, working with Messianic-Jewish and Arab-Palestinian Christians. Since then, Musalaha has been recognized worldwide as a model for the promotion of reconciliation and understanding, utilizing teaching, conferences, and desert encounters to reconcile groups of women, children and young adults. Participants then impact their communities by forgiving others and encouraging reconciliation.

Salim has also served on the faculty of Bethlehem Bible College (www.bethbc.com) since its founding in 1979. He is the author of five books and a number of articles on reconciliation, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and Christian-Palestinian identity.

ScholarLeaders International had the privilege of supporting Salim's education at the Oxford Centre for Missions Studies, and named him ScholarLeader of the Year for 2009.