Ph.D. Graduate Appointed to Teach Christian Ethics and Comparative Religion

The Rev. Dr. Francis Acquah, a 2012 graduate of the International Ph.D. program at Hartford Seminary, has been appointed a full-time lecturer in Christian Ethics and Comparative Religion at the Methodist University College in Accra, Ghana.

Hartford Seminary congratulates Dr. Acquah on this prestigious appointment.

Dr. Acquah, a Methodist minister, came to Hartford Seminary from Ghana originally to study Christian-Muslim Relations in the International Peacemaking Program. He decided to seek the Ph.D. ?because I wanted to build my capacity through knowledge for leadership. My desire is to teach and raise future leaders for both the church and the nation.?

Recognizing the importance of international diversity and the need for higher education to engage with international perspectives, Hartford Seminary and The University of Exeter in England offer the International Doctor of Philosophy program. Theprogram serves students in the fields of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations or Theology and Ethics.

In 2010, Francis spoke about his experience at Hartford Seminary:

?Our PhD class was very engaging and interesting, consisting of people from different faith, denominational, cultural and racial backgrounds and these came to bear on our discussions. We experienced differences as well as commonalities in views and other areas of interaction; through these we were challenged as well as enriched. The relationship built during the period has established a special bond among us.?

Why did you choose Hartford Seminary?

I chose Hartford due to my area of interest ? Christian-Muslim Relations. I got to know Hartford Seminary when I was studying for my M. A. at the University of Geneva/Ecumenical Institute of Bossey, Switzerland. I met the President, Heidi Hadsell, who was then the Director at the Institute, preparing to come over to Hartford. It was through her support that I came to the Seminary

What did you find are the strengths of the Hartford Seminary International Ph.D. program?

The strength of the Hartford Ph.D. lies in both the depth and diversity it offers in terms of academic formation as well as spiritual experience. The diverse faith and cultural environment provided by the Seminary serves as the ?laboratory? for the academic engagements in class and this enhances growth.

Do you feel the program has prepared you well for your career going forward?

The program has prepared me to go forward in my academic career, though I admit that there is still a lot to be learnt. As a religious person, I think the program has equipped me with both academic and spiritual insights to go back to Ghana to work in enhancing interreligious relations and advocate for peace and justice.

On my return to Ghana [after graduation], I was invited for an interview at the Methodist University College of Ghana. Based on performance as well as my degree (Ph.D. in Theology), coupled with the courses that I studied at the Seminary, I was hired to teach full-time. I will be teaching comparative religious studies. This is what I mean by saying that the degree I obtained from Hartford Seminary, United States/University of Exeter, United Kingdom has helped me to be employed in Ghana.

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