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Wittenberg Explores Global Humanitarian Crises with Sought-After Speaker Bishop Munib Younan

Wittenberg University is excited to welcome Bishop Munib Younan to campus Monday, March 12, for two special talks at the Barbara Deer Kuss Science Center.

Sponsored by the University Pastor's Office and Wittenberg's Interfaith Committee, as well as the Faculty Endowment Fund Board (FEFB), First-Year Seminar, and the departments of religion, history and political science, conversations with Bishop Younan will take place in Bayley Auditorium at 4:30 p.m. on “The Refugee Crisis: A Global Perspective” and again at 7:30 p.m. on the “Opportunities and Challenges of Interfaith Work in Jerusalem.”

Before his retirement in January 2018, Younan served as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land and was the president of Lutheran World Federation (LWF), the agency which connects the majority of Lutherans around the globe.

“It’s a great honor and a great learning opportunity to have Bishop Younan speak with us on the challenges facing the Holy Land," Matevia Endowed University Pastor Rachel Tune said. “Bishop Younan brings a valuable perspective on interfaith work in the Holy Land, as well as refugee work, other humanitarian crises around the world and the response of the faith community. He will be able to speak to a wide range of issues globally and specifically in the Holy Land. We're grateful to the Network of Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) colleges and universities, which is coordinating and providing some funds for his visit to ELCA colleges and universities this spring. We're pleased he is able to visit Wittenberg and are looking forward to conversations with him."

According to the LWF Office for Communication Services, Younan was born in 1950 in Jerusalem. His parents were Palestinian refugees, and he holds United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNWRA) refugee status. After completing his primary and secondary education in Palestine, Younan studied deaconry at Luther Opisto College in Järvenpää, Finland, and theology at the University of Helsinki, obtaining a master’s degree with a thesis on “Election in Deutero Isaiah.” He also undertook study and research at the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago, Ill.

Married to Suad Yacoub, Younan and his wife have a son, two daughters and five grandchildren. He continues to make a substantial contribution to the life of the churches and ecumenism in the Middle East as an active member of the Middle East Council of Churches. From 2004 to 2010, he served as president of the Fellowship of the Middle East Evangelical Churches (FMEEC), leading them to a unanimous vote in favor of women’s ordination in January 2010. A founding member of the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme for Palestine and Israel (EAPPI), Younan has chaired its Local Reference Group since 2002.

A high-profile lecturer and speaker, Younan is sought after for his perspective on just peace as a Palestinian Christian. The author of Witnessing for Peace: In Jerusalem and the World (Augsburg Fortress, USA, 2003), Our Shared Witness: A Voice of Justice and Reconciliation (Lutheran University Press, 2012), and The Augsburg Confession in Arabic (Emerezian Est., Jerusalem, 1993), Younan has written numerous articles, and he lectures and presents frequently on issues relating to the life of Palestinian Lutherans in the Middle East. His work has been recognized with a number of awards and prizes.

In addition to his campus talks, Wittenberg will be sponsoring a visit with the congregations of St. Anne Episcopal Church and the Lord of Life Lutheran Church at 6461 Tylersville Rd., West Chester, Ohio, following a Lenten supper on Sunday, March 11.

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A nationally ranked university for the liberal arts and sciences affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Wittenberg University has repeatedly been ranked throughout the years by the Princeton Review for the quality of its teaching and faculty, including 11th in the nation for "Best Classroom Experience" and 15th in the category "Professors Get High Marks" in the 2011 edition of Princeton's annual Best Colleges guide. Most recently, Wittenberg earned the No. 4 spot in the category of "Most Accessible Professors." Wittenberg appeared in the Princeton Review's Guide to Green Colleges in 2013 and again in 2015. Additionally, Wittenberg currently has more Ohio Professors of the Year than any other four-year institution in the state, and has been recognized nationally for excellence in service and athletics.

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