Joint Virtual Consultation of the Association of Christian Universities and Colleges in Asia, Silliman University, and United Board


Christian higher education institutions have faced challenges resulting from new educational policies at national and regional levels, criticisms about program relevance from stakeholders, and their own felt-need to revisit their vision-mission-goals as they struggled to live out their identity and values in a time of volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity and disruption (VUCAD). During the Covid-19 pandemic, many of them were caught unprepared for the shift to online teaching. They did rise to the challenge by providing intensive training for their faculty and staff, and upgrading their technological infrastructure.

While some people may be talking about post-Covid 19 situation, others are warning about more crises to come. How are the institutions preparing for what are yet to come? How are they equipping educators and students to live out hope, resilience, agility and positive spirit in these VUCAD times? How are they leading their constituency and the wider community towards their preferred futures during and beyond the crises?

The ACUCA will celebrate its 45th anniversary in 2021. Silliman University will celebrate its 120th founding anniversary in 2021. The Silliman University Divinity School (SUDS) will celebrate its centennial in 2021. This special mention is made since a former SUDS dean, Dr. Paul T. Lauby, later became executive director of the United Board. The United Board will celebrate its centennial in 2022. These are occasions for celebrating the rich histories of the institutions and networks as well as envisioning their preferred futures. The Theme The theme, “Envisioning Christian Higher Education: Our Preferred Futures,” is an invitation for Christian higher education institutions to imagine beyond the present conditions. More than ever, Christian higher education institutions are challenged to uphold values that are uplifting, hope-inspiring and life-giving. As the Bible puts it, “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18a).


  • It has been said that online teaching makes education accessible for everyone since students do not need to go to the campus but the online campus goes to the students. Yet inequality in access to technology is more pronounced due to economic disparity among students and teachers, and the uneven development of cities/towns and countries. If digital literacy becomes an entry requirement to a university, students from geographically and digitally remote areas could end up being excluded or left behind. The gap between the smaller, less resourced private institutions in remote areas and the bigger, more established private institutions in the cities has become more glaring. In view of the preferred futures, how would Christian higher education institutions address issues of access, equity, and inclusion?
  • It has been said that reduced travel during the pandemic has decreased carbon footprint. But others say the increased reliance on technology has caused a surge in digital carbon footprint.1 The personal and institutional upgrading of technological equipment and gadgets contributes to electronic wastes. Covid-19 wastes from single-use masks and latex gloves are adding to the earth’s pollution. Scientists are warning that Covid-19 is not the last. Some say the onslaught of new coronaviruses could be due to human intrusion into the wildlife world. Hence, the logical connection of health crises and natural disasters to climate change. In view of the preferred futures, how would Christian higher education institutions address issues of climate justice, stewardship and sustainability of the earth?


Given the uncertainty of the present situation, the joint consultation aims to enable participants to [1] envision Christian higher education’s preferred futures especially in relation to (i) access and equity in education, and (ii) stewardship and sustainability of the earth; and to [2] share action plans with strategies to get there.

Expected Participants: 100 representatives of institutions from the networks of ACUCA and the United Board (on first come first serve registration). The organizing committee reserves the right to ensure representation of institutions.



Professor for Educational Management and Lifelong Learning, Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University

Prof. Ulf-Daniel Ehlers is a professor for Educational Management and Lifelong Learning at the Baden-Wurttemberg Cooperative State University in Karlsruhe, Germany where he previously served as Vice President. He authored more than 10 books and more than 150 scholarly articles. A trained coach, facilitator, and expert for mindful communication, he holds degrees in English language, social sciences, and education sciences, and a PhD in Technology Enhanced Learning.

Chief Development Strategist, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Prof. Christine Loh is well-known for her expertise in environmental and climate change issues, China’s sustainability pathway, US-China relations, as well as Hong Kong. She is a sought-after speaker and a published author of many academic and popular works. She is a lawyer by training; a commodities trader by profession; and has extensive policy and political experience, having been a legislator and ministerial appointee in the Hong Kong government. She is also a visiting professor at the University of California, Los Angeles’ Anderson School of Management.

Conversation 1: On Access, Equity and Inclusion

Vice President for Programs, United Board, Hong Kong

Dr. Wong Wai Ching previously served the Department of Cultural and Religious Studies, and the Graduate Divisions of Cultural Studies and Gender Studies, the Gender Research Centre of The Chinese University of Hong Kong. Ecumenically committed, she was a trustee of the United Board; President of the Christian Conference of Asia; Chairperson and Regional Secretary of the World Student Christian Federation. As an academic, she has published widely in Chinese and English on religion, gender, and culture in Asia.

Rector, Sanata Dharma University, Indonesia

Dr. Johanes Eka Priyatma has been serving as the Rector at Sanata Dharma University since 2014. He previously served as Head of Information System Unit, then Dean of Faculty of Science and Technology, and Vice Rector for Academic Affairs. His expertise is in relational database design, analysis and design of information systems, and analysis of e-government using Actor-Network Theory. He published extensively on these areas. He currently chairs the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities in Asia Pacific.

Vice Chancellor, Asian University for Women, Bangladesh

Prof. Nirmala Rao is a former Pro-Director (Learning and Teaching) of SOAS University of London. She served the politics department at Goldsmiths College where she was elected Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. She has published extensively on urban governance and was an advisor to the UK Audit Commission and the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. She is a trustee of the Learning from Experience Trust; and a member of the Governing Body of Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance and the Council of the Association of Commonwealth Universities.

Director, Medical Mission Centre, Yonsei University Health System, South Korea

Dr. Chin-Yong Pak graduated from Yonsei University College of Medicine and served the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Calgary, Canada. He studied theology at the Talbot School of Theology, Biola University. He served as a missionary, teaching at Mongolian National University of Medical Sciences and China Medical University. Through his travels in Asia and Africa for the Yonsei Medical Mission Center, he realized the need for teaching global health issues and training cross-cultural leadership. He established the Yonsei Global Health Leadership Course in 2014-17 with funding from the United Board.

Conversation 2: On Climate Justice, Stewardship, and Sustainability

Professor Emeritus and Former President, Silliman University, Philippines

Dr. Ben S. Malayang III is Professor Emeritus at the Institute of Environmental and Marine Science of Silliman University (SU). He was SU’s 12th president who strengthened the university within the framework of the 5Cs: Church, Classroom, Culture, Court, and Community. An environmental scientist and educator, he has led several research and action projects and authored publications on environmental policy and governance, security, philosophy and ethics, biodiversity, and institutional and environmental transformations of Southeast Asia.

Assistant Professor & Dean of Academic Affairs (Sciences), Lady Doak College, India

Dr. Priscilla Jayasingh is an assistant professor in Zoology and Dean of Academic Affairs (Sciences) at Lady Doak College, Madurai, where she has been serving since 2001. A United Board Fellow (2010-12), she was inspired by the concept of whole person education for the transformation of students. Passionate about service-learning and environmental issues, she was instrumental in devising Life Frontier Engagement, a flagship, community-based service-learning and action research program for undergraduate students in Lady Doak College (since 2016). A keen nature enthusiast, she actively engaged with students as Coordinator of the Centre for Environmental Studies, implementing community projects like Environment and Health at Sellur, carbon footprinting at a crematorium in Madurai, and action plan for parthenium control. Her research interests include osteoporosis in post-menopausal women and bioactive glasses as bone substitutes.

Trustee, United Board; Professor and Former Rector, Soegijapranata Catholic University, Indonesia

Dr. Budi Widianarko is a professor of Food Ecology & Safety at Soegijapranata Catholic University (SCU), Semarang, Indonesia. He has served SCU as Rector, Vice Rector for Development and Cooperation, and Dean of Faculty of Agricultural Technology. He is active in non-governmental organizations (NGOs) at local, national, and international levels, such as The Water Dialogues (2005-2008); Research Council of Central Java (since 2000); Gita Pertiwi, a farmer and environmental NGO (since 2008); Purba Danarta Foundation, a microfinance NGO (since 2016); and Bintari Foundation, an environmental NGO (since 2008).

Professor & Dean of Research and Development Center, Chang Jung Christian University, Taiwan

Dr. Pei-Chih “Peggy” Wu holds a PhD in Environmental and Occupational Health. At Chang Jung Christian University (CJCU), she led more than 20 research projects on indoor air quality, atmospheric environment, and climate change and its impacts on human health. She established the Innovation Incubation Center to bridge the university and industry; and successfully created an ecosystem that integrates creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship in education. As Dean of the Research and Development Office, she is set on establishing CJCU’s Entrepreneurs Park, an ecosystem to help young social entrepreneurs have a greater social impact and play a critical role in social development and transition.

Conversation 3: On Leading Changes for Our Preferred Futures

Director, Leadership Development, United Board, Hong Kong

Ms. Vivica Xiong oversees programs, grants, and initiatives in leadership development at the United Board. She previously served at the Institute of International Education’s offices in Hong Kong, San Francisco, and Washington D.C. She holds a BA in French Studies from Sun Yat-sen University in China and an MEd in Comparative and Global Studies in Education and Development from the University of Hong Kong. She was a W.T. Chan Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley, and a Fellow at the Intercultural Communication Institute.

Trustee, United Board; President, National Association for Independent Colleges and Universities, USA

Dr. Barbara Mistick is the president of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in the USA. Her career spans the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. As President of Wilson College, she pioneered the nation’s first loan buy-back program for college students. Before that she was the first woman to serve as President of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. She is a seasoned entrepreneur and was named a Distinguished Service Professor at Carnegie Mellon University. She holds an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh and a doctorate in management from Case Western Reserve University.

Trustee, United Board, USA

Mr. Anthony Ruger is a former Senior Research Fellow at the Center for the Study of Theological Education, Auburn Seminary. He served as the principal researcher on studies of theological school revenue and national studies of educational indebtedness of theological students. He served as a consultant to theological schools, denominations, and church institutions on financial strategy, institutional analysis, and policy. He was Vice President for Business Affairs at McCormick Theological Seminary and Treasurer of the Association of Theological Schools. A deacon, elder, and trustee of Fourth Presbyterian Church, Chicago, he holds a business degree from Carnegie Mellon University and a divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary in New York.

Professor, Singapore Management University, Singapore

Prof. Ong Siow Heng has been serving Singapore Management University (SMU) since 2002. He is now a professor of Management Communication (Education) at the Lee Kong Chian School of Business, SMU. He holds an MDiv degree from Fuller Theological Seminary, and PhD from Northwestern University. His expertise and interests include intercultural communication, cross-cultural management, public campaigns, popular culture and rhetorical criticism. Among his publications is Intercultural Communication Competencies in Higher Education and Management.

Chair, Board of Trustees, United Board; Senior Counselor, USA
Welcome Remarks

Dr. Christian Murck is a senior counselor of APCO Worldwide. During his 22 years in Asia, he served as President of the American Chamber of Commerce in China; President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Taipei; Managing Director and Senior Country Officer of Chase Manhattan Bank in Beijing; managed the Taipei branch of Chemical Bank; and worked in the international division of Manufacturers Hanover Trust Company in New York. He holds a PhD in East Asian studies from Princeton University.

President, Silliman University and ACUCA, Philippines
Welcome Remarks

Dr. Betty Cernol-McCann served Silliman University (SU) as a professor and rose through the ranks and became acting University President. Then she joined the United Board, serving as Associate Director, Program Director, and Vice President for Programs. She is now the president of SU. Professional bodies have accorded her national recognition as an Outstanding Psychologist and for her Outstanding Contribution to Women’s Studies in the Philippines.

President, United Board, USA
Words of Welcome

Dr. Nancy E. Chapman served as a United Board trustee for eight years and was appointed President in 2011. She is responsible for overseeing the United Board’s programs, management, and strategic planning. She previously served as Associate Master and Dean of General Education at The Chinese University of Hong Kong’s Morningside College and as Executive Director of the Yale-China Association. She earlier held the positions of Program Officer for Asia programs at the Rockefeller Brothers Fund; and Founding Director of the Institute of International Education’s office in China. She holds a BA from Yale University, and an MA and PhD from Princeton University.

Professor Emerita, Graduate Theological Union, USA
Devotion Speaker

Dr. Judith Berling is Professor Emerita of Chinese and Comparative Religions at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California where she had also served as dean. She earlier taught in the Department of Religion at Indiana University. Her MPhil and PhD are in East Asian languages and cultures from Columbia University. She is a specialist in Chinese religion; engaged, student-centered pedagogy; and interreligious learning. She previously served as Vice Chair and Chair of the United Board, Chair of its Program Committee, and Co-chair of its task force on expanding United Board work in South Asia.

Chair, Silliman University Board of Trustees, Philippines
Words of Welcome

Ricardo A. Balbido, Jr., is the current Chair of Silliman’s Board of Trustees. He has been with the Board since 1999 and elected Chair in 2016. He obtained his Bachelor of Business Administration degree, Major in Accounting in Silliman, and his MBA from Ateneo de Manila. A Certified Public Accountant, he also took a course on Advanced Bank Management Program at the Asian Institute of Management. A banker for most of his life, he started his career at the FNCB Finance, Inc. as Assistant Branch Manager in 1971 and by 1974 to BPI Leasing Corp as Assistant Manager/Head of its Credit Department. He moved to the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) in 1980 as Assistant Vice President and became its Senior Vice President until 1995. From BPI, he became the Executive Vice President of Dao Heng Bank and eventually its President and COO until 2000. From 2001 until he retired in 2013, he was the President and CEO of the Philippine Veterans Bank.

Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs & Dean of the Faculty, Iliff School of Theology, USA
Sunday Worship Service Speaker

Rev. Dr. Boyung Lee is the Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty at Iliff School of Theology. She previously served as an associate professor of practical theology, education, and spiritual formation at Pacific School of Religion (PSR), and a core doctoral faculty member at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. She was the first woman of color tenured faculty at PSR. She is an ordained United Methodist elder.

Executive Vice President, United Board, Hong Kong
Words of Welcome

Mr. Ricky M. Cheng was appointed as the United Board’s executive vice president in November 2014, after serving as vice president for development since October 2010. In his role as executive vice president, he retains the responsibilities for development but also gives special attention to the organization’s strategic planning and future directions. Prior to joining the United Board, Mr. Cheng was the director who established the Office of Institutional Advancement at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) in 2003. His responsibility covered all areas of advancement. He also has more than 20 years of professional experience in the private sector, in Hong Kong and the United States. Ricky is a CPA from California and holds an Executive MBA degree from CUHK. He co-authored with Prof. Victor Chan the lyrics of the United Board centennial anthem, “Cherished Moments.”

President, Hannam University; Vice President, ACUCA, Korea
Closing Remarks

Before becoming its president, Dr. Lee served Hannam University as a full professor at the Department of Advanced Materials and Chemical Engineering; the Dean of the College of Life Science and Nanotechnology and Graduate School; and Director of the Institute of Hybrid Materials for Information and Biotechnology. He also served as a senior research scientist at Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology and as Director of Brain Korea 21 Center for BT-IT Hybrid Nanomaterials. He was a visiting scientist at the Institute for Lasers, Photonics, and Biophotonics of the University at Buffalo in New York, USA; visiting professor at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington D.C.; and research professor at Jilin University in Changchun, China. Dr. Lee obtained his PhD in Polymer Chemistry from Freiburg University, Germany; MSc in Polymer Chemistry from Korea University in Seoul, South Korea; and BS Chemistry degree from Hannam University.

Director, Faculty Development, United Board, Hong Kong

Dr. Hope Antone is responsible for faculty development programs in whole person education and for Southeast Asia. Before joining the United Board, she served as Executive Secretary for the Christian Conference of Asia. She previously taught at Payap University and Silliman University. She holds degrees in mass communication, divinity, theology, and Christian education.

General Secretary, ACUCA, Philippines

Dr. Wilma Milo Tejero earned her PhD in Economics from Hannam University, South Korea; MA in Economics from Ateneo de Manila University; and MBA from Silliman University (SU). An assistant professor at the SU College of Business Administration, she served as Chairperson of its Economics Department. During her PhD studies, she was invited as a visiting lecturer and graduate teaching fellow at Hannam University’s Linton School of Global Business.

Director, Instructional Media and Technology Center, Silliman University, Philippines

An active media practitioner for more than four decades now, Dr. Maria Cecilia Genove served as dean of the College of Mass Communication of Silliman University in 2010-2016, while teaching in other academic units of the university as assistant professor. She holds degrees in journalism, educational management, and educational administration at Silliman University. She is a candidate for her second doctorate degree, the Ph.D. in Social Science at Silliman University.

The United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia is pleased to support this program. We are committed to whole person education and we hope your participation in this program will prove valuable as you and your colleagues strive to develop students intellectually, spiritually, and ethically.

Over the course of this program, your photo may be taken for inclusion in United Board print and/or electronic materials, including but not limited to our newsletter, Horizons, and our website ( If you prefer not to have your photo included, please send an email to

We encourage you to learn more about the United Board and our programs by visiting our website:

United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia

Hong Kong Office
1/F Chung Chi College
Administration Building
The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Shatin, New Territories
Hong Kong
Phone: 852.3943.4215

New York Office
475 Riverside Drive, Suite 1221
New York, NY 10115
United States
Phone: 1.212.870.2600

Words of Welcome from Dr. Nancy Chapman, President, United Board

About the United Board

About Silliman University

ACUCA’s Brief History