Fellowship to Recognize Scholarship by West African Students
Mishawaka, Indiana – The Graduate Theological Foundation is pleased to announce a new academic fellowship named for the respected Nigerian scholar, Celestine O. E. Onwuliri (Feb. 17, 1952-June 3, 2012). Inaugurated during the 2016 commencement ceremony of the Graduate Theological Foundation (GTF) on May 6, the Celestine O. E. Onwuliri Fellowship in Scientific Research and Human Values is the highest recognition the faculty of the GTF can award to a graduating West African doctoral student in the field of applied research in human values and social well-being. Professor Onwuliri is one of Africa’s most distinguished research scientists in the field of parasitology, and his work, which embraced the highest ideals of humanitarian values, has contributed greatly to the betterment of human life on the African continent. Recognized throughout the scientific world as a leader in humanitarian endeavors affecting the lives of millions of men, women, and children in Africa, Professor Onwuliri is deserving of international acclaim for his life’s work, and the Graduate Theological Foundation is pleased to honor his legacy with this Fellowship in Scientific Research and Human Values. A prolific and widely published researcher, Professor Onwuliri also served in numerous roles as teacher, administrator, and community leader in more than six universities in Nigeria over the course of 32 years. He was a visiting professor at the National Universities Commission in Abuja, Nigeria, Chairman of the Standing Committee on Private Universities (SCOPU), and National President of the Knights of St. John International, Nigeria. Professor Onwuliri was the recipient of many fellowships, honors and awards, including being named as a Fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of the African Scientific Institute. He was also named Alumni of High Achievement of the University of Nigeria Alumni Association (a coveted award given to members of the University for outstanding contributions to Nigerian society) and held many other recognitions and honors.
This new academic fellowship named in honor of Celestine O. E. Onwuliri was created by the Graduate Theological Foundation with the guidance of The Rev. Dr. Anthony O. Nwachukwu, Fellow and Professor of Counseling Psychology and West African Studies at the GTF and Chair of the GTF’s New York City Ph.D. Thesis Defense Panel. Dr. Nwachukwu is a certified Chaplain who has served at the New York University Medical Center. Hailing from Nigeria, Dr. Nwachukwu has also served as a First Assistant Administrator of Mater Ecclesia Diocese, as a Theological Vicariate Examiner, and as Judge in the Diocesan Marriage Tribunal (Ahiara, Nigeria).
With 2016 being the inaugural year of the Celestine O. E. Onwuliri Fellowship, the Graduate Theological Foundation awarded the fellowship to three outstanding doctoral students: The Rev. Fr. Joachim Chukwujekwu Adione for his Doctor of Ministry project entitled, “Manifestation of God’s Love and Human Response: A Dimensional Approach”; The Rev. Kyrian Chukwuemeka Echekwu for his Doctor of Philosophy thesis entitled, “Nigerian Politics and Corruption: The Challenges Before the Nigerian Church as a Socio-Moral Actor”; and The Rev. Dr. Valentine U. Ibeh for his Doctor of Philosophy thesis entitled, “Mediation and Igba-Ndu: An Igbo Concept of Conflict Transformation and Sustainable Peace.” Videos are available of Dr. Adione and Dr. Echekwu who each made short presentations of their doctoral theses on May 5, 2016, to the graduating class and administration of the Graduate Theological Foundation.
About the Graduate Theological Foundation:
Since its founding in 1962, the Graduate Theological Foundation has become recognized the world over as a premier non-profit educational institution for ministry professionals and as a leader in ecumenical and interreligious education that encourages pluralism, fosters dialogue and supports academic excellence. We engage in scholarly research, academic publishing, awarding of professional and academic degrees across a range of disciplines, and awarding of fellowships and grants.