Liberia: AMEZU Launches Liberia’s First Criminal Justice’s Master’s Program

Speaker Koffa and AMEZU president, Rev. Johnson, in handshake before the launch of the postgraduate school ceremony.

For the first time in the history of higher education in Liberia, the African Methodist Episcopal Zion University (AMEZU) will be offering a Master’s degree program in Criminal Justice.

The university, which was granted a license from the government of Liberia through the National Commission on Higher Education (NCHE) to operate a graduate school and professional studies, will also provide certificates in criminal investigation, criminal analysis, and prevention, as well as contemporary contextual career development courses. 

Other disciplines include police administration, juvenile delinquency, divinity, theology, Christian counseling, and Christian education and education supervision.

House Speaker J. Fonati Koffa, who served as keynote speaker at the launch on Monday, March 11, described the event as a milestone in the academic history of Liberia and the AMEZU. 

He further congratulated the university family for the launch of the graduate school at this time in the history of the country and the increase in democratic governance. 

According to him, Liberia needs men and women for a skilled workforce for its development. 

Speaker Koffa noted that for Liberia to join the rest of the world, they need to leverage ICT as well as artificial intelligence and take advantage of the many opportunities that drive the global economy. 

He added that Liberia needs human talent and hopes that AMEZU’s new graduate school will help train them. 

Speaker Koffa also challenged the administration of the university to tailor their programs to the needs of technology in the global economy.

He further used the occasion to appeal to the faculty of the school to mainly focus on entrepreneurial skills, noting that without entrepreneurial talent, the burden of employing young people will fall on a government that's already struggling. 

Earlier, Rev. Dr. Emmanuel F. Johnson, President of the AMEZU, stressed in his special statement that the Board of Trustees, administrators, and faculty have worked overtime to ensure that this long-overdue dream of establishing a postgraduate school becomes a reality.

“Today, I am pleased to have the opportunity to share with you all a landmark initiative as we embark on what is considered an extraordinary and valuable achievement in the academic stewardship service at AMEZU since its establishment over three (3) decades ago,” he said.

NCHE proxy, Professor Israel C. Obiasagu, Ph.D., presents the operational license to the Dean of the Graduate School of the AMEZU, Professor Walker.

Rev. Johnson further expressed gratitude to the Board of Trustees under the dynamic stewardship and supportive leadership of Bishop Hillard K.D. Dogbe. More especially, the chair and members of the academic committee of the board, under the selfless stewardship of Professor Walker, for their tireless, sacrificial services and excellent spirit of support during this process and even beyond. 

He applauded the critical and efficient supervision of the Nation Commission on Higher Education, though it might have been considered somehow a long journey without an end, by the special grace of God, they are now celebrating a new beginning. 

“Glory!! Kindly allow me to emphatically state that after a critical, careful review and evaluation of our proposal, we are a proud recipient of an operational permit granted by the NCHE to commence a postgraduate program, beginning with the disciplines of criminal justice, police administration, juvenile delinquency, divinity, theology, Christian counseling, and Christian education and education supervision,” Rev. Johnson added.

Rev. Johnson further elaborated that Zion University is eternally grateful, as “we are taking AMEZU Educational Stewardship Service to a "higher level" in service to the people of Liberia and the world at large, as our programs will be more professional-centered.”

He assures the public that their postgraduate programs will be managed by competent and qualified academics and administrators with postgraduate degrees from accredited institutions both nationally and internationally. 

Rev. Johnson announced, “To date, we have a standing partnership relationship with four sister universities, namely: John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, the United States of America, Marshall University, West Virginia, USA, the University of Sierra Leone, Freetown Town, and the Makeni University, Makeni, Sierra Leone.”

According to him, their faculty members are excited to join us in carrying out this postgraduate program. Additionally, in the realm of teaching, our top priority is to provide quality teaching and learning. 

“In this regard, we further commit and assure the general public of our faculty competencies to effectively, efficiently, and consistently offer quality teaching that meets and exceeds the expectations of our students and other stakeholders. 

“It is also our hope to modernize this Graduate School infrastructure before the official commencement of classes. As electricity is a serious challenge nowadays in Liberia and the seriousness attached to the minimization of environmental pollution as a result of carbon dioxide from generator smoke, we are contemplating the solarization of the entire building. As such, partnership, collaboration, and support are kindly being solicited,” he added.

He noted that AMEZU, as an institution, will continue to support nation-building through its educational agenda, especially in the training and preparation of national and world leaders who enroll in our undergraduate program. 

“We are available, capable, and willing to work with the three (3) branches of government — the public and private sectors — to enhance the capacities of their employees and to develop more professional career personnel for our society through our newly established productive services to the postgraduate school program,” Rev. Johnson stressed.

The president of the AMEZU assured Liberians of their commitment to maintaining quality assurance in postgraduate education as they serve our people.