The Dean of Trinity Cathedral in Monrovia, Dr. Herman B. Browne, has been elected the new President of Cuttington University, the Liberian Episcopal Church’s highest institution of learning.
The Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Liberia and Archbishop of the Interim Anglican Province of West Africa, Rt. Rev. Jonathan B.B. Hart, disclosed this to the Daily Observer last Saturday.
Dean Browne, who is regarded as an eloquent preacher, was in April 2010 appointed by Bishop Hart as Dean of Trinity Cathedral, the leading parish of the Episcopal Diocese.
In an exclusive interview with the Daily Observer shortly following his election, Dean Browne spoke of his vision for Cuttington. “I intend to focus on upgrading the output of our students, he said, “and on upgrading their literary and analytical skills.”
Dean Brown is eminently qualified to do that and more. At 50 he is already the author of eight books.
He acquired a Bachelor of Divinity (Honors) degree; and concurrently an Associate of Kings College in 1990 from the University of London. Unable to return to Liberia that year, he earned a Ph.D. in systematic theology from the University of London in 1994 at the relatively youthful age of 29, becoming the first clergyman from the Episcopal Church of Liberia to earn a terminal degree in Theology.
He lectured for four years at the Simon of Cyrene Theological Institute in London (1991-94), and served simultaneously as Curate of the North Lambeth Parish, Kensington in South London. Fr. Browne then became the Dean of the Institute (1994) where he served for another two years, until he was appointed a Research Fellow of Yale University (USA) in 1996. He did not take up this academic post, but chose to accept the Archbishop of Canterbury’s offer for him to serve instead on his personal staff as his Advisor for Ecumenical and Anglican Communion Affairs.
Dr. Browne was Chairman of the Liberian Community Organization in the United Kingdom (1995-6). In June 1997, he was priested in Canterbury Cathedral. After five years, he was promoted to the Archbishop’s Senior Advisor on Anglican Communion Affairs; and made Canon of Canterbury Cathedral. The first African (or non-westerner) to hold a position of such significance in the British aristocracy, this preferment landed him a permanent entry in 2005 into the International Directory of Who’s Who. He returned home in January 2005.
The Dean, 50, has been twenty-six years in Holy Orders.
Dr. Herman Beseah Browne was born in 1965, the fourth unto the union of Mrs Clavender Railey Browne and the Late Archbishop George D. Browne. Having completed St. Patrick’s High School in 1982, and obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theology (Cum Laude) from Cuttington University College in 1986, he was ordained Deacon the following year in the Episcopal Church of Liberia and served as Assistant Director for Christian Education, Chaplain to Bromley Mission and Curate of Grace Church, Clay Ashland.
As a civic man, he served as 2005 National Flag Day Orator; President of the A.G.S. Liberty Football Club, Virginia (2006-); a member of the Presidential Ad Hoc Commission on the Email Saga (2008); and Member of the Advisory Board on the Education Laws of Liberia. As an academic, he is an external doctoral research supervisor to the University of Wales, UK; a lecturer at Seth C Edwards Theological Institute (2005-), Dean of the College of Theology, Cuttington Graduate School (2005-8); Lecturer, Gbarnga School of Theology, UMU (2005-8); Liberia Baptist
Theological Seminary (2007-8); and Vice President for Academic Affairs, African Methodist Episcopal University (2008- 2010). As an Episcopal cleric, he has served as curate of the Chapel of St. George (2005-2008); Vicar of Grace Church, Clay Ashland Liberia, (2008-2010); and Director of Theological Education (2005-). He is currently, chair of board of directors, Liberia Petroleum Refining Company (LPRC).
He has authored eight theological books: Theological Anthropology: A Dialectic Study of the Africa and Liberation Traditions; 50 Things Your Pastor Forgot to Tell You: about God, You and the Bible; Grasshoppers No Longer: critical essays in western cultural history, theology and philosophy; and A Theologian’s Advice: how to avoid sincere, but misguided talk about God.
He also co-edited Passion for Critique: Essays in honour of JF Laishley, Liturgy of the Eucharist, African traditional theology: a political critique, Know What Not To Believe, and Appreciating Pentecostalism.
He is married to Trokon Lisa Chea, and they are blessed with two daughters, Hermalisa and Hermalyn, and a son, Herman.