Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane of Southern Africa named EDS's commencement speaker

March 8, 2007

Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane of Cape Town, Primate of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, has been named speaker at Episcopal Divinity School's (EDS) 2007 commencement, scheduled for 2 p.m., May 17, at the First Church in Cambridge, Congregational, 11 Garden Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

In making the announcement, Bishop Steven Charleston, president and dean of EDS, said Ndungane's role as an outspoken advocate against injustice, inadequate education, economic oppression, and violence both in Southern Africa and across the world, made him an obvious choice.

"Our faculty and trustees were unanimous in recommending Archbishop Ndungane as EDS's 2007 commencement speaker," said Charleston. "His work related to the Millennium Development Goals serves as a powerful example of someone who is living into God's mission of justice, compassion, and reconciliation."

Ndungane was elected Primate of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa in 1996. He has been a leader in the campaign to control the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa and has called for debt relief for impoverished nations. In the fall of 2004, he spoke at the United Nations to launch the Micah Challenge, an international Christian movement to cut world poverty in half by 2015.

A fourth-generation Anglican priest, Ndungane decided to enter the ministry in the early 1960s while serving a three-year sentence as a political prisoner on the notorious Robben Island in Cape Town. He was ordained in 1974 in the Diocese of Cape Town and has a BDiv and MTh from King's College, London. Before his appointment as archbishop, he served as Bishop of Kimberley and Kuruman in South Africa.