Church and State in Contemporary Africa

A panel with Rt. Bishop Zac Niringiye, Dr. Ernest Cole (English), and Dr. Virginia Beard (Political Science)


Dr. Virginia Beard

Dr. Beard is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Hope College. Dr. Beard received her Ph.D. from Michigan State University with a focus in International Development, African Politics, and Public Policy. The following is from Dr. Beard's faculty page:

"Dr. Beard's areas of specialization are comparative politics, focused on Africa, as well as public policy. Her research interests are in the areas African political development; democratization; conflict and stability; land rights in Africa; the role of institutions in political development; identity politics with a focus on gender, religion and ethnicity; public policy in political development; international political and economic development; and global studies. Dr. Beard has spent much time in Kenya and has language experience in both Swahili and German."


Dr. Ernest Cole

Dr. Ernest Cole is an Associate Professor of English at Hope College. His Ph.D. is from the University of Connecticut.

You can read more about Dr. Cole at his faculty page here.

Dr. Ernest Cole

Rt. Bishop Zac Niringiye

The Rt. Rev. Dr. D. Zac Niringiye is a theologian, pastor, Bible teacher, organizational development consultant and a peace and social justice activist. He took an early retirement from his work as Assistant Bishop of the Diocese of Kampala in 2012 to focus his energies on the work of peace and social-political justice in Uganda. Prior to that, he was Regional Director of the Church Mission Society’s work in Africa and spent 20 years of ministry among students in Uganda and all over English- and Portuguese-speaking Africa. He is now a Fellow in the Faculty of Social Sciences at Uganda Christian University, leading a project on Religion, Culture and Public life.

Rt.  Bishop Zac Niringiye