Joseph Education Institute (JEI) is a private Catholic Education Institute set up by Joseph Kung Za Hmung @ Win Hlaing Oo who is an ordinary man (a lay person) on 15 January 2015. The goal of this institute is to provide various entrepreneurship, management and marketing programs and correspondent Catholic theological subjects designed to equip students with the tools required to prosper in the business world. The Institute also focuses on making positive impacts within the community and the country through many diverse individual students. The Catholic Church in Myanmar has entered her presence of 500 years by celebrating her joyful manifestation in 2014 in Yangon. However, Myanmar Catholic Church has been focusing on theological formation for priests and lay people are still away from such attention. Therefore instead of waiting her initiatives, by virtue of my baptismal confirmation, I have a responsibility, assigned by Jesus Christ (cfr. Mt 28:18-20), to set up this institute to educate, enhance and empower our Catholic lay people in the mission of her global evangelization.

The Joseph Education Institute (JEI) is a nascent lay person led Catholic academic community of higher learning, animated from its origins by Catholicism in Myanmar. It is dedicated to the pursuit and sharing of truth for its own sake. As a Catholic institute, one of its distinctive goals is to provide a forum where, through free inquiry and open discussion, the various lines of Catholic thought may intersect with all the forms of knowledge found in the arts, sciences, professions, and every other area of human scholarship and creativity. The intellectual interchange essential to a university requires, and is enriched by, the presence and voices of diverse scholars and students. The Catholic identity of the institute depends upon, and is nurtured by, the continuing presence of a predominant number of Catholic intellectuals. This ideal has been consistently maintained by the institute leadership throughout its history.

What the University asks of all its scholars and students, however, is not a particular creedal affiliation, but a respect for the objectives of JEI and a willingness to enter into the conversation that gives it life and character. Therefore, the JEI insists upon academic freedom that makes open discussion and inquiry possible. The JEI prides itself on being an environment of teaching and learning that fosters the development in its students of those disciplined habits of mind, body, and spirit that characterize educated, skilled, and free human beings. In addition, the JEI seeks to cultivate in its students not only an appreciation for the great achievements of human beings but also a disciplined sensibility to the poverty, injustice and oppression that burden the lives of so many.

The aim is to create a sense of human solidarity and concern for the common good that will bear fruit as learning becomes service to justice. JEI has a responsibility to advance knowledge in a search for truth through original inquiry and publication. This responsibility engages the faculty and students in all areas of the University, but particularly in graduate and professional education and research. JEI is committed to constructive and critical engagement with the whole of human culture. The JEI encourages a way of living consonant with a Christian community and manifest in prayer, liturgy and service. Residential life endeavours to develop that sense of community and of responsibility that prepares students for subsequent leadership in building a society that is at once more human and more divine.

In all dimensions of the institute, JEI pursues its objectives through the formation of an authentic human community graced by the Spirit of Christ. The students are typically mixed mid-career executives pursuing marketing and management and theological diploma programs from JEI. The institute has over 100 students currently enrolled at JEI since 2015. While the name JEI has been becoming more and more reputable within the context of theological education establishments in Yangon, most of the success in finding students comes from word-of-mouth and advertisement from monthly journal recommendations of the old students. Last year, in 2017, we achieved over 100% growth in student numbers.

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