The North American Maritime Ministry Association, a founder member of the International Christian Maritime Association, has announced the appointment of its new Executive Director. Dr. Jason Zuidema from Canada will assume the role in July 2013.
Announcing the appointment, NAMMA Notes said:
NAMMA’s Board of Directors in January selected Jason Zuidema as the next Executive Director. He will be the first full time ED in over a decade as NAMMA begins the next phase of growth in serving seafarers and the maritime ministries in North America
Born in English-Canada, Jason Zuidema lives in French-speaking Quebec where he and his family attend a French-language Reformed Church. Educated in English and French Canada, the United States and Europe, Jason earned a Ph.D. in religious studies from McGill University, focusing on ecumenical theology. He has written a number of books and articles about diverse Christian traditions, especially when in minority settings. Following his studies, Jason held successive ecclesiastical and academic appointments that built his public speaking, fund-raising, and organizational experience. Bracketing these years of academic and administrative service, Jason served as chaplain with the Ministry to Seafarers in the Port of Montreal, Canada. He gave the keynote address at the 2005 NAMMA annual conference. Jason lives with his wife Anna and his three children in Montreal, Quebec.
The move to establishing a full time position of leadership came after many years of effort to focus and clarify the role and value of NAMMA within the maritime community. The Board of Directors established a second strategic plan that highlighted the need for full time leadership in an association of agencies and chaplains already stretched thin in resources. The hiring of Jason comes after receiving a grant from ITF Seafarers’ Trust that provides a foundation on which to build a solid future for NAMMA. Beyond traditional tasks of the Ed, the role also established targets for funding and a venture into serving some of the maritime missions who need support in strengthening their local funding capacity. The goals focus on equipping the more than 50 maritime ministries so they can be more effective in serving seafarers on a local and world-wide scale.
Dr. Jason Zuidema said in anticipation of his new role at NAMMA:
“The port ministries that are represented in NAMMA have a strong track-record of providing real care to seafarers bodies, souls, and spirits. As Executive Director of NAMMA, I hope to be a real encouragement for their continued work.”
“Though our markets are tied closer together by the increasing speed and efficiency of global maritime traffic, the seafarers don’t necessarily have the same benefit. If we are pulled together, they are orphaned from family, friends and the culture that they know. As Executive Director I hope to keep the focus of NAMMA on serving these ‘orphans of globalization’”
“Though we represent diverse Christian traditions, we come together as an association of ministries. It is my hope that while respecting the diversity within NAMMA, we can lend strengths and share weaknesses. Around the NAMMA table, we all have something to learn.”
ICMA welcomes Dr. Jason Zuidema to our ecumenical family. NAMMA is a valued member of our Association, represented on ICMA’s Executive Committee. ICMA’s members look forward to collaborating with NAMMA’s new Executive Director and the our North America partners in Christ who share our ministry to merchant seafarers, fishers and maritime families.