Africa University (AU) is a United Methodist related institution of higher education established by action of the 1988 General Conference. The institution received its first students in 1992, housing them in several old farm buildings located on land donated by the Zimbabwe Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.
Throughout 2017, Africa University is celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary. AU became a reality, because two UM bishops from Africa kept the dream alive that there should be a UM related pan African university on the continent of Africa.
AU was established through the dedicated labor of hundreds of volunteers in mission, our apportionment (fair share) dollars, and the prayers of the whole denomination. The university has been sustained with the gifts of individuals, local churches, district funding efforts and major annual conference campaigns.
Africa University is making a difference for several reasons. First, AU alums are consistently transforming their hopes into reality. Second, AU is educating and preparing leaders who are returning to their home country to fulfill their vocation. Ninety percent of AU graduates remain on the continent of Africa.
Third, AU’s “values are Christ-centered and reflect our Wesleyan heritage. Au focuses on sharing the Gospel and serving the poor and the marginalized throughout Africa.” Local church pastors are being trained in the department of theology.
Fourth, the AU curriculum is focused on Africa’s vital needs and it is designed to prepare the graduates to work in the arenas of need, such as local health care, agriculture, peacemaking, ethics in government, theology, and business management.
Students who matriculate at Africa University receive a cost-effective education. Although the annual tuition is $5,600, millions of African people live on a dollar a day. Many students cannot even afford the tuition, so they need some form of financial aid. The people of the United Methodist Church provide faithful and generous support for the university. First, we support AU through our fair-share giving to the church-wide Africa University Fund. Second, we undergird the university with our AU planned giving commitments and through scholarships provided by gifts to the Africa University endowment fund. This giving is critical to the daily operation of the university.
Currently, there are 1,394 students enrolled in the university. There are 711 female students (51%) and 683 male students (49%). There are 25 African countries represented among the student population. There is an astounding statistic related to the student enrollment numbers; the student retention rate is 99.3%. The faculty is international in its makeup.
In 2015, the university installed Prof. Munashe Furusa as the 4th vice chancellor [president] of Africa University. Under his leadership, the university continues to grow and develop as an institution of higher education related to the United Methodist Church.
How can individuals and local churches help Africa University?
Be sure that that your local church pays its fair share at 100%. You can help to make a difference as the university celebrates 25 years of service to students on the continent of Africa. For more information, you can go to the University Development Office web site: firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, you can contact the Africa University Development Office, P.O. Box 340007, Nashville, TN 37203-0007. The phone number is 615-340-7438.
In conclusion, you also can help the university by going there as a volunteer in mission. It is true that “many hands make light work.”
Your continuing prayers are appreciated. Thank you for your prayers and your support.