History & Development

Our History

The development of Africa University is a consequence of the growth of United Methodism in Africa. The growth in membership and the emerging socio-economic and political needs in their countries led the African Bishops of the United Methodist Church (UMC) to call on their Church to invest in higher education provision in Africa.

1898

Bishop
Hartzell's
Dream

A dream like a fire
catches the hearts of
those who share in it!

In 1898, Bishop John Hartzell stood on Mount Chirembe above Old Mutare and looking down upon the valley, envisioned hundreds of young Africans with books in their hands, running to school.

In 1984, two African bishops, with the support of thousands of African Methodists, issued the call to create Africa University. Bishop Emilio J. M. Carvalho of Angola and Bishop Arthur F. Kulah of Liberia challenged their colleagues at the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) to support the establishment of a university in Africa.

1984

The Great
Call

“....and on this rock I will
build my church” (Matthew
16:18)

BISHOP EMILIO JM DE CARVALHO, and wife at the annual meeting of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) of the United Methodist Church.

BISHOP EMILIO JM DE CARVALHO, and wife at the annual meeting of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) of the United Methodist Church.

1984
The call to found AU

Blessed is he who plants trees under whose shade
he will never sit

“Its Happening!” Bishop Abel Muzorewa, Dr. William
Humbane and Rev. Nhamo Mumbiro Showing off their new
Africa University t-shirts at a meeting of the AU Board
of Directors

A plan for the United Methodist-Related university was presented to the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry in October 1987. At the 1988 General Conference, United Methodists overwhelmingly accepted the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry's proposal to begin the university.

1988

General
Conference

“....and on this rock I will
build my church” (Matthew
16:18)

Dr. Roger Ireson , then General Secretary of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) and Mrs. Nancy M. Caruth prepare to take the formal proposal for a United Methodist- Related University in Africa before the 1988 General Conference meeting in St Louis, Missouri

Smiles , cheers and ululation from supporters of Africa University greet the unanimous approval of the establishment of Africa University by the 1988 General Conference

1992
The Charter, Granted

Former President of the Republic of Zimbabwe
Robert Gabriel Mugabe officially opened Africa
University on the 23rd of April 1994 and became
the first person to receive a degree from the University.
Former President Mugabe was awarded an honorary doctorate
as part of the official opening ceremony.

Key Milestones

1992

INAUGURAL ACADEMIC PROGRAMMES

40 students enter the faculties of Agriculture and Theology under the Bachelor of Science in Agriculture and Natural resources and Bachelor of Divinity


1993

FOCUS ON STUDENT WELFARE

Two dormitories open with capacity to house 80 students


1994

THE DREAM LIVED!

The school’s first Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor are inaugurated. 27 students receives degrees.


1996

GROWTH

Faculty of Management and Administration, Ireson-Kurewa Centre for Agriculture, Natural resources and Humanities, Faculty of Education, Kleist Dormitory and the Odette Kennedy Dormitory opened.


1998

INVESTING IN SPIRITUAL LIFE

Construction of the Kwang Lim chapel is completed


2001

INVESTING IN KNOWLEDGE

The Jokomo-Yamada Library opens its doors.


Africa University Today

The dream is alive!

Academic excellence is ingrained in all we do, guiding our efforts to make a meaningful impact on society. Our faculty use their domain expertise to conduct transformative research to solve critical educational and human challenges in an interconnected world.

205

Students

63

Faculty

65

Programmes

$ 200M

in funding

10000+

Alumni

20

Awards

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