Who Are We ?
Historically, the growth of the Adventist Church in Africa effected the establishment of the Adventist University of Africa in 2006, in response to the need for graduate level education in theology and post-graduate studies. AUA strives to realize its mission, vision and core values, through cultivating knowledge, truth and service by developing holistic, Christ-centered leaders for Africa, for the well-being of humanity.
The rapidly growing membership of the Church in Africa challenged its leaders to find solutions to the questions of increasing demand for committed professional leaders with knowledge, skills, and an attitude of service at all levels of the Church. Leaders, pastors, and educators realised that the solution to the challenges was inextricably linked with postgraduate education within the territory of the growing church. They sent an appeal to the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists (GC), requesting the opening of such an institution.
The 2001 Annual Council appointed an Africa Graduate Education Taskforce (AGET) with the assignment to “plan and facilitate the establishment of graduate programmes based in Africa and to prepare a detailed plan and timeline for the location, design, resource mobilization, and governance of the graduate programmes.” The Taskforce of 14 members met on September 10 and 11, 2003 in Arusha, Tanzania, with 11 additional invitees and consultants in the area of finance and education, including the Division Education Directors and representatives from the General Conference (GC), as well as from colleges and universities in Africa. During the meetings, they discussed the option of establishing an institution offering postgraduate programmes in Africa.
In 2003, the three African Divisions—the East-Central Africa Division (ECD), the Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division (SID), and the West-Central Africa Division (WAD)—requested a meeting with AGET and representatives from the GC, from colleges and universities in Africa. The meeting was intended to discuss the option of establishing an institution offering postgraduate programmes in Africa.
The consultation ended with the recommendation to establish the Adventist University of Africa (AUA), a new institution that would offer postgraduate programs for the whole of Africa. AGET was then charged to study the proposal and the logistics involved in establishing a postgraduate university for the continent. The task force recommended Nairobi, Kenya, to be the location for the central campus of the new University.
Furthermore, AGET recommended that the institution be given exclusive responsibility for the delivery of postgraduate education in theology, pastoral ministry, and church leadership in the territories of the divisions based in Africa. The 2003 Annual Council of the GC voted these recommendations.
In January 2006, the first students were admitted at Solusi University, Zimbabwe, then at Babcock University, Nigeria, in May, and at the University of East Africa, Baraton in July. The first yearly cycle finished with a total of 238 students enrolled into two programmes—the MA in Pastoral Theology and the MA in Leadership. The first graduates of the University, 167 in number, completed their programmes in 2009.