To deliver outstanding postgraduate education from a Biblical foundation to prepare competent leaders to serve the Church and society in a Christ-like manner.
To be a premier University in postgraduate and professional education and research.
- Adventist Heritage
Developing Leaders for Service
“True education means…
more than the pursual of a certain course of study. It means more than a preparation for the life that now is. It has to do with the whole being, and with the whole period of existence possible to man. It is the harmonious development of the physical, the mental, and the spiritual powers.”
Ellen White, Counsels to the Church, p. 203
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 the knowledge, skills, and attitude of service at all levels of the Church. Leaders, pastors, and educators realized 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 programmes 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 on 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 in 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.