"And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you sent." —John 17:3, NRSV
Africa University began as a dream in the early 1980s of the first United Methodist-related school in Africa. The growth of Methodism on the continent of Africa gave rise to the need for ways to train and educate for the benefit of the church and the communities of the congregations.
In March, Africa University celebrated its 25th anniversary. Today, the university serves nearly 1,500 students and has more than 6,200 alumni.
While there have been improvements over the past decade, with fewer people living in poverty, Africa continues to struggle economically. Over half of the population is under 30 years old, many of whom are orphaned children. There still are many who lack sufficient food, shelter and clothing.
People in Africa need to be equipped to help access and leverage the resources that surround them. One important way this can be accomplished is through education on all levels.
While these statistics can move us to want to help now, we also are helping long-term. When we support Africa University with our apportionments, we are not only helping people in one moment, but also stepping out in faith to build a future in Africa.
Whether Africa University students and alumni are putting to use their knowledge of agriculture, business or theology, their education leaves them better equipped to serve their communities.
God of Light, we thank you for the gifts of knowledge and faith. We lift up the students and the work of Africa University today. Open our hearts to those in need on the continent of Africa. Inspire us to support our brothers and sisters seeking to shine the light of Christ. Amen.
From Discipleship Ministries: Seventh Sunday of Easter/Ascension Sunday – Our kind Heavenly Father, we rejoice in your faithfulness! As you promised, your glorious Spirit inspires a new way of life through the church of Jesus Christ. We trust that as we continue to devote ourselves to prayer, you will strengthen our congregation in mission outreach. Direct all our gifts and offerings for the purposes of your kingdom, O God. We pray through Christ, who ascended on high to your eternal throne in the heavens. Amen. (Acts 1:6-14)
Africa University has been a United Methodist-related school since its beginnings in the late 1980s. While there have been gains in education and economics, Africa continues to have a large population living without access to electricity and running water. Most live on $2 or less a day.
Linda-Thomas Greenfield, the assistant secretary of the State of African Affairs, recognizes that this "continent is rich in resources, including its people, and there's no reason that this continent should be so impoverished. There is no reason there should be a deficit in governance and a deficit in education. This continent ought to be a beacon to everyone in the world."
With the powerful tools of faith and education, Africa University strives for students to become that beacon. The university aims to provide quality education and opportunities for students to grow in knowledge and professional skills, as well as to attend to their spiritual, ethical and leadership growth. The United Methodist Church supports Africa University through our apportionment giving.