Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Dear friends of NEGST,
Many of you have heard about Africa International University (AIU). You are aware that we are vigorously pursuing a university charter, and that we want the impact of NEGST to widen and deepen through AIU. But you’ve been asking for more details.
We propose to form Africa International University as a private Christian university composed of several constituent schools, of which NEGST is the first. The Vision of AIU is Christ centered leaders in Africa educated to transform God’s people and world.
We believe students will come to AIU for several features that set AIU apart. Because AIU is committed to partnering in God’s mission in all of life, we will appeal to prospective students in a variety of fields who want an education that takes biblical perspectives seriously. AIU places students at the centre of the learning experience and provides educational opportunities and experiences that facilitate self-discovery, spiritual, emotional, social, intellectual, and professional development. With our passionate commitment to scholarship as mission, we will focus on academic excellence, innovative and relevant research, and life-long learning.
The Three Schools
The university will initially comprise three schools. The first is NEGST, which shall continue to function with its purpose, mission and values as the school of theology, but integrated into those of the university. Some consolidating of departments and shifting of other departments may be useful in light of the initiation of new schools.
The second is the Institute for the Study of African Realities (ISAR) with its focus on the interface between church and society. Originally an entity within NEGST, ISAR will now exist as a sister school beside NEGST. We envision a focus on peace and reconciliation studies, possibly up to the doctoral level; law, ethics and governance; research; and continuing education.
The third is the School of Professional Studies (SPS). The focus of this school will be on professions for the market-place and civic arena in the context of formal learning experiences. This will be the home of programmes in psychology, education, leadership and business, among others. Its curriculum will be integrative, interdisciplinary, and holistic, with a pedagogy that provides for adult interactive learning.
The university will have a vice chancellor and a deputy vice chancellor of academic affairs over all the schools. Each entity will have its own dean (SPS, NEGST) or director (ISAR) who will carry responsibility for the development, implementation, administration, and management of the programmes and academic life of the school or institute.
Interaction and Cooperation
The three schools of the university will cooperate with each other on several levels. NEGST offers core courses foundational to all degree programmes offered in the three schools. ISAR’s research should help sensitize and shape the programmes offered in the other schools. Faculty from each school will be used in the other schools as needed. For example, the education department, though located in the SPS, will continue to offer church-based education programmes for NEGST.
All students will take a common core of integrative courses that include foundations of Christian life and mission, hermeneutics, Bible & moral issues, leadership, and research. Such a core is vital for engaging all branches of knowledge in a way that is biblical and missional. Critical to this pursuit then is a core of University teaching staff that strives to integrate the evangelical faith with their disciplines.
Thank you for your interest in the future of NEGST and AIU. Please pray with us that God will bring the university to fruition.
M. Douglas Carew, Ph.D