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Au students working on clean energy

Five Africa University students have completed research on building a biogas digester to produce renewable clean energy for household use in rural communities.

The students, from Zambia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zimbabwe, are expected to start building the digester when they return to the institution next semester in August. Read more

News Stories

Goddard-Johnson Chair Fully Endowed

The fully-endowed Goddard-Johnson Chair in Christian Education at Africa University is now a reality, thanks to the unwavering generosity of hundreds of dedicated individuals. The campaign to endow a professorship honoring Carrie Lou Goddard and Ethel Johnson began in March 1999. The campaign goal—an endowment fund of $500,000—took nearly 20 years to achieve. Read more

The Dodge Family Love Affair

It made perfect sense that Dr. Ed Dodge would recommend his family go on a climb of Mt. Chiremba in Zimbabwe. The view from Mt. Chiremba was magnificent, and so was the family’s historic sojourn to Zimbabwe. After all, it was a call to Africa that began what is now 80-year love affair.Read more

Archived Articles


Au students working on clean energy

Five Africa University students have completed research on building a biogas digester to produce renewable clean energy for household use in rural communities.

The students, from Zambia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zimbabwe, are expected to start building the digester when they return to the institution next semester in August. Read more

Pender UMC: Faithfully Impacting the World

Twenty-five-year-old Astewale Ayaleneh is a first-generation college student from Ethiopia. He’s also the ninth student to attend Africa University with scholarship support from Pender United Methodist Church. In a recent letter to the Fairfax, VA-based congregation, Astewale wrote about the experience. Read more

Strengthening Church Unity in Burundi

A special Burundi Annual Conference session, held Feb. 5-7 in Gitega, sealed the deal on coveted and elusive unity for United Methodists in this East African nation. For 12 years, the church in Burundi had two centers of power. Two factions had contended for control of church affairs since the death of Bishop Alfred J. Ndoricimpa in 2005. Read more

AU's Top Fundraiser Endows Scholarship

Growing up on a small farm in South Carolina, James H. “Jim” Salley never dreamed of becoming the top fundraiser for Africa University. Nor did he expect to give more than $130,000 to establish an endowed scholarship to honor his parents — Marie and James Salley — and ensure exemplary education for students from across Africa. Read more


Cascade UMC 2018 Visit

Cascade United Methodist Church is planning a 2018 visit to Africa University as part of its effort to enhance support for the institution. Cascade UMC is the fourth-largest African-American congregation in the denomination, with roots in the Atlanta-College Park District that date back to 1926. The church’s senior pastor, Rev. Dr. Kevin R. Murriel, describes the upcoming visit as connectional and exploratory. Read more

Alumna Heads IAAS

Tafadzwa Anne-Marie Dzinoreva, the World President of the International Association of Students in Agricultural and Related Sciences (IAAS) for 2017-2018, can’t resist an opportunity to inspire and equip others for change. Her journey to the helm of one of the largest student organizations in the world began in 2014, with a study-abroad placement. Read more

i5 Hub Opens

The i5 Hub at Africa University allows innovators to brainstorm, develop ideas, copyright or patent, and pitch their ideas to industry partners. It is a first for universities in Zimbabwe and one of only 16 academic institution-led innovation hubs in Africa. The i5 Hub at Africa University supports ideation, incubation, innovation, intellectual property, and industrialization. Read more

New Theology Institute

An anonymous gift will support the establishment of an institute of Theology and Religious Studies at Africa University. The gift is one of the outcomes of a meeting of the AU Taskforce on Theology and Pastoral Studies that took place in Atlanta in mid-July. The taskforce envisions the institute as a center for work that is strategic, culturally relevant, and effective to the disciple-making mission of The United Methodist Church. Read more

Church Generates Gift with Loose Change

It is not customary to think about loose change as lifechanging, but it can be. Gathered together, coins can make quite the difference, as the members of Sandpoint Community United Methodist Church have found. The Seattle-based church made a gift of $500 to Africa University in honor of its 25th anniversary. The gift is the result of one month’s change collection. Read more

BWC Support Continues

A 30-member delegation from the Baltimore Washington Conference (BWC), led by Bishop LaTrelle Easterling, visited the Africa University campus in early July to participate in the biennial Zimbabwe Episcopal Area-BWC Pastors School. While there, Bishop Easterling presented the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Munashe Furusa, with a gift of $8,000 to help advance the mission and work of the institution.

$1M Louisiana Conference Gift

Louisiana United Methodists are celebrating the successful completion of a $1 million campaign for Africa University. A June 9th presentation at the annual conference gathering in Shreveport marked the close of an effort that began more than 11 years ago. The final installment on the conference’s pledge and interest income of $97,687.00 on previous installments, put the campaign over the top. Read more

Local Church Shares its Blessings with AU

A California-Nevada Conference congregation is giving more than a tithe (tenth) from the $1.5 million in proceeds received from the sale of property the church owned. The total gift to the California-Nevada Conference from Watsonville First United Methodist Church is $200,000, with $100,000 benefiting Africa University. Read more

HPUMC Invests $2M

A gift of $2 million from Highland Park United Methodist Church (HPUMC) in Dallas, TX will fund a new student union facility at Africa University. The announcement was made on behalf of HPUMC and its senior pastor, Rev. Paul Rasmussen, by Mrs. Lisa Tichenor, her husband, Mr. McHenry Tichenor, and a family friend, Ms. Mary (Mimi) Jacobie. The Tichenors presented the gift from their home church during a formal celebration of the university’s 25th anniversary on March 25th. Read more

Farm feeds multitudes

Happy animals, abundant crops on the Africa University farm help make the United Methodist university self-sustaining. The agricultural department was one of the first two faculties established in 1992. It’s not just the Africa University students who learn farming techniques here. The teaching farm is open to the community and other universities. Read more

AU and Claflin U Sign MOU

Africa University and Claflin University are strengthening ties and expanding their collaboration. The two institutions signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on March 21. The agreement formalizes ongoing cooperation on research and academic program delivery as well as student and faculty exchanges. The signing took place on Africa University’s campus during the formal celebration of its 25th anniversary. Read more

Africa University Celebrates 25 years

Hundreds gathered at United Methodist Africa University on March 25 to celebrate its 25th anniversary. There were gifts and memories as supporters looked back over a quarter of a century, but there was a lot more looking forward. Read more

Shaping Africa - Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

Africa University is continually evolving. In October 2016, the university emerged from a period of self-study and realignment with a new, three college academic structure and new programs aimed at reinforcing its position as a university of choice on the African continent. Read more

AUF Support Remains Strong

Support for Africa University continues to grow among the local congregations of The United Methodist Church, (UMC). In 2016, the Africa University Fund (AUF) apportionment was number one among the seven general church funds. Read more

Building the Future

The African bishops of The United Methodist Church (above) made their first collective financial contribution to Africa University in 2010, funding construction of a staff house. Ongoing contributions from the bishops include church-wide advocacy, involvement in university governance and student recruitment. Read more

Secular Partnerships

Africa University is attracting new friends and partners beyond the global United Methodist Church. The university’s newest partnership is with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). The collaboration is part of the UNICEF’s bid to invest more in the health, education and protection of Africa’s most vulnerable residents. Read more

Los Altos UMC: Impact and Inspiration

Since 2008, the Los Altos UMC Africa Student Education Fund has provided tuition support for at least 10 women to study each year. The congregation has invested more than $325,000 in scholarships to date and helped 29 women to graduate from Africa University. Read more


Debate Team at WUDC

Africa University’s Debate, Speech and Drama Society (DSDS) is ending 2016 with a bid for a world title. Known as the “Mighty Fosters”, the Africa University team is participating in the World University Debating Championships (WUDC), taking place from December 29 – January 3 in The Hague, Netherlands. Read more

Bells End Visit With Gifts

Two longstanding friends of Africa University—Mr. Robert Bell and Dr. Marion Bell—recently completed their second successful stint as visiting staff at Africa University. The couple returned to Baltimore, Maryland in December. Read more

$50M Campaign for AU

The Campaign for Africa University—a four-year effort to raise $50 million for endowment and capital projects—was unveiled to the public on September 12. The announcement of the public phase of the campaign was made in Cleveland, OH at a banquet celebrating the contributions on longtime Africa University supporter and board member, Dr. Maggie Jackson. Read more

New Academic Structure

The Africa University Board of Directors approved a new academic structure and ten new degree programs at its October 2016 meeting, giving its blessing to an ambitious plan for academic restructuring and growth. Read more

Partnerships Boosts AU's Mission

Africa University’s influence is spreading across the continent and around the globe through partnerships with government agencies, non-profits and corporations — nearly 25 years after The United Methodist Church founded the university in Zimbabwe. Read more

Students Welcomed

Africa University formally welcomed 413 new full-time students at a colorful matriculation ceremony on September 30th. Though unique and surprising to many of this year’s participants, the students described the event as deeply moving. Read more

SC Gala Raises Funds for Scholarships

The annual event aims to increase awareness of the needs of Africa University students and raise funds for scholarships. It featured a silent auction and keynote address by the associate vice chancellor for institutional advancement for Africa University, Mr. James H. Salley. Read more

California-Nevada Sets New Record in Giving to the AUF

It’s the middle of the financial year and there are already two firsts for the California-Nevada Conference and Africa University to celebrate. California-Nevada has invested 100 percent of its asking to the Africa University Fund (AUF) apportionment. It is also the first annual conference to achieve this milestone for 2016. Read more

AU Leaders Visit Alumni in Mozambique

A gathering of 30 Maputo-based Africa University alumni on June 25th, Mozambique’s Independence Day, was a major highlight of the visit. Discussions with this group centered on strengthening the Mozambique Chapter of the Africa University International Alumni Association. Read more

Dorm, SU Building Refurbished

Contractors have put the finishing touches on two major refurbishment projects at the Africa University campus. Work began in June on the ground level of the Ndorimana Bonaventure building—an area that serves as the Student Union at Africa University and includes a games room and mini convenience store. Read more

Advisors to Meet in Cleveland

The September meetings of the Africa University Board and the Advisory Development Committees are taking place in Cleveland, Ohio this year. The gathering in Cleveland ends with a dinner gala on September 12th, honoring a longstanding board member and chair of the Buildings and Grounds Committee, Dr. Maggie Jackson. Read more

800+ Students Graduate

As the famous Africa University Choir sang “The dream is alive,” graduating students, representing 23 African countries, received their certificates, diplomas and degrees. This was the 22nd graduation ceremony for this United Methodist-related university in its 24 years of existence. Read more

Campaign Ends Early

The Mississippi Conference celebrated the completion of its $1.3 million campaign for Africa University in June, having surpassed its goal six months earlier than planned. The campaign to endow 10 scholarships at Africa University has generated a total of $1,354,769.00 in cash and pledges. Read more

BWC Presents Gift for Sports Complex

The Baltimore-Washington Conference presented a gift $300,000 and celebrated the groundbreaking for a new fitness center at Africa University with the students and staff on June 10. Read more

GC2016 Celebrates Africa University

As the Africa University choir ended the report by bringing a General Conference to its feet, delegates were reminded of the power and potential of a school that, just 36 years ago, was merely a vision. Read more

AU Choir to sing at GC2016

A chamber group of the Africa University Choir, comprised of 15 students and the choir director, will be in Portland, OR for the 2016 General Conference. The group, which arrives on May 12, has a number of scheduled appearances including participation in the Africa University presentation to the General Conference on May 15. Read more

AU Advisors Leave Baltimore "Energized"

Members of the Africa University Advisory Development Committee, (ADC), are describing the progress reports from their spring 2016 meeting as exciting and impressive. Read more

Ubuntu Retreat Center Opens

The 24-room Ubuntu Retreat Center at Africa University is open and it is receiving great guest reviews. Read more


Record Results for Planned Giving Program

Africa University recognized 21 individuals for their generosity and commitment to the institution at the 15th annual Richard E. “Dick” Reeves Legacy Society Dinner, held on September 11th in Nashville, TN. About 120 friends and supporters of the university gathered to remember, honor and induct new members into the society in an evening filled with celebration, thanksgiving and delight. Read more

Attracting Africa's Young Leaders

More than 380 young people participated in the 2015 matriculation ceremony at Africa University (AU), on September 25th. The colorful ceremony is the formal induction and welcome into the campus community for the freshman class of 2015. Read more

Record Numbers for the Class of 2015

On June 13, Africa University awarded degrees to 694 students from 17 African countries. This group was the largest graduating class in the institution’s 23-year history. Read more

Choir Tour Yields Excitement and Support

Over a period of five weeks in May/June, the Africa University Choir worshipped and performed in more than 50 venues in the Mississippi and South Carolina conferences. Fifteen students from six African countries shared their stories, expressed their gratitude for the ongoing United Methodist Church support, and gave audiences a taste of the music, praise and worship traditions of sub-Saharan Africa. Read more

Foundation for evangelism announces new campaign for au

Mutare, Zimbabwe, March 21, 2015—The Foundation for Evangelism has announced that it is launching a campaign with Africa University to endow a professorship in the Faculty of  Theology. The chair, which is to be endowed at the $1.5M level, would be named for John W. Z. Kurewa, the first vice chancellor of the university, who has served as the E. Stanley Jones Professor of Evangelism at Africa University since 2000.

Four members of the foundation's board of directors—its chairman, Mr. Lawrence Klemann; members, Ms. Mary Brooke Casad and Dr. Stephen Gunter; and its president, Ms. Jane Wood—were present in Zimbabwe for the inauguration of the university's fourth vice chancellor, Prof. Munashe Furusa. The foundation's announcement was the highlight of the inaugural dinner, held on March 21st.

Africa University's new leader: 'Right kind of role model'

Africa University’s vice chancellor has “a rags-to-riches story” as a first-generation college graduate, said the keynote speaker at the inauguration of Munashe Furusa, the United Methodist-related university’s new leader.

“It is a rags-to-riches story when no one in your family has done it and you reach the top of the university,” said Tawana Kupe, deputy vice chancellor at Witwatersrand University in Johannesburg, South Africa. Kupe was a mentor when Furusa was a student at the University of Zimbabwe. Read more

campus visit exceeds expectations

Ask the members of Holman United Methodist Church about their December 2014 trip to the AU campus, and you’ll immediately notice their excitement.

A 24-person delegation made the trip to Mutare, Zimbabwe. The group was led by Rev. Kelvin Sauls, the senior pastor of the Los Angeles-based congregation, and Rev. Judi Wortham- Sauls. Their aim for the trip was to build faith, broaden horizons and invite congregants to ‘be hope’ wherever they find themselves. The group included many persons who have been investing in AU for a very long time.

“The visit to AU really exceeded any expectations that I may have had,” said Mrs. Wilma Pinder, a retired lawyer and former college lecturer. Now Mrs. Pinder and her husband, Dr. Frank E. Pinder III, a psychiatrist, are talking about the possibility of going back as short-term, visiting professors. The Pinders were impressed by the well-maintained and inviting nature of the campus as well as the diversity of the students.

Sandrel and Edward Terry with students on the campus.“To get there and experience so many nations under one umbrella really was an exciting situation,” said Mrs. Pinder. “It allows for learning, sharing, personal growth and networking that is unique.”

After spending time in a very frank and wide-ranging dialogue with more than 100 students, Rev. Sauls felt buoyed by the students’ commitment to pursuing stability and prosperity for Africa.

“We could see how AU is building these young people’s faith in God, in themselves, and in the continent,” said Sauls. “So many of them come from challenging situations that have likely shaken their faith in governments and institutions. Yet there is a sense of hope the students have…a conviction that if you dream it, you can work, persevere, and achieve it.”

Wilma Pinder echoed this view. “We will see every dollar we invest in AU multiplied a thousand times in terms of the returns,” she said.

Linda Fuller, a retired businessperson, was impressed to find that young people who had never travelled outside their neighborhoods or countries before coming to Africa University, are embracing the institution’s pan-African ethos and moving forward with a hopeful and unified vision for the continent. Fuller described the experience on campus as “wonderful”.

Since their return from Africa, members of the group have thrown themselves into organizing Holman UMC’s annual Valentine’s Day fundraiser for scholarship funds to support AU students.

Alumna and Holman UMC scholarship beneficiary, Elaine Sauls, with Dr. Edward Terry.While the group was in South Africa, they met Elaine Sauls, a Holman UMC scholarship beneficiary from 2007 through 2009. Sauls, who grew up in Soweto, graduated from AU in 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts (Education) degree. She is now teaching at an elementary school in her home community.

“She is very interesting and very appreciative of what we had done for her,” said Dr. Edward Terry, a member of Holman UMC who serves with Wilma Pinder and others on the church’s Africa University Committee.

In August 2015, Holman UMC hopes to accompany a new student on his or her college journey by providing another scholarship for undergraduate studies at Africa University.

ELMA Foundation Extends Challenge Grant to June 30th, 2015

Africa University has an additional six months to close a gap of $138K+ in gifts and reach its goal of $500,000 raised from African donors.

Launched on March 1st, 2013, the goal of the ELMA Challenge Grant Appeal, “Africans for AU”, is $500,000 in gifts from qualified African donors. It was initially scheduled to end in June 2014, but ELMA has extended the challenge period to June, 30th, 2015.

The extension gives AU the chance to bring in an additional $138K+ in gifts from those who benefit most—African families, churches, businesses and organizations.

“The beauty of the ELMA Foundation’s Challenge Grant is that it allows the institution’s primary stakeholders—graduates and local and regional constituents—to invest annually in the stability of the university,” said Mr. James H. Salley, the associate vice chancellor for institutional advancement.

“It enables Africa University to build capacity and provides an annual fund that is so critical to the bottom line of the university’s budget,” said Salley.

Every penny raised and vetted as a gift from an African donor is being matched by the ELMA Foundation. Audited gift receipts, totaling $361,433.79 to date, have already been matched. Gifts have come from a wide array of university stakeholders and friends, including alumni, students, faculty, staff, trustees, and United Methodist churches in Africa. African businesses, institutions and non-governmental organizations, as well as prominent individuals, have responded very generously, contributing more than 65% of the total amount raised so far.

Currently, the university needs $138,566.21 from African donors to reach its goal of $500K, but it hopes to go over the top on this appeal. 

Gifts to the “Africans for AU”/ELMA Challenge Grant Appeal can be made online via credit card at Or you can mail your check, made out to ‘Africa University’, to the Africa University Development Office, P O Box 340007, Nashville, TN 37203-0007. In Zimbabwe, please contact the Bursar/CFO, Ms. Irene Chibanda, (Tel: +263 20 60075 or +263 772 137 009), for directions regarding donation made by check or through ETFs.

Highland Park and Church of the Resurrection Leaders Visit AU

The leaders of two large and influential United Methodist churches in the U.S. spent a week (8-13 February) at the Africa University campus in Mutare, Zimbabwe, learning more about the institutions contributions and challenges. Read more



Board approval has cleared the way for the implementation of a PhD program in Peace, Leadership, Governance and Development at Africa University.

Members of the AU Board of Directors approved the university’s first PhD program at their October 2014 meeting. The program targets the more than 300 graduates who currently hold master’s degrees from the university’s flagship Institute of Peace, Leadership and Governance, (IPLG), as well as policy makers, mediators and leaders from across sub-Saharan Africa.

“The integrated nature of the PhD program combines course work and evidence-based research (and) stands to serve Africa by reminding practitioners, scholars and students, that the drive for sustainable peace should be anchored on the vital priority of human development, peace and stability; and democratic governance and ethical leadership,” said Dr. Pamela Machakanja, the institute’s director.

The program is currently being reviewed for accreditation by the Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education (ZIMCHE). Once accredited, the university plans an initial pilot phase of two years. About five students will be enrolled each year, beginning in 2016.

AU named best by business leaders

Africa University is the 2014 winner of the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce, (ZNCC), Best Human Resource Development/Contributing to Business Award. Read more  

2014 graduates express thanks

view.image?Following the June 7th graduation ceremony at Africa University, the narrative of this year's graduates was one of gratitude and resolve. Read more