Media Release

A Message from the vice chancellor

Indications are that recent media reports on the current political and economic situation in Zimbabwe have been a source of deep concern and anxiety. I want to personally apologize for this and assure you that my administration is working diligently to assess and mitigate the impact of the current challenges on Africa University’s operations and outlook. Read more


You're invited! Please save the date and plan to attend Africa University's 25th Anniversary Celebrations, March 24-26. 2017, at Old Mutare, Zimbabwe. Read more

Latest News

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

Archived Articles


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

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